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Curr Biol. 2016 Apr 4;26(7):R271-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.071.

Ancestral sleep.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1800, USA.
2
School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, 01246-904, Brazil; Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, 106 91, Sweden.
3
Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, 106 91, Sweden.
4
Department of Physiology, Federal University of Paraná, 80610-280, Brazil.
5
School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, 01246-904, Brazil; Catholic University of Santos,11.015-002, Brazil.
6
Programa de Saúde Coletiva (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, 90460-150, Brazil.
7
Departamento de Psiquiatria e Medicina Legal (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS, 90035-903, Brazil; Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, 80336, Germany.
8
Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
9
Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 1876, Argentina.
10
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115-1104, USA.
11
Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK.
12
Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, 80336, Germany. Electronic address: roenneberg@lmu.de.

Abstract

While we do not yet understand all the functions of sleep, its critical role for normal physiology and behaviour is evident. Its amount and temporal pattern depend on species and condition. Humans sleep about a third of the day with the longest, consolidated episode during the night. The change in lifestyle from hunter-gatherers via agricultural communities to densely populated industrialized centres has certainly affected sleep, and a major concern in the medical community is the impact of insufficient sleep on health [1,2]. One of the causal mechanisms leading to insufficient sleep is altered exposure to the natural light-dark cycle. This includes the wide availability of electric light, attenuated exposure to daylight within buildings, and evening use of light-emitting devices, all of which decrease the strength of natural light-dark signals that entrain circadian systems [3].

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PMID:
27046809
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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