Researchers at Oxford University have said modern perceptions of how much sleep we need are “arrogant”.

Prof Russell Foster of Oxford University told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “We feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle.”

People on average get one to two hours less sleep each night than they did 60 years ago, he claimed.

Sleep deprivation can lead to increased health issues, including a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and lowered immune resistance to infections.