"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Sleeping like a cave?

Do we sleep lower than our ancestors? Previous research that examined geographically isolated ancient cultures, in addition to other research where subjects lived without modern conveniences, suggests that the introduction of artificial light and other elements of contemporary society reduced sleep duration. Is. However, a recent study that has drawn public attention calls this belief into query.

Its authors the study checked out sleep duration and timing in three geographically isolated tribes living in Africa and South America. They found that members of every tribe averaged between 5.7 and seven.1 hours of sleep per night, which is according to reported sleep durations in additional modern societies. Furthermore, the researchers suggest that sleep and wakefulness in these tribes usually are not related to the presence of environmental light and darkness, but to changes in body temperature.

These claims are, after all, controversial, and so they contradict previous research on this area. More studies are needed before this theory might be confirmed. Already, other scientists have expressed concerns concerning the research methods and design utilized in the study.

Whether these latest findings are true or not will likely be the topic of vigorous scientific debate. However, they shouldn't allow us to disregard the undeniable fact that 40% of American adults self-report getting lower than the 7 hours of sleep per night beneficial by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and other skilled organizations. Sixteen percent of us sleep lower than 6 hours per night. Several studies show that lower than 6 and possibly lower than 7 hours of sleep per night is related to decreased physical and mental performance, increased rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and premature death.

The query of whether we sleep lower than our ancestors is definitely of interest to anthropologists and a few sleep scientists. However, this has little to do with changing the sleep deprivation epidemic on this country. For the big segment of the American public that shouldn't be getting enough sleep for optimal health, we must concentrate on why this is occurring and find ways to reverse this trend.