People are sleeping like chimpanzees to cure insomnia.

Forget smart mattresses and down pillows, the key to a good night’s sleep is with the chimpanzees.

Japanese primatologist Koichiro Zamma has created a “humankind evolutionary bed”. It replicates the beds of chimps in trees, and slightly rocks (almost imperceptibly, we’re told), to make you feel as if you’re at the top of a canopy.

I do trust the designer, because he doesn’t just talk the talk. He’s actually slept in a real-life chimp bed of leaves and twigs in the treetops of an African forest and the sleep, he said, was the best of his life.

“Chimpanzee beds are designed to envelop the body, which is why they are so comfortable,” Zamma told The Guardian. “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.”

Photo= Juichi Yamagiwa, President of Kyoto University, lies on the "Human Evolution Bed." (Kyoto University Museum, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto). Image via: http://e.kyoto-np.jp/news/20160405/1939.html

It was years later, on one hot evening at his home in Japan, when Zamma decided he needed to replicate the chimp's sleeping style. “It was so hot and humid and I was having trouble sleeping, and then I remembered how cool the chimp’s bed in Tanzania had been,” he said.

So that he did.

It's a circular bed, 1.6 meters long and 1.2 meters wide, with a depression in the centre of the mattress to accommodate the body. If you're tall, and already rejecting the 1.6m frame, don't give up on your #sleepgoals just yet. Zamma says this shape and indent is key to relieve tension and assist in an almost motionless sleep.

“It removed all of the tension from my muscles in a way that ordinary beds don’t," he said. "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.”

The frame is made from woven paper string - almost like the twigs in the African forests - and the bed has eight legs made from curved wood to recreate the tree-swaying feels.

The "human evolutionary bed" is currently on display at the Kyoto University Museum as part of a sleep exhibition. After that, it's likely to be snapped up by design teams around the world.

With more than 50% of people in the US sleeping less than the recommended seven hours each night, and similar figures in Australia and the UK, the key to a good night's sleep is in high-demand. Who knew the chimps had the answer all along?

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