Sleep. Too much or not enough may cause the rest of your day to either be miserable and/or not as productive as desired. For Brad Johnson and many of his family members, this is not an issue. They have the ability to run on less than 8 hours of sleep consistently without drawbacks. How? Well, this is due to them having a mutated gene named ADRB1 (Figure 1A depicts a pedigree of an affected family) which directly determines the amount of sleep people need (other genes may also play a role in this as well). The people who have this gene (or are heterozygotes) are labeled as “natural short sleepers” and it only shows up in around 1 in every 25,000 people.
Having the ability to do more and sleep less would be a fairly ideal situation. If utilized to its fullest extent (especially if you'd need only a couple hours of sleep), much could get done before the day has even begun. It would also be assumable that this would have a negative effect on affected persons. Yet, from what was shown in the article, Brad Johnson has been living a fulfilling life, participating in multiple hobbies and had a good career (in which he is now retired). Even the researchers, Dr. Fu and Dr. Ptacek, have stated that natural short sleepers are both optimistic and resilient. It may be early in this research, but this may open up a lot of new doors in understanding sleep in humans.