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Evolution Made Humans Get Good Sleep in Lesser Amount of Time

Update Date: Dec 18, 2015 03:31 PM EST

Over a period of time, humans have been able to become more efficient with their sleep and require lesser resting than most of its close relatives, said a new study. The average sleep of a human is between seven and hours every night, but the monkeys and lemurs need up to 17 hours a day to get through the day. According to a research conducted by Duke University, lot of scientific data was analyzed to create a database that contained information about the sleeping patterns of more than hundred mammals that also included 21 primate species. This information was then correlated with position of each specie on the primate family tree, reported International Business Times.

The evolution has made humans sleep better in less time than most of the animals. The study led by researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, said that we get much more efficient sleep, despite lesser time, because of the more time that we spend in deep sleep than our animal relatives. As a result, the humans were able to devote more time to learning skills and becoming more sociable while improving the cognitive abilities that are enhanced due to deeper sleep. "Humans are a unique species and given the intuitive concept that our sleep is linked to how we think, feel and behave, I was less surprised and more excited about the findings that support the idea that sleep has played a part in the evolution of our species," Dr. David Samson, an evolutionary biologist at the university and a co-author of the study, told The Huffington Post.

The researchers, however, pointed out that we have not been able to successfully adapt to less sleep because of artificial lighting, as the study uses references from sleep patterns on Namibia, Bolivia and Tanzania for electricity free societies that get less sleep compared to those living in western society, said Science Daily.

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