In a previous article, based on some studies, I’ve written about how researchers have found an explanation about how checking our phones in bed, before sleep, makes our brains think it is day time and they become more alert. Also, that the use of social media at night seems to be affecting our mental health by inducing lack of sleep. Recently a study published in Current Biology tried out the theory that our pre-industrial ancestors slept longer and better than us and found that to not be true.
Researchers have asked for volunteers from three groups of people who are still living in tribes and who’s lifestyles are similar to people of the pre-industrial era, even the pre-agricultural one. People from Tsimané in Bolivia, the Hadza from the northern Tanzania and Ju/’hoansi-San of the Kalahari Desert from southern Africa, have agreed to become volunteers. Volunteers had to wear devices that were recording their movements, blood vessel constriction, humidity and temperature for a period of time. The total data collected was worth 1165 days and found that these people sleep an average of 6.5 hours a night. People from industrial society sleep an average of 7.5 hours a night, without including chronic sleep disorders.
Also, the volunteers didn’t go to sleep as the sun set down, as previously believed, their bedtime isn’t regulated by daylight, but by temperature, so it takes an average of three hours after the sun sets to reach the temperature that triggers the need of sleep.
Although, this study doesn’t prove that lack of sleep isn’t linked with our phone checking before bedtime, it disapproves the theory that our ancestors slept more and better. And even if we seem to sleep longer, our stress levels are higher and it takes longer for our brain to refresh itself. Does our lack of sleep really come from staring at our screens before sleep? Opinions seem to be biased, so future studies will be made to answer that question once and for all.