evolutionary theory of sleep

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  • Evolutionary Theory
    • Foraging: herbivores spend less time sleeping; carnivores more, because food is rich in nutrients
    • Energy Conservation: sleep provides a period of inactivity to conserve energy, essential for animals with high metabolic rates
    • Predator avoidance: sleep constrained by predation risk. Predators sleep more, prey less
    • Waste of time: sleep may be a way of staying still at times when an animal cannot forage and would be subject to predation
    • Zepelin and Rechtschaffen suggest that species with a higher metabolic rate sleep more
      • IDA: sloths sleep for about 18 hours every day, and have a low metabolic rate
    • Evidence suggests that species with higher predation risk sleep less
    • A lot of research is on animals, so validity is questioned
    • Post-hoc findings (cannot be falsified)
  • Meddis
  • Webb


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