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Not getting restful sleep? Try a humankind evolution bed

If you just can’t get comfortable at night and always feel like you’re running a sleep deficit, it may be that a Japanese primatologist’s design can help. Patterned after beds first made in trees by chimpanzees as long as 4 million years ago, Koichiro Zamma calls his design “humankind evolution beds,” according to The Guardian.

Almost two decades ago Zamma was traveling in East Africa and decided to spend the night sleeping in a chimpanzee’s bed in the trees. Constructed of twigs and lined with leaves, the bed allowed him to awaken feeling “unusually rested and refreshed.”

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“Chimpanzee beds are designed to envelop the body, which is why they are so comfortable,” said Zamma. “They’re also built high up in the trees, so they rock with the movement of the branches. You could say they are the prototype of a baby’s cradle.”

Working with Japanese designer Shinichi Ishikawa and almost 200-year-old Kyoto futon company Iwata, Zamma’s current version of the humankind evolution bed looks not unlike an extra-large dog bed or a large oval donut, with a lower central area with a raised ring around the circumference.

Speaking of his original 1999 experience in Tanzania’s Mahale mountains, Zamma said, “Just saying it is comfortable is not enough. It removed all of the tension from my muscles in a way that ordinary beds don’t — that’s the effect of lying on something that takes into account the natural shape of the body, and it’s why chimpanzees sleep as well as they do.”

Currently on display at the University of Kyoto, Zamma is working with Iwata to produce the bed commercially to share his experience and help the unrested everywhere. “It was without doubt the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in,” Zamma said. “That’s what we aim to replicate with this bed — the most comfortable sleep possible.”