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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Oct-21-15, 15:49
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
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Default Modern Hunter-Gatherers probably get less sleep than you do

http://www.livescience.com/52495-hu...rers-sleep.html

...but I know some people who would kill for a good, reliable, 6.5 hours every night.

Quote:
Modern Hunter-Gatherers Probably Get Less Sleep Than You Do

Although it might seem that the glowing lights from smartphones and other trappings of modern life reduce people's ability to get a decent amount of shut-eye, scientists now suggest that people do not get any less sleep today than they did in prehistoric times.

The researchers looked at people living in three hunter-gatherer societies in rural parts of Africa and South America. Investigations showed that these traditional peoples slept slightly less than 6.5 hours a night on average. In comparison, people in industrial societies usually average seven to eight hours per night.

"We find that contrary to much conventional wisdom, it is very likely that we do not sleep less than our distant ancestors," said the study's senior author, Jerome Siegel, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.

However, the researchers also found that insomnia may have been more rare in ancient times than it is now. This finding suggests that looking to the past could lead to new ways of treating insomnia, which afflicts more than 20 percent of people in the United States at some point during their lives, the investigators added.

People complain that modern life allows us less sleep than is natural, and earlier studies done on animals in captivity gave the researchers an idea for studying sleep in people, Siegel said. "While trying to record sleep in wild African elephants, and finding that their sleep was very different from zoo elephants, I thought that what we really needed to do was compare sleep in humans living in the regions and under the conditions in which we evolved with sleep in our society," Siegel said. [5 Things You Must Know About Sleep]

To learn more about how people slept before the modern era, the researchers analyzed the sleeping habits of 94 members of three hunter-gatherer societies: the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia and the Tsimane of Bolivia. These people live much as their ancestors did for thousands of years, so the scientists reasoned that these people's sleep habits reflect prehistoric human behavior.

The research proved difficult at times, Siegel said. "The challenging parts were getting stuck in water or sand in four-wheel-drive vehicles while trying to get to the villages we studied," he told Live Science.

Still, "getting to know the San was a transformative experience," Siegel said. "To see how much is possible without any of the trappings of civilization. To see how smart and happy they are, and also how they must struggle to survive."

After collecting 1,165 days' worth of data on these hunter-gatherers, the scientists found a surprising similarity across the three groups. Despite differences in their genetics, histories and environments, all three groups had similar sleep patterns, which the researchers suggested mirrored those of humans before the modern era.

"I feel a lot less insecure about my own sleep habits after having found the trends we see here," study lead author Gandhi Yetish at the University of New Mexico said in a statement.

For example, none of these groups went to sleep as soon as it got dark, much like industrial people do. Instead, the hunter-gatherers began to sleep a little more than 3 hours after sunset, on average. Nighttime activities included preparing food, eating dinner, making arrows and planning for the next day, Siegel said.

The people usually awoke before sunrise.

Previous research has found that in modern times, many people get sleepy in the midafternoon, leading to speculation that humans naturally want to nap during this time, and that the modern lifestyle suppresses this urge. However, Siegel and his colleagues found that the hunter-gatherers they examined only rarely took naps.

However, the scientists uncovered one big difference between these groups and people who live in industrial societies: Only 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the hunter-gatherers the researchers studied experienced insomnia more than once a year. In comparison, 10 to 30 percent of people in industrial societies report chronic insomnia, the scientists noted. Insomnia was so rare among the San and the Tsimane, they do not have a word for the disorder.

The scientists found that the amount of sleep these hunter-gatherers got had less to do with the length of daylight hours than with temperature. These groups sleep an hour more in the winter than they do in the summer.

"In natural conditions, humans sleep [more] during a period of declining temperature," Siegel said. "In contrast, in most modern settings, while we may turn the temperature down at night, it is not declining."

In other words, modern life has "almost completely eliminated a major sleep regulator," he said.

The researchers suggested that mimicking aspects of the natural environment, such as temperature, could help treat people with insomnia and other sleep disorders.

