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Idris Elba survives on a chronic lack of sleep, admitting to only getting ‘four or five hours a night’

Counting sheep doesn’t quite cut it for Idris Elba (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Idris Elba has admitted he survives on way less sleep than he should, after admitting to only getting four or five hours of shuteye per night.

The actor, 47, admitted he feels a lot better when he gets more rest, but he struggles to get enough sleep most nights.

He explained: ‘I’ll just sit in the dark, stare, and try not to do anything – just clear my mind and decompress.

‘When I get in bed at 9 or 10pm, I feel great the next day. But it really depends. I typically get four to five hours of sleep a night.’

The recommended amount of sleep for adults is between seven and nine hours, and not getting enough can affect your life in many ways, from your concentration and your weight right up to your risk of heart disease or stroke.

The Sleep Foundation recommend about seven to nine hours a night for an adult or young adult, but this can be affected by anything from how stressful your day was, your health and the stimulants you eat or drink throughout the day.

Another thing that’s been having a massive negative effect on the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep people are getting is the use of your mobile phone or other devices which emit blue light before bed.

Idris also isn’t a fan of social media (Picture: Rex Features)

Idris admitted he is trying to wean himself off apps like Twitter because, aside from the sleep-destroying qualities – it also leaves him feeling depressed.

He explained: ‘I’ve been trying to wean myself off. I used to post a lot more, but it’s been putting me off lately. And Twitter’s just not how I want to receive my news.

‘I read the news aggregated on my iPad, but I can’t check it constantly – I’m not proud of it, but it’s true – because it makes me feel depressed.’

While the effects of a chronic lack of sleep can be pretty scary, new research suggests some people have a gene that means they require less sleep than others.

People who require less than six and a half hours sleep are said to have a gene called ADRB1, as found by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

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