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Biological rhythms

Human sleep before the industrial era

A quantitative study of sleep patterns in three pre-industrial societies implies that our natural sleep duration is close to seven hours, and that sleep cycles are determined by environmental temperature as well as the light–dark cycle.

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Figure 1: Daily patterns.


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Correspondence to Derk-Jan Dijk or Anne C. Skeldon.

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Dijk, DJ., Skeldon, A. Human sleep before the industrial era. Nature 527, 176–177 (2015).

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