Why sleeping through the night may not be ‘natural’

Absolutely true! And we must stop thinking that a good night’s sleep must be eight hours straight and taking dangerous sleeping pills to reach it. Sleeping time depends on each people’s metabolism and age. But if we go to bed earlier and dim the light like candle intensity after 8 pm, then naturally we fall asleep around 9 pm; and we can naturally have a 60 to 90 min. short period awake around 1 am. That is the best time for deep meditation; better not meditating in bed but sitting somewhere else. The bed should only be used for sleep (and sex of course). If we stay in bed, we fight to fall asleep again, which of course makes it impossible. Naturally, after 60 to 90 min. we will feel sleepy again and this is the right time to go back to bed.
I personally stop all computer activity at 7 pm, then go to bed at 9 pm and fall asleep immediately. Then I wake up at 4 am when there is no waking up in the middle of the night; and when there is, at 5 am. By respecting the circadian rhythm (sleeping at night and being awake during the day) our health and sleep are much better. And the hours you sleep before midnight produce up to 50% more of the growth hormones that repair the body.


Your ancestors probably woke up in the middle of the night. So why does it seem like a big deal when it happens today?

It’s undeniable that we need proper sleep not only to maintain our physical and mental health but also to function in our everyday lives. We consider eight uninterrupted hours of rest the marker of a healthy lifestyle — but is that really all that constitutes “proper sleep”?

Some scientists and historians have argued that we may not be built to sleep through the night in one long stretch. According to the work of one influential historian, our ancestors experienced sleep in a very different way.

Roger Ekirch, a historian at Virginia Tech University and author of At Day’s Close: Night In Times Past, has found that before the Industrial Revolution, humans likely slept in two separate intervals each night, waking for a while in between.

Ekirch laid out this thesis in 2001, when he published a paper based on 16 years’ worth of research suggesting that people slept in two distinct chunks. Being awake for an in-between period during the night was “a part of life’s rhythms,” according to Ekirch.

He first began investigating this phenomenon when he noticed the use of the terms “first sleep” and “second sleep” in a number of historical documents, including diaries, medical records and court documents. These accounts led him to believe that what he termed “segmented sleep,” or biphasic sleep, was at one time a common part of everyday life.

“I began to keep coming across references to first sleep and second sleep,” Ekirch told The Huffington Post. “One thing I found surprising was that the references were very casual — they were said in such a way as to assume that everyone else knew what they were referring to. That told me that this was not something unique or an anomaly.”


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