Ecological constraints on mammalian sleep architecture

Isabella Capellini, Brian T. Preston, Patrick McNamara, Robert A. Barton, Charles L. Nunn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

All mammals so far studied experience some form of sleep. When mammals are sleep-deprived, they generally attempt to regain the lost sleep by exhibiting a “sleep rebound,” suggesting that sleep serves important functions that cannot be neglected (Siegel, 2008; Zepelin, 1989; Zepelin, Siegel, & Tobler, 2005). When sleep deprivation is enforced on individuals, it is accompanied by impaired physiological functions and a deterioration of cognitive performance (Kushida, 2004; Rechtschaffen, 1998; Rechtschaffen & Bergmann, 2002). In the rat, prolonged sleep deprivation ultimately results in death (Kushida, 2004; Rechtschaffen & Bergmann, 2002). Together, these observations suggest that sleep is a fundamental requirement for mammalian life, and much research has focused on identifying the physiological benefits that sleep provides (Horne, 1988; Kushida, 2004). Are there also costs associated with sleep? If so, what are the selective pressures that constrain the amount of time that individuals can devote to sleep? Sleep is probably associated with “opportunity costs” because sleeping animals cannot pursue other fitness-enhancing activities, such as locating food, maintaining social bonds, or finding mates. Sleeping animals may also pay direct costs. For example, sleep is a state of reduced consciousness, and thus sleeping individuals are less able to detect and escape from approaching predators (Allison & Cicchetti, 1976; Lima, Rattenborg, Lesku, et al., 2005). These ecological factors are likely to be important constraints on sleep durations and may also affect how sleep is organized over the daily cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolution of Sleep
Subtitle of host publicationPhylogenetic and Functional Perspectives
PublisherReader, Cambridge University Press
Pages12-23
Number of pages12
Volume9780521894975
ISBN (Electronic)9780511642074
ISBN (Print)9780521894975
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Activities

    • 6 Invited talk

    Functional benefits and ecological constraints of sleep in mammals

    Isabella Capellini (Invited speaker)

    Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    The secrets of sleep: predators, parasites and the evolution of sleep in mammals

    Isabella Capellini (Invited speaker)

    Jun 2014

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Evolution and ecology of mammalian sleep

    Isabella Capellini (Keynote speaker)

    Apr 2014

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Cite this

    Capellini, I., Preston, B. T., McNamara, P., Barton, R. A., & Nunn, C. L. (2009). Ecological constraints on mammalian sleep architecture. In Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives (Vol. 9780521894975, pp. 12-23). Reader, Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511642074.002