"Future work is necessary, but our data suggests that environmental manipulation may more effectively control sleep than any drug," Siegel said. "We see a 1-hour difference in sleep duration between summer and winter, whereas chronic use of sleeping pills adds at most 15 minutes to sleep time."

The scientists detailed their findings online today (Oct. 15) in the journal Current Biology.

Follow Live Science ~livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Oct-21-15, 20:56
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Nicekitty Nicekitty is offline
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Plan: Banting
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser

...but I know some people who would kill for a good, reliable, 6.5 hours every night.
Yep, I'm one of those. Right now, in the middle of a horrible insomnia episode, 4 hours would be great. Maybe I'll just pick up and move out into the jungle.

But I bet those 6.5 hours are very high quality sleep. 6.5 hours of good sleep is more restorative than 8 or more hours of restless sleep.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Oct-22-15, 04:28
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
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Yes... but I wonder if it's the quality of sleep, or the quality of the wake, sometimes, that's at issue? How we sleep depends on a lot of hormonal and quasi-hormonal stuff (signalling molecules like adenosine that regulate sleepiness/wakefulness), these being out of wack both during the sleeping and wakefulness period could make people feel crummy during the day, and sleep poorly at night--each feeding into the other, affecting the other, but the main cause of both being the circadian dysrhythm. The "no blue light at night" has its related therapy of the light box with lots of blue light, in the morning vs. SAD. These people don't just get the right cues for sleep, they get the right cues for wakefulness.
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Oct-23-15, 12:05
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/160/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
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Quote:
Previous research has found that in modern times, many people get sleepy in the midafternoon, leading to speculation that humans naturally want to nap during this time, and that the modern lifestyle suppresses this urge. However, Siegel and his colleagues found that the hunter-gatherers they examined only rarely took naps.


When I was eating a ton of carbs, I couldn't stay awake in the afternoon. When I stopped eating grains & sugar & went lchf, I found I rarely need an afternoon nap. I usually get about 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep each night. I used to need more than 8 hours.

Just maybe there's a connection between a lot of carbs & needing more sleep?
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Oct-23-15, 12:13
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
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Default

I tried almost all-bananas for a few days once. My energy working out was fine, at least I got my normal number of reps for a given weight. But I felt like napping between sets. I think it was an exaggeration due to the extreme diet change though, because I've never been a napper.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Oct-23-15, 12:16
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khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 6,727
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
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Location: Central Virginia - USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
When I was eating a ton of carbs, I couldn't stay awake in the afternoon. When I stopped eating grains & sugar & went lchf, I found I rarely need an afternoon nap. I usually get about 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep each night. I used to need more than 8 hours.

Just maybe there's a connection between a lot of carbs & needing more sleep?

Ditto. I used to love watching sports on the weekends 'cause I loved to find a nice boring game and get a nap in. These days I can't seem to sit through an entire game. I can no longer nap during the day even if I try. I used to be able to stay up late and sleep in. 8 hours in bed was my norm. 6 or 7 hours of sleep is all I need these days. Earlier this week I went to bed a little earlier than I normally do... about 9:30pm. I woke up equally early - before 5am. I was fully awake, so I got up. In my 51 years eating SAD, I was never this way. Eating this WOE consistently has changed me into a different sort of beast. I like the change, but I am still utterly amazed by it. I used to think morning people had a screw loose or something. That would never be me. Now I think that it has something to do with a healthy metabolism. I sleep better. I sleep deeper. I need less sleep. I also wake up with the sunrise each day. Yep - I am now a morning person.

Last edited by khrussva : Fri, Oct-23-15 at 12:21.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Oct-23-15, 21:09
Nicekitty's Avatar
Nicekitty Nicekitty is offline
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Plan: Banting
Stats: 150/139/132 Female 5'7"
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Quote:
I used to love watching sports on the weekends 'cause I loved to find a nice boring game and get a nap in.
After a SAD dinner, I would doze through an hour of a talking heads/opinion "news" show. Kind of pleasant, but guaranteed I wouldn't sleep well that night.

Found the original study, I was interested to see if they addressed "segmented sleep" (biphasic). They did say that they found no evidence of that, and perhaps it was an adaptation to longer nights (in winter) in higher latitudes.

