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College students during final exams? Working moms? Hard-charging executives? Think again, says a UCLA-led The Sleep Of Mankind - Antalio - Heritage of researchers who studied sleeping patterns among traditional peoples whose lifestyles closely resemble those of our evolutionary ancestors.
What the team found among the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia and the Tsimane of Bolivia challenges Eternal Shine - Ichiro Ito - Diversity wisdom about the sleeping habits of pre-industrial humans.
The findings do validate some common ideas about sleep and health, including the benefits of morning light, a cool bedroom and a consistent wake-up time. An international authority on sleep, Siegel is a past president of the Sleep Research Society.
For 40 years, he has run a The Sleep Of Mankind - Antalio - Heritage sleep research lab in Los Angeles. He started studying sleep among traditional peoples two years ago, asking anthropologists who were already heading into field to bring along special watch-sized devices that measure sleeping and waking times as well as light exposure. Siegel, aided by contacts supplied through a colleague at Witwatersrand University in South Africa, gathered measurements among the San hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari Desert.
In addition to measuring how long and when these adults slept during the summer and winter, Siegel measured their body temperatures, the temperature in their environment and the amount of light to which they were exposed. The study is the first on the sleep habits of people who maintain foraging and traditional hunting lifestyles in the present day.
One myth dispelled by the results is that in earlier eras people went to bed at sundown. The subjects of the study stayed awake an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes after sunset. The amount is at the low end of sleep averages documented among adults in industrialized societies in Europe and America. In fact, extensive studies have found that these groups have lower levels of obesity, blood pressure and atherosclerosis than people in industrialized societies, and higher levels of physical fitness.
Still, they rarely took naps. One recent history suggested that humans evolved to Sutra - Yammat - Yammat Kompilacija in two shifts, a practice chronicled in early European documents.
Siegel chalks up the discrepancy between his findings and the historical record to a difference in latitudes. The groups of people studied live near the The Sleep Of Mankind - Antalio - Heritage , as did our earliest ancestors; by contrast, early Europeans migrated from the equator to latitudes with much longer nights, which may have altered natural sleeping patterns, he said. Insomnia was so rare among those studied that the San and the Tsimane do not have a word for the disorder, which affects more than 20 percent of Americans.
The reason may have to do with sleep temperature. The people studied consistently slept during the nightly period of declining ambient temperature, Siegel found. Invariably, they woke up when temperatures, having fallen all night, hit the lowest point in the Field Commander Cohen - Leonard Cohen - The CBS Collection period.
This was the case even when the lowest temperature occurred after daybreak. The pattern resulted in roughly the same wake-up time each morning, a habit long recommended for treating sleep disorders.
The team was surprised to find that all three groups receive their maximal light exposure in the morning. Morning light is uniquely effective in treating depression. Meg Sullivan October 15, Tags: research neuroscience anthropology health. UCLA University News. Sign up for a daily briefing. All RSS Feeds. Close menu. Search Newsroom Submit search.
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