A Hadza man sleeps on the ground in northern Tanzania. | David Samson
Behavior

Trouble Sleeping? Restless Nights Evolved From Ancestors Avoiding Dangers

New research suggests that age-related sleep disorders are maybe not disorders at all but instead are legacies of our evolutionary past, when they were beneficial.

Published On 07/12/2017
12:00 AM EDT
I I f you’re one of the many people who sometimes has difficulty staying asleep, you’ll be interested to learn that the root cause may be at least partly prehistoric. A new hypothesis, based on research concerning modern hunter-gatherers, suggests that humans evolved to be somewhat vigilant at night in order to avoid predators and other threats.
A Hadza hut in Tanzania. Wikimedia Commons
Spotted hyenas eyeing a house cat at night. A. Davey