Bruce Bower, in his article Slumber’s Unexplored Landscape: People in traditional societies sleep in eye-opening ways, explains sleep patterns through experiences from different anthropologists from around the nation to places around the globe. He states that “anthropologists have rarely scrutinized the sleep patterns and practices of different cultures” and that “. . . non- Western groups may mold sleep’s biology.” (Bower, 1999) Bower asserts that it is important that natural sleep habits must be studied rather than the “modern Western world” and that sleep studies have been significantly impaired by the lack of research in this area. He references work by an anthropologist by the name of Carol M. Worthman who found that people in different cultures have very different sleep patterns. Different cultures affect sleep patterns in many ways such as “Ache foragers in Paraguay, Kung hunter-gathers in Africa, Swat Pathan herders in Pakistan, and Balinese farmers in Indonesia” (Bower, 1999) She found out that all of these areas had the same sleep patterns such as they all slept together to provide safety for the group and that they could “count on there being someone else up or easily awakened at all hours of the night to warn others of a threat or emergency.” (Bower, 1999) I found most interesting in this article was that when people don’t use “artificial light from dusk until dawn” people who use to sleep for a long period of time began to “sleep in two periods separated by an hour or two of quiet rest”; that this can occur naturally and is not necessarily a “sleep disorder” such as insomnia which is often diagnosed in our modern societies. (Bower, 1999) I agree with most of what is said in this article as my children climb in to my bed with us almost every night and to me it seems as if they sleep better when they are next to me. I also remember my dreams vividly while waking up in the middle of the night verses trying to remember what they were...
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