Sleep time in hunter-gatherer groups on low end of scale | Science News

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Sleep time in hunter-gatherer groups on low end of scale

People in preindustrial societies may have less insomnia but no more shut-eye, study finds

2:38pm, October 15, 2015
hunter gatherers

REST UP  Hunter-gatherers, like the Hadza shown here, sleep about as much as people in postindustrial societies do — and maybe even a little less.  

People in the postindustrial world don’t always get a sound night sleep. But they appear to spend a similar amount of time sleeping as do people in hunter-gatherer communities in Africa and South America, a new study finds.

“It’s absolutely clear that they don’t sleep more than we do,” says Jerome Siegel, a UCLA sleep scientist.

In fact, on average, hunter-gatherers may sleep a little less.

Recommended nightly sleep for adults is typically seven to nine hours; a 2013 Gallup poll showed that most Americans get around 6.8 hours. On most nights, members of three hunter-gatherer groups — the Hadza of Tanzania, the Ju/’hoansi San of Namibia and the Tsimane of Bolivia — sleep 5.7 to 7.1 hours, Siegel and colleagues report online October 15 in Current Biology

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