Why do elderly people sleep badly?

It’s no secret that older people often suffer from insomnia. To find the source of the problem, doctors prescribe to patients numerous studies that must find the root cause of poor sleep. One of the latest theories claims that in most cases the human body is all right, and the source of insomnia should be sought in a completely different area – anthropology.

At the beginning of its existence, human civilization developed very slowly – tens of thousands of years of gradual evolution in full danger of the ancient world laid in us a powerful basis of behavior, echoes of which we still feel today. One of these echoes is the lack of sleep in the elderly.

According to scientists, in the past days people in the age of being on duty at night around the camps of the tribe, warning of nocturnal attacks of predators or enemies. To test their hypothesis, the anthropologists decided to conduct an experiment with the help of groups of Hadz hunter-gatherers, the indigenous people of Tanzania, still at the stage of the primitive communal system. After agreeing with the leaders, the scientists distributed electronic bracelets to members of several tribes, recording their physical activity. As a result, it became possible to control the time of sleep and wakefulness of all participants in the experiment.

Living in the middle of the wild nature of Tanzania, the Hadza are almost like primitive people exposed to dangers from wild animals, mostly night predators. Scientists have noticed that people of different ages went to bed at different times. And the older the person, the earlier he went to bed, and his sleep was the least short. From the middle of the night until morning, the duty was carried out by elderly members of the tribe. It turned out that during the day, at least one awake person was always present in the tribe. At the same time, the scientists found out that there were no agreements between the people on the performance of watchdog functions – the hadza were asleep based on natural needs.

It turns out that at the price of a dream of the older generation, our distant ancestors kept their quiet sleep at night. Probably, modern people still feel the echoes of those far days.