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Professor T

Modern v's Ancestral Sleeping patterns

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Your Ancestors didn't sleep like you..

Link to artical. http://slumberwise.com/science/your-ancestors-didnt-sleep-like-you/

Research has 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. This range was about 12 hours long, and began with a sleep of three to four hours, wakefulness of two to three hours, then sleep again until morning.

References are scattered throughout literature, court documents, personal papers, and the ephemera of the past. What is surprising is not that people slept in two sessions, but that the concept was so incredibly common. Two-piece sleeping was the standard, accepted way to sleep.

The middle hours of the night, between two sleeps, was characterized by unusual calmness, likened to meditation. This was not the middle-of-the-night toss-and-turn that many of us experienced. The individuals did not stress about falling back asleep, but used the time to relax.

My thoughts... Perhaps having two sleeps per night is the biological norm, and Mr light-bulb has ruined that for us..

It's interesting that the middle portion between sleeps has been likened "though the study" to be like entering a meditative state...

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Maybe this is why after we get up we want to take a nap in the afternoon

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Well, I usually sleep in two shifts, more likely 6-2 rather than 4-4. It is true that the interval in bewteen isn't stressful. I get up and do things, the environment is generally quiet, and since it is the usual thing for me, I have no concern about whether I will get the eight or so hours I need.

I also meditate, and I don't see that the two states of consciousness have much to do with each other. The interval is pretty similar to any other stretch of waking activity.

I've been aware of the history you link to for a long time, but then I've been interested in dreams, and hence sleep, for a long time, too. It's nice to know that it was once thought of as the "normal," but personal experience trumps that. I know it works for me, and so I simply never reach the question of whether it is "normal" with any urgency.

Nice thread, though. These facts deserve more attention than they typically get. No doubt some people buy "remedies" to fix what ain't broken. Oh, oh, there goes the economic recovery.

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Nice thread and i agree with eight bits this deserves more attention. I tend to sleep in two shifts as well, mostly 6.2 or 4.4 and i find when i go back to sleep for the second is when my dream recall or astral projections are more likely to happen.

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Yes. This subject has been on my mind a few times. In many ways I think it did put our ancestors more in touch with their subconscious.

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Posted (edited)

Shift-work doesn't help my sleep patterns at all.. Plus I'm a stubborn sucker for the 8 hour sleep regime & my dream recall usually sucks.. lol.. I guess it's kind of drummed into you as a kid when your yelled at to "go back to bed!"

I'm going to give this a go as of today..

Edited to add: come to think of it, my best dreams for recall & vividness have been around broken sleep patterns.. hmmmmm... :unsure2:

Edited by Professor T

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My sleeping habits don't exactly conform with modern patterns, but this is very interesting..

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My sleeping habits don't exactly conform with modern patterns, but this is very interesting..

When I read this I looked at your avatar (which is really cute by the way) and it made me sleepy.

Sometimes I think this is one reason why some children have problems with the adult sleep schedule. Sadly our over0industrialized way of life messes up our more innate schedules of sleeping and eating.

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When I read this I looked at your avatar (which is really cute by the way) and it made me sleepy.

Sometimes I think this is one reason why some children have problems with the adult sleep schedule. Sadly our over0industrialized way of life messes up our more innate schedules of sleeping and eating.

Hahaha. Thank you, Ryu.

I agree.. When children under the age of 10 stay up late to watch television with their parents (which of course is entirely up to their parents - I'm not trying to be too specific), you'll see them adjust to staying up later - or at least their body clock will gradually adjust. Of course, they'll be tired and cranky and fussy like any child.. But this is just a random example of modern sleeping habits - and how they rub off on children.

I only bring this up because my parents are night owls. They just don't go to bed.

When I was younger this frustrated me to no end because I could never get away with anything. All my friends' parents would be passed out by 11 o'clock at night and my parents wouldn't fall asleep until 3-4 o'clock in the morning. Subsequently my sleeping habits - because my parents sleeping habits rubbed off on me over the years, vary by a few hours, but I generally cannot fall asleep until around 3 o'clock in the morning on average, which is troublesome.

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I'm going to give this a go as of today..

Ok, that was wild... :D

I'm on middnight till 8 shift, so I slept from 10am to 1pm, then 4pm to 7pm..

Dream's were incredibly detailed... I went Lucid.. I think.. Well, in one dream I knew I was dreaming, I paused, I felt the coolness of their air, the musty smell (was in an antiques shop) but I decided to carry on dreaming because it was just so bizarre and interesting.. 4 recalled dreams all up, all in the 2nd sleep.. 1 vague dream in the 1st sleep.

I sure hope this is repeatable.. :)

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