A massive study into the sleeping patterns of 1.6 million people has revealed that those who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 12% more likely to die young than others sleeping six to eight hours.
Professor Jim Horne, of the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre told the BBC factors such as depression could be a factor behind the fatal link.
"Sleep is just a litmus paper to physical and mental health,” he told the BBC, “having less than five hours a night suggests something is probably not right,” he added.
Globe-trotting DJ Dave Clarke said he typically manages six to eight hours during the week though admitted he’s well used to snatching as little as two hours a weekend, covering Friday to Sunday night.
“I have sadly have been aware of this link for quite a while, it’s definitely no coincidence that a lot of DJs/musician die quite young,” Dave mused. “It is a very tough life on the road so of course you live longer if you have normal sleep patterns. Burn the candle at both ends and the candle ends quicker right,” he added.
Twittering on numerous occasions recently about sleepless nights and jetlag concerns, the Amsterdam based British techno legend admitted developing ‘a lack of toleration for what I see as stupid things, comments and/ or small talk’ when tired though otherwise said he manages fine.
“What’s the longest I’ve gone without sleep? Who knows?” he added, “A couple of days perhaps.”
German electro-tech DJ Kris Menace told Skrufff usually goes to bed for a few hours around 5am though said with lie-ins he typically averages 49 hours a week ‘depending on the work I have to do’.
“I was a promoter back in the day, organising big events and I remember on one occasion staying up for four days solid,” Kris shuddered.
“I felt shit and like I was about to die and I ended up falling asleep after dropping the last person off at the airport. The next time I woke up, I was the other side of Germany, looked like a zombie and had all sorts of crazy, strange ideas in my head.”
Nowadays flying overseas virtually every weekend he owned up to ‘sending ‘the wrong emails to the wrong people sometimes’ when exhausted and feeling confused on occasion with serious consequences.
“Sometimes I don’t remember what I’ve done before going to bed; not good,” he chuckled. “And health-wise, if someone around me has been ill then I can be sure to catch it the next day; my immune system is kinda’ fucked.”
“I’m more than sure that this is because of the lack of sleep and the stress I have to deal with when travelling.”
“Usually once a year, I wake up in hospital having problems with my stomach or just being generally burned out.” Kris continued.
“I few months ago I actively tried to slow down and to be better organized and it’s working well so but unfortunately I had mononucleosis (glandular fever) in February, something 97% of humans have during their life, and this knocked me out big time.
“I’m always tired and feel like I’m dying. Some people don’t even know that they had it, other people feel sick for one or two weeks, others have big problems for months. I’m OK but in combination with the workload and the lack of sleep, this can become really bad.”
20-something Italian techno genius Dusty Kid said he’s had no health issues yet from the DJ lifestyle though admitted to being ‘really moody and not sweet’ when tired.
“I knew not sleeping much wasn’t healthy but had no idea it was dangerous,” he admitted. “And actually lots of my friends are struggling to sleep at night though some of them are complete drug addicts and don’t sleep at all,” he laughed.
“In my case I'm just realizing that it varies for me. For example, last night, I went to bed at 2.30 and I woke up because of a nightmare at 6.30am. In fact I’m writing this right now in bed, trying to get back to sleep.”
“One good thing about DJing is the flying,” he added,” Every time I get on a plane it takes me just three minutes of reading anything before I fall deeply asleep, only waking up at the end of the flight.”
Article by Jonty Skrufff (http://skrufff.com): Follow Jonty on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jontyskrufff