〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why humans get less sleep than other primates
How long do you usually sleep at night? Do you always feel well-rested? We, humans, sleep less as we grow and age; babies and children sleep for 10 or longer hours a day, teenagers and adults sleep seven to nine hours, and seniors sleep even fewer. But our closest relatives like orangutans, chimpanzees, and baboons usually sleep around 10 hours, and some other monkeys sleep over 15 hours. Is that because we have longer screen hours than before? Not really. Studies found that those who live in non-industrial societies sleep no longer hours than industrialized populations. As most humans sleep in more protected places than animals, threats from predators won’t explain why. Interestingly, humans seem to spend longer sleeping time dreaming than others. This type of sleep is known as rapid-eye-movement sleep, or REM sleep, when the brain is rested and information is organized. Another difference is that humans tend to interact with others at night even after dinner, which naturally shortens the sleeping hours. There seem to be various factors that have made humans sleep fewer hours than other primates.
Enjoy reading the studies about how and why humans sleep less than our relatives.