Evolution, Chronobiology, and Functions of Polyphasic and Ultrashort Sleep: Main Issues

  • Claudio Stampi


In one of the first studies that examined the rest-activity behavior in a variety of animal species, Szymanski (1920) reported that several mammalian species exhibit numerous cycles (up to 10–12) of activity per day. Szymanski was the first to apply the term polyphasic to this fundamental and ubiquitous behavioral pattern, typical of most mammals, in which bouts of activity and rest alternate several times per day. Recent studies estimate that the majority (over 86%) of mammalian genera show typical polyphasic rest-activity patterns (Campbell and Tobler, 1984; see also Ball, Chapter 3, this volume).


Sleep Duration Slow Wave Sleep Nocturnal Sleep Sleep Schedule Sleep Episode 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Claudio Stampi

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