Clearly insomnia must be looked at as a circadian rhythm/hormonal disorder, rather than simply an inability to sleep. I finally determined that my latest insomnia episode was due to increasing my topical progesterone, back to square one on that. The hormonal picture is so complicated, it's impossible to grasp the inter-relationships and really see what is going on.

In trying to answer the question--"how does my life differ from a hunter-gatherers, such that I have insomnia, and they don't even have a word for it"--I don't see much room for improvement other than in the diet or exogenous toxins area. According to Mark's Primal Blueprint, my lifestyle is ideal--lots of constant exercise, work outdoors, play, etc...
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Oct-23-15, 21:18
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inflammabl inflammabl is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 296/220/205 Male 71 inches
BF:25%?
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Location: GSP and FLL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser
Yes... but I wonder if it's the quality of sleep, or the quality of the wake, sometimes, that's at issue?


I think so. I spend a lot of time outdoors, even at night. When the sun goes down, there's not a whole lot to do. The eyes kind of shut down, the ears open and the mind follows the ears. It's not sleep but it's very much like it. The harder I concentrate the more my mind floats.

Waking is also different. There is no alarm. One wakes up and then has to kind of figure out what time it is. Maybe it's 3am or 5am. Until an hour or so before dawn, there's no way to tell.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Oct-27-15, 22:14
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Nicekitty Nicekitty is offline
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Plan: Banting
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Regarding that study:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...4b0443bb5640c01

Dumb article--she never really explains WHY you can't sleep less than 7-8 hours per night. Give me some good reasoning. Should have know it was huffpo fluff.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Oct-28-15, 06:56
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
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I wonder how she would have felt if the hunter-gatherers had slept more than we do?


Quote:
Sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of infamous accidents, from the Challenger explosion to the Exxon Valdez spill.


I don't think anybody questioned whether sleep deprivation could be dangerous in these sorts of situations. The question is what contitutes deprivation?

Quote:
Lack of sleep costs more than $2500 per person per year in lost workplace productivity, and insomniacs miss on average 5 days more of work than their peers who get the sleep they need.


Who exactly was arguing that insomnia was a good lifestyle choice?
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Oct-28-15, 08:54
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/160/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khrussva
I used to think morning people had a screw loose or something. That would never be me. . . Yep - I am now a morning person.


Me, too. My husband has always been an early riser - I used to need multiple alarm clocks just to get up in time to go to work. He still wakes up at 5 (definitely a screw loose!) but now I'm usually awake an hour or so later instead of several hours.

Last edited by Bonnie OFS : Wed, Oct-28-15 at 09:30.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Oct-28-15, 09:00
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Aradasky Aradasky is offline
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Plan: Atkins
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Used to take 20 min naps but not now.
To bed at 10 up at 5 is me. I tape over any lights in room, and when traveling, lay a towel over charging phone, computers and all. HATE those blinky lights.

LC added magnesium to my bedtime routine, best thing ever for sleep!
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Oct-30-15, 01:10
MickiSue MickiSue is offline
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Plan: Atkins
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These particular hunter gatherers live near the equator, where the days and nights are pret much 12 hours long all year long. One wonders what the sleep patterns of those who had much shorter days in winter, and longer in summer would have been.
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, Oct-31-15, 10:53
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Nicekitty Nicekitty is offline
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Plan: Banting
Stats: 150/139/132 Female 5'7"
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The study authors speculate that "segmented sleep" was an adaptation to longer nights in the northern hemisphere. That is the pattern where you fall asleep until the middle of night (1-4ish) then wake up for a while, then fall back asleep again--as documented in At Day's Close: Night in Times Past by A. Roger Ekirch. I've been very interested in this, as I've had that pattern for a long time, and trying to figure out if it is a natural adaptation or not. Good time to get reading done!
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  #15   ^
Old Sat, Oct-31-15, 11:43
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: mostly milkfat
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Progress: 104%
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Closest I get to that is getting up to pee in the middle of the night. If I'm fasting or very keto, I get back to sleep. Otherwise, I'm up for the night.
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