Sleep-wake state tradeoffs, impulsivity and life history theoryEvolutionary Psychology 10(2): 173-186
Evolutionary ecological theory predicts that sleep-wake state tradeoffs may be related to local environmental conditions and should therefore correlate to alterations in behavioral life history strategies. It was predicted that firefighters who slept more and reported better quality sleep on average would exhibit lower impulsivity inclinations related to slower life history trajectories. UPPS impulsivity scores and self-reported sleep averages were analyzed and indicated a negative association between sleep variables and urgency and a positive association with premeditation. Perseverance, and in some cases premeditation, however, disclosed an unpredicted marginally significant positive association between increased and emergency nighttime waking-related sleep deprivation. Sensation seeking was not associated with sleep variables, but was strongly associated with number of biological children. This research contributes to understanding the implications of human sleep across ecological and behavioral contexts and implies further research is necessary for constructing evolutionarily oriented measures of impulsivity inclination and its meaning in the context of life history strategies.
sleep, life-history theory, impulsivity, firefighters