The Research Project, Week Thirty One, New Mexico

This week I am reporting on the results of some interesting sleep research funded by the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.

latin-americaI think most of us would assume that people who live in hunter-gatherer, pre-industrial societies would get more sleep on average than those of us who live in the fast-paced world. This research has shown such an assumption to be wrong.

The researchers studied three hunter-gatherer societies, two in Africa and one in South America. The research showed that the people in these groups sleep an average of 6.4 hours a day, rarely nap and all show similar sleep amounts and timing.

According to a recent National Sleep Foundation study, Americans get an average of 6.7 hours of sleep a night.

The research was conducted by Gandhi Yetish who is a student of UNM Professor of Anthropology Hillard Kaplan, who has studied the pre-industrial Tsimane people of Bolivia for decades. Yetish’s research has led to articles in a wide range of publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, Scientific American and Current Biology.

So don’t assume that if you choose to go off grid and shun all the modern conveniences and stressors of modern life that it means you will get more sleep!

The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889 and is New Mexico’s flagship university. It is located in the heart of Albuquerque just off historic Route 66.







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