The question of how much sleep a person really needs has occupied the minds of many clever people who, try as they might, have never arrived at a satisfactory answer. Some say that seven or eight hours sleep are necessary if one wants to be rested and ready for work, while others seem to think that they can manage quite well with four or five hours. Regarding those who sleep fewer hours, it is questionable whether the nerve cells will have sufficient time to become regenerated and whether, in time, some deficiency will become apparent. An unusual failing of strength, shorter attention spans and becoming easily tired are definite indications that one is not getting enough sleep, no matter what kind of theories anyone has on the subject.
When should we sleep and for how many hours? There are many different answers to these two questions and it is better if we ask, not other fellow humans, but nature itself — the most appropriate teacher. Nature sets before us a splendid example in the lively, ever-active world of birds. What can we learn from our feathered friends? When and for how long do those cheerful little singers sleep? Well, we all know the answer, don’t we? They begin their songs at the break of dawn when the average person is wasting the sunny hours of an early spring morning lying asleep in bed. They are already about their business and do not return to rest until the last traces of twilight have gone. For the birds this seems to be a natural and proper way of life and, indeed, primitive man adopted it.