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Big DreamsThe Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion$
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Kelly Bulkeley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199351534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351534.001.0001

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Evolution

Evolution

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Evolution
Source:
Big Dreams
Author(s):

Kelly Bulkeley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351534.003.0002

This chapter addresses the question of whether humans have a biological need to sleep. To answer that question, research is presented about the earliest evolutionary context of human sleep. The sleep patterns of various animal species are discussed, along with several theories that have been devised over the years to explain these patterns. The chapter emphasizes both the variability of sleep in nature, and its consistency across all species. The behavioral patterns of human sleep, which have been shaped by millions of years of evolutionary history, are the framework for a scientific approach to the study of dreaming and its relevance to religion, which is the overall goal of the book.

Keywords:   sleep, human sleep, animal sleep, evolution of sleep, dreaming, sleep patterns

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