Sleep takes up around a third of our lives, and is an object of fascination during the other two thirds. "I dreamt that..." is surely among the top 10 conversation topics of all time.
Given this, it is surprising how little attention is paid to the anthropology of sleep. Intriguing (but too little) work has been done on sleep practices in nonindustrialized societies,
We condense our sleep into a single lengthy stint, in which any interruption is considered to be a pathology, while our forebears and preindustrialized societies enjoy segmented sleep. They also display a fuzzy "continuum of arousal...from...disengaged semialert, to somnolence or drowsing, to dozing, to napping,"