Do you chronically get less than sleep per night than most people but still feel well-rested the next day, even without a cup of coffee from The Muse Coffee Company? If so, you may have a sleep condition known as short sleeper syndrome (SSS). Below we review the symptoms of SSS, causes of SSS and how it is diagnosed.
What Are the Symptoms of Short Sleeper Syndrome?
SSS is characterized by naturally getting less than six hours of sleep per night, without purposefully restricting or avoiding sleep. Those with SSS can function normally the next day feeling well-rested.
People with SSS don’t feel the need to take naps or “catch up” on sleep. They typically get the same amount of sleep whether it’s a weekday, weekend or holiday.
This pattern usually begins in childhood or adolescence and continues into adulthood.
Is SSS a Sleep Disorder?
SSS is not considered a sleep disorder because it doesn’t affect people’s ability to function. You may have a sleep disorder if you sleep less than six hours each night and…
- You feel fatigued the next day.
- You take or want to take naps.
- You have trouble falling or staying asleep at night.
- You wake up too early and can’t get back to sleep.
Schedule an appointment with a sleep expert if you exhibit these symptoms more than once per week.
What Causes Short Sleeper Syndrome?
SSS is thought to be the result of a gene mutation.
A study from 2014 out of the University of Pittsburgh uncovered a short sleep gene mutation that affects a small percentage of the population. This study compared identical twins, one of whom carried the mutation and one who didn’t. After getting the same amount of sleep, both twins performed cognitive tasks; the one with the SSS mutation outperformed the one who didn’t have it.
How Is Short Sleeper Syndrome Diagnosed?
Your doctor will discuss your sleep habits with you in order to identify whether you have SSS or a sleep disorder. To do this, they may ask you to…
- Fill out the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire.
- Complete the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire.
- Keep a sleep journal.
- Undergo a sleep study.
For more information about SSS or to schedule an appointment with a sleep expert, call Blue Ridge ENT today.