CHAPTER 11

Improving your sleep

Pity the giraffe. No other mammal gets so little sleep. The giraffe manages just two hours a night. (And those two hours aren’t even continuous – giraffes tend to sleep in blocks of about 60 minutes.)

Why are giraffes so sleep-deprived? Well, scientists believe it’s because lying down leaves them vulnerable to predators. As you might imagine, 20-foot-tall giraffes can’t simply spring to their feet – getting up is a laborious, time-consuming process. So they prefer to spend as much time as possible upright. (Under the circumstances, you might think that it would be sensible for giraffes to get all, or at least most, of their sleep while standing. But though sleeping upright isn’t unknown among giraffes, it is ...

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