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Six hours of sleep time is the natural amount, scientists reveal

Scientists have rebuffed the widely held belief that we need eight hours of sleep a night in a new study.

A study by the University of California shows that six hours and 25 minutes is enough sleep for a person.

This was done through observation of the sleep habits of three groups of hunter gatherers and decided six to seven hours is the natural amount.

The findings show that people who slept an average of six hours and 25 minutes possess good health, low rates of obesity, good levels of blood pressure and healthy hearts.

Scientists observed that modern technology and its commotions are not the root cause of people getting less sleep.

Three examined societies of hunter-gatherers included; the Hadza in northern Tanzania, south of the equator, the Kalahari San in northeast Namibia, and the Tsimane who live close to the Maniqui River in Bolivia. The societies which were selected do not live in the modern day life of technology and were considered appropriate for the study because of having an ancient lifestyle.

Ghandi Yetish, the study’s lead author, said: “There’s this expectation that we should all be sleeping for eight or nine hours a night, and if you took away modern technology, people would be sleeping more.

“But now, for the first time, we are showing that’s not true.”

The people involved in the study stayed awake for an average of three hours and 20 minutes after dusk despite the absence of technology.

The tribes also tended to wake up at the coldest point of the morning because the study shows that temperature seems to regulate sleep duration and timing.

Professor Jerome Siegel said: ‘The argument has always been that modern life has reduced our sleep time below the amount our ancestors got but our data indicates this is a myth.’

He continued: “In most modern environments, people are sleeping in a fixed temperature, even if it’s reduced from daytime levels.

“It may well be that falling environmental temperature is integral to sleep control.”
The findings are presented at the Neuroscience 2015 conference and the results of University of New Mexico’s doctoral candidate Gandi Yetish are stated in “Natural Sleep and its Seasonal Variations in Three Pre-industrial Societies.”

The researchers from the UNM Department of Anthropology, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Yale University, Hunter College, the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, the University of California Los Angeles, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and the Brain Research Institute at UCLA all worked cooperatively to get the findings.

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