The Early Bird Catches
the Worm, so Let Me
Sleep on It
It has been said that life imitates art. Well, perhaps. But in a case just recently reported, life, it seems, imitates the artist, or at least the legend of an artist: Leonardo da Vinci, driven by his need to make time for his many pursuits in the arts and science, is rumored to have slept only one and one-half hours a day ... this, by taking 15-minute catnaps every four hours.
In a recent study noted in the journal Science, a researcher by the name of Claudio Stampi was able to place a 27-year-old volunteer on a "sleep diet," averaging 2.7 hours of sleep a day, by scheduling repetitive cycles of six 15-minute naps daily. Although there was no evidence of any decrement in performance over a 9-day period, the longer-term consequences of such a regimen have not been determined (with respect either to enhanced productivity or to possible detrimental complications). Stampi did, however, note a possible confounding issue: if you are able to free