In a BBC interview with James Fletcher, neuroscientist Matt Walker raised many interesting points about the diminishing amount of sleep we seem to get these days. In the 1940s, people apparently slept a shade over four hours per night, where the average at present seems to be somewhere between 6.7 and 6.8 hours per night: a 20% drop.
Walker sounded even more alarms about potential consequences: “Every major disease that is killing us in the developed world: Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, suicidality. All of them have direct ... and very strong causal links to deficient sleep.”
The short article is worth reading in its entirety: