Humans sleep less than animals: study [2015/12/30 14:40]

Humans sleep less than other animals, but their sleep is more efficient, a new study has shown.

A research team at Duke University in North Carolina explored the sleep patterns of hundreds of animals. It was found that humans sleep for shorter periods of time compared to other animals.

The study also revealed that the quality of a human’s sleep is higher than that of other animals. The scientists used what is called REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, to measure the specific stages of sleep. REM makes up 25 percent of a human’s sleep, while the ratio for primates like lemurs or monkeys stops short of 5 percent, the study showed.

“Humans are unique in having shorter, higher quality sleep,” said David Samson, a researcher from Duke University.

The study also found that humans need an average of seven hours of sleep a day. However, other primates need to sleep longer -- 14 to 17 hours per day.

Researchers said human sleep habits evolved during prehistoric times. Human ancestors used to sleep in trees. They eventually came to sleep on the ground. As humans developed better sleeping habits, they ended up getting better sleep in a shorter amount of time.
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