Susannah Mushatt Jones is due to celebrate her 116th birthday on July 6th 2015 – she is officially the world’s oldest person. Her secret, she told the New York Daily News, is sleep. Susannah even offered the reporter a demonstration, laying back in her recliner and pulling a blanket over her head as if for an afternoon nap.
Susannah – known as ‘Miss Susie’ – has sight and hearing problems but is still active and takes just two medications a day.
Though she never married and has no children, Susannah has a remarkable 100 nieces and nephews, to whom she is known simply as T (‘auntie’).
She is a fan of Barack Obama and the New York Daily News suggested that a phone call from the President would make her birthday.
Plausibility rating: 6 out of 10. Susannah’s faith in the longevity powers of sleep is quite well placed. Studies often shown a link between low levels of sleep and incidence of major, life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. ‘It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life,’ says NHS Choices. The Daily Mirror neatly reported a 2010 study – suggesting a 12% increased risk of death if you get less than six hours sleep – with the headline ‘Not enough sleep leads to a wake’.
However, that study also suggested a link between too much sleep (nine hours or more) and an even higher risk of premature death so it is possible to get too much of a good thing.
photo credit: Sleep via photopin (license)