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The individuals did not stress about falling back asleep, but used the time to relax. In the winter months, this meant a lot of darkness and a lot of sleep.
Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford, points out that even with standard sleep patterns, this night waking isn’t always cause for concern. “I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern.” Outside of a scientific setting, this kind of sleep pattern is still attainable, but it does require changing our modern, electric lifestyle. Moyer writes “…I would go to bed really early, like , and then get up around am.
Giving the same respect to the single, eight-hour sleep should be just as effective.
Note too that two sleeping needs a lot of darkness – darkness that is only possible naturally during the winter months.
“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch says.
An English doctor wrote, for example, that the ideal time for study and contemplation was between “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Chaucer tells of a character in the Canterbury Tales that goes to bed following her “firste sleep.” And, explaining the reason why working class conceived more children, a doctor from the 1500s reported that they typically had sex after their first sleep. But just what did people do with these extra twilight hours? Most stayed in their beds and bedrooms, sometimes reading, and often they would use the time to pray.
There could be an innate biological preference for two sleeps, given the right circumstances.His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk.We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night.Although history shows that two sleeping was common, and science indicates that it is (in some conditions) natural, there is no indication that it is better.Two sleeps may leave you feeling more rested, but this could simply be because you are intentionally giving yourself more time to rest, relax, and sleep.