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It’s hard to believe, but many scientists and historians tend to believe that modern people do not sleep as their ancient ancestors. Initially, nature was laid out for us a completely different kind of sleep and wakefulness. With the introduction of the life of scientific and technological progress, the man himself has decided to dispose of his time. Consider this question in more detail.
What historical information says?
The most knowledgeable expert in the field can be considered a historian Roger Ekirha. His studies lasted for 15 years. He collected and examined an impressive amount of historical facts, documents and evidence. Thus, the scientist came to a startling conclusion: night’s sleep of our ancestors was divided into two parts with a three-hour break around midnight.
The book of Ekirha, published in 2005, has collected 500 links to historical figures, which depicted our ancestors sleeping. These historical evidences were taken from the diaries, medical records and books. And one and all sources point to the habit of sleeping with a break.
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Eight-hour sleep – a relatively new trend
In fact, our ancestors did not know that you can sleep 8 hours every night, and this is not surprising. At a time when electricity was not yet known, the darkness did not allow to engage in the usual chores. People could not find anything better to do with the sunset than to go to bed. However, sleep for half a day is acceptable for the body. That’s why they went to bed at about 8 o’clock in the evening; our ancestors woke up at midnight.
That time, it was the most productive and creative hours. 2-3 hours of wakefulness could allow time to work out sex or for science or writing books. With the onset of the second wave of fatigue, our ancestors used to take another bedtime before sunrise.
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What happens if you simulate the conditions of the past life?
Back in 1990 an experiment by psychiatrist Thomas Veer was carried out: the modern man’s return to the conditions of ancient people. 14 volunteers were placed in a closed laboratory environment in space where the windows were completely absent. Light was provided to members for 14 hours. The remaining 10 hours, volunteer stayed in total darkness. Within a month, participants were able to completely change the usual waking mode. Already in the fourth week, volunteers began to sleep at night for the two steps. Each of the segments lasting 3-4 hours.
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When this habit began to disappear?
Historian Roger Ekirh did not stop at the mere study of the regime of the day of ancestors. He decided to reveal the reason that led us to the routine that we have now. In the late 17th century Europe, the bourgeois or Elite Society liked to set their own rules, making out in crushing the last vestiges of night sleep. Early 20th century was marked by the industrial revolution. Workers in many countries have been forced to work for wear. This forced people to sleep at a time, going to sleep as late as possible.
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The reasons for the phenomenon
In the 17th century, large cities with high population density appeared throughout Europe. However, on the streets at night, traditionally, there were roamed crooks, prostitutes and other rabbles. It is generally believed that law-abiding citizens preferred not to poke their noses into areas of the city after dark. They did not want to see the opposite, “dirty” side of the city life. But already in 1667, the first street lighting appeared in Paris. Medieval French man in the street immediately fell in love with a walk in the moonlight, and admiring the night scenery of the capital.
Around the same time, the industrial revolution was gaining momentum. Therefore, advanced minds have directed their attention to the revision of the usual daily routine in