Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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SleepSleep is one of the most important parts of your life. During this vital time your body is rejuvenated for the next coming day. Our bodies get rest, re-balance our essential chemicals and clear our thoughts so we can be at our best the next day.

Although most people think that people require about 9 hours of sleep a night this is not always true. Depending on our health, age, profession and location in the world, people sleep for different amounts of time. For example, "the Inuit (Eskimos) endured the perpetual and tedious Arctic winter nights by sleeping for 14 hours a day compared with around six hours daily during the continuous summer light. (Horn, May 1998)" The body will adapt to its surroundings to make the optimum use of the day. It also will give itself enough sleep time to recover from the day before.

Another example of extreme sleep changes is in smokers.

The average smoking person only gets about 6 hours of sleep. A woman sleeps about 15 minuets more than a man. Also, an older person will sleep about 45 minuets less than a young adult. All of these statistics clearly illustrate that there is no "average" amount of sleep for a person. Every thing in your life directly affects the amount of sleep you need.

In some recent studies it has been shown that people