While many people believe that eight hours of sleep is the healthy dosage, most of us do tend to survive on less. It turns out, our ancestors also got by on less than the recommended amount, sleeping around six and a half hours a night.
At the University of California in Los Angeles, Researches have conducted a study on tribes in Tanzania, Namibia and Bolivia in order to find what the sleeping patterns were like for the early humans.
While previously it was assumed that these people went to sleep at sundown, the researchers found that these early humans stayed up for an average of three hours and twenty minutes after the sun had set. This sleeping apparently had little to no negative effects on their health.
"There's this expectation that we should all be sleeping eight or nine hours a night and that if you took away modern technology people would be sleeping more," said Gandhi Yetish, a PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico who spent 10 months with the Tsimane tribe in Bolivia.
"But now for the first time we're showing that's not true."
The leader of the research team, Jerome Siegel added "Rather than saying modern culture has interfered with the natural sleep period, this is a case in which modern culture, with its electric light and temperature control, was able to restore the natural sleep period, which is a single period in traditional humans today and therefore likely in our evolutionary ancestors as well."