When three current preindustrial societies in Africa and Bolivia were studied, they found that they slept better, but less than current industrialized societies. These people did not have computers, streaming video, or even electric lighting.
It was found that these groups had an average of 6.4 hours of sleep each night, with and extra hour during winter months. These people also never nap, and nearly no one suffered from insomnia. In none of their languages is a word for insomnia! And most slept outside or in huts.
While we in America have sleep number beds, memory foam, and 10,000 thread-count-sheets, we are terrible at sleeping. Some experts say that it is not the hours of sleep that you get that are important, but rather that you feel rested. They also said it was not the change from day to night that affected sleep patterns as much as the temperature change. And with our climate controlled homes, this can be difficult unless you program your thermostat accordingly.
While this study was only performed on 94 people, who were quite healthy, there was much to be learned from these “primitive people” by modern societies.