First and Second Sleep

I have trouble sleeping an unbroken night's sleep - and I've alway thought that it was something wrong, until I read about about how people used to sleep in times past, at Gail Hapke's Scribal Terror blog.

... A. Roger Ekirch, author of At Day's Close, [wrote] on an interesting and little known detail of sleep in times past:

For many centuries, and perhaps back to Homer, Western society slept in two shifts. People went to sleep, got up in the middle of the night for an hour or so, and then went to sleep again. Thus night — divided into a “first sleep” and “second sleep” — also included a curious intermission. “There was an extraordinary level of activity,” Ekirch told me. People got up and tended to their animals or did housekeeping. Others had sex or just lay in bed thinking, smoking a pipe, or gossiping with bedfellows. Benjamin Franklin took “cold-air baths,” reading naked in a chair.

Gail went on to explain the "segmented sleep" phenomenon: Link - Quote is excerpt from a New York Times article on the "sleep industry" by Jon Mooallem

And yes, the photo is Maddy yawning, when she was just 2 months old a while ago!


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If you sleep during the day, you should try using a sleep mask, earplugs, blackout blinds and/or a sound conditioner. They all help you create the "ideal sleep environment" according to the National Sleep Foundation. They may not all be practical to use at all times, but are great things to have in your "sleep arsenal." You can find a great selection at www.thecompletesleeper.com Sleep well! Paul
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Alex: I know what you mean. I've been experimenting with segmented sleep for a while now. Granted my experiments tend to take a single night's sleep and spread it over...oh, a week or so...but still, it's all in the name of science. Or lunacy.
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