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5時間睡眠で効率的になるのか?短時間睡眠と仕事の効率について

夜明け

1日4~5時間睡眠という短い睡眠時間で高い仕事のパフォーマンスを残す人に憧れてしまう方は多いのではないかと思います。「自分も4~5時間睡眠の短い睡眠時間で起きていれたら、もっと仕事が進むのに」などとつい思ってしまいます。しかし、高いパフォーマンスをあげるためには短い睡眠時間がどうしても必要なのでしょうか。長時間睡眠は仕事のパフォーマンスをあげる上で「天敵」なのでしょうか。

本稿では睡眠時間と仕事や勉強等のパフォーマンスの関係について一つの考え方をご紹介したいと思います。

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4~5時間睡眠でアクティブに活動する人々

夜明け

1日はどんな人でも平等に24時間です。この決められた24時間という時間中に私たちは日々の仕事や勉強、雑用などをこなしていかなくてはなりません。

ところで、人間の睡眠時間は人生の3分の1の時間を占めると言われます。90年の寿命の方がおられたとすれば30年間は睡眠時間にあてていたということになります。この計算は、1日は24時間ですから、8時間睡眠を前提に計算したことになります。

では90年の寿命の方が4時間睡眠で人生を送られていたとすれば、自由に使うことができる時間の割合は2倍となるという計算になります。また4時間睡眠はさすがにきついので5時間睡眠としても1年間で1000時間以上可処分時間が増えることになります。

実際に1日4時間睡眠・5時間睡眠で過ごしてアクティブに仕事や日常生活を送られている方が本を出版されたりしています。

1日で4時間睡眠は難しいとしても、5時間睡眠などは真似をして見習ったほうが良いのでしょうか。

睡眠時間の長さと仕事の効率は比例しない

過去の歴史を紐解いてみますと、フランス皇帝ナポレオンなどは5時間睡眠どころか3時間睡眠で軍事から政治まで幅広くこなしていました。しかし、その一方で20世紀の偉大な知能であるアインシュタインは10時間の睡眠時間をとっていたそうです。

また、一般に脳に負担のかかる仕事をされる方は睡眠時間が長い傾向があるという研究もあります。よく言われることですが、睡眠時間を削ってまで仕事や勉強をしても効率は悪くなると言われます。これは脳科学の研究によって証明されています。

これらのことからすれば、たしかに5時間睡眠(あるいはそれよりも短い睡眠時間)で高いパフォーマンスを上げている人はいるものの、必ずしも短時間睡眠が仕事等のパフォーマンスを上げるとは言えないということが言えるのではないでしょうか。

4時間、5時間睡眠という睡眠時間で高いパフォーマンスを上げることができる方はそのようなリズムが体質に合っているということであり、4~5時間睡眠という短時間睡眠が万人に高いパフォーマンスを与えるものではないということが言えるでしょう。

短時間睡眠の方の効率の良さの秘訣

とはいえ、1日4時間~5時間睡眠で仕事等をされる方が高いパフォーマンスで仕事をしていることも事実です。このようなタイプの人々は単に睡眠時間が短いために効率の良い仕事をしているというわけではないようです。

例えば、早朝に起床して頭が冴えているうちに重要な仕事をこなしてしまう・スケジュールをしっかり立てて仕事を進めていく・無駄な付き合いを省く・休む時は仕事をすっぱりと忘れて休むなど、時間の利用方法がとても上手という特徴があります。

そもそも起きている時間が長いだけで、テレビやネットサーフィンをしていてはいくら5時間睡眠の方でも効率的に仕事をこなすことはできないでしょう。4~5時間睡眠程度で高いパフォーマンスの仕事をこなしている方は、睡眠時間が短いから効率が良いのではなく時間の使い方がうまいと言う特徴があるということができます。

そのため、「5時間睡眠にして仕事をたくさんこなそう」などと考えるよりも、「5時間睡眠の人はどのようにして仕事等をこなしているのだろう」という目で本や周りの人を観察することのほうが良いということができるでしょう。

もちろん、5時間程度の睡眠時間で済み、かつ効率がよく仕事ができればそれに越したことはありません。しかし、ご自身の体質から5時間睡眠よりも10時間睡眠が合っているのであれば、そのリズムに合わせていかに効率よく時間を使うか(無駄な時間などはないか)を考える方が良いということができると言えます。

5時間程度の睡眠時間の方に「どうして5時間睡眠で平気なの?」と聞くよりも「どうやって仕事してるの?」といった趣旨の質問をされてみてはいかがでしょうか。

オムロン ねむり時間計 ホワイト HSL-001-W【ウェルネスリンク対応】
オムロン (2012-04-10)
売り上げランキング: 4,719

まとめ:4~5時間睡眠という体質にあこがれないで

以上、本文で述べました4時間から5時間程度の睡眠と仕事等の効率についてまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • 睡眠時間の長さと仕事等の効率は必ずしも比例していません。ナポレオンのような人もいればアインシュタインのような人もいます。必ずしも4~5時間睡眠などの短時間睡眠にあこがれる必要はないということができます
  • 4~5時間睡眠で高いパフォーマンスを出している人は時間の使い方が非常に上手な方が多いと言えます。睡眠時間を短くすることよりもいかにして起きている時間に時間を効率的に活用するかを考えることが大切ということができます

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