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For thousands of years, humans slept in two shifts. Should we do it again?

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RAEL’S COMMENT:
I always do…

 

Researchers believe that the practice of sleeping through the whole night didn’t really take hold until just a few hundred years ago.

She was wide awake and it was nearly two in the morning. When asked if everything was alright, she said, “Yes.” Asked why she couldn’t get to sleep she said, “I don’t know.” Neuroscientist Russell Foster of Oxford might suggest she was exhibiting “a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern.” Research suggests we used to sleep in two segments with a period of wakefulness in-between.

A. Roger Ekirch, historian at Virginia Tech, uncovered our segmented sleep history in his 2005 book At Day’s Close: A Night in Time’s Past. There’s very little direct scientific research on sleep done before the 20th century, so Ekirch spent years going through early literature, court records, diaries, and medical records to find out how we slumbered. He found over 500 references to first and second sleep going all the way back to Homer’s Odyssey. “It’s not just the number of references—it is the way they refer to it as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch tells BBC.

 

https://bigthink.com/robby-berman/for-1000s-of-years-we-went-to-bed-twice-a-night-2

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