12

votes

Pre-Industrial Sleep Patterns

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 25, 2010 at 12:07 AM

interesting article about sleep patterns before the advent of electricity. any thoughts or experiences on this?

1st and 2nd Sleep

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 26, 2010
at 06:39 AM

For anyone else who can't seem to get that link to work, I looked into it a little bit. This link: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/sleep-disorders/content/article/10168/56881 gets you to what is I think either the same or similar content, on the same website, Psychiatric Times.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 16, 2010
at 06:28 PM

Mark Sisson is a fan of that full squat thingy (bottom of above article).

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 28, 2010
at 03:29 PM

I am going to order this book, thanks for the link

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 25, 2010
at 01:17 AM

One guy in Eating Paleo NYC meetup does this. We joked that it might deter girlfriends.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 25, 2010
at 12:45 AM

Very interesting indeed!

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 25, 2010
at 12:41 AM

Awesome find! Have you tried this? I would fear impingement though.

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5 Answers

14
61f4f65bb54c2a34c37f94259be2a488

on February 25, 2010
at 12:11 AM

Here is more on sleep but this time of natural sleeping positions by humans without a 'modern' bed/pillow. Pictures included!!!!!

Instinctive sleeping and resting postures: an anthropological and zoological approach to treatment of low back and joint pain http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119282/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 25, 2010
at 01:17 AM

One guy in Eating Paleo NYC meetup does this. We joked that it might deter girlfriends.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 25, 2010
at 12:41 AM

Awesome find! Have you tried this? I would fear impingement though.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 16, 2010
at 06:28 PM

Mark Sisson is a fan of that full squat thingy (bottom of above article).

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 25, 2010
at 03:17 PM

This type of sleeping pattern occured when I was going through menopause- short sleep, awake for hours, then nap before the alarm went off. Some of my friends still experience this pattern nightly. It is interesting that it was a normal sleep pattern long ago.

When you don't sleep well the more you stress about it, the less sleep you get.

I feel the amount of excess light in our modern lives affects us and our ability to shut down at night. I find I sleep a lot better in a dark room. The way I manage that is by using a sleep mask.

1
0e0a1536e729f7e769bf193fa1204e1b

(175)

on March 27, 2010
at 12:28 PM

I just checked this book out of the library: http://www.amazon.com/At-Days-Close-Night-Times/dp/0393050890

When I first went Paleo I started sleeping much more soundly, but have recently found myself waking up in the middle night, sometimes for short periods, sometimes longer. Interesting to find out this is completely normal as opposed to a "solid 8".

I really enjoyed the article on natural sleep positions. I'll have to give them a try.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 28, 2010
at 03:29 PM

I am going to order this book, thanks for the link

0
9f8111d9ecaa64ea098a0860b47300e0

on August 12, 2010
at 10:23 PM

IMO ...... All cave mates should read
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T. S. Wiley Paperback $10.20

I read this book years ago and it still influences me.

Copied review from Amazon dot com ..................

"From Booklist The lightbulb put us out of sync with nature. Way back when, people spent the summer sleeping less and eating heavily in preparation for winter because light triggers the hunger for carbohydrates. Now, with light available 24 hours a day, we gulp down food all year long. So, Wiley and Formby assert, it is light, not what we eat or whether we exercise, that causes obesity--and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Indeed, eating bacon, ham, butter, and eggs for breakfast doesn't impair health, and exercise can make you fat. If we considered our waking periods as equivalent to the long days of summer and the short ones of winter, we would avoid those health problems.

~ Wiley and Formby offer three steps for improvement, but they aren't optimistic, because the light-driven speed and intensity of contemporary life may be too much to overcome. Still, try, first, plugging the leaks in your psyche; then, because you will have lost weight, resisting carbohydrates; and, finally, swallowing a few pills and helpful foods.

             William Beatty --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

0
6defa0c6f6e544da3f7c892f7d27889a

on August 11, 2010
at 06:29 PM

I believe that these old sleep patterns are what is refered to in the English author Francis Quarles qoute:

Wee spend our mid-day sweat, or mid-night oyle; Wee tyre the night in thought; the day in toyle.

from which we get the expression "burning the midnight oil". According to the above mentioned book At Days Close, people regularly experienced "segmented sleep", sleeping for 3-4 hours until around midnight, waking for a few hours, then returning to a "second" or "dawn" sleep. During the waking interval, people would not only engaged in the expected activities of relieving themsselves, and having a drink, smoke or sex, but also writing, cooking, and even visiting. It would make sense that a certain amount of what was often a precious commodity, lamp oil, would be set aside specifically in case it was needed at this time. While it would be ideal to be able to engage in relaxing activities at this time, it would have, I am sure, been common to attend to certain house hold chores or looming projects.

It is comforting to know that what many of us have been taught was "normal", sleeping through the night, may actually not be. I, like many other creative people, find that midnight waking to be a particularly inspirational time.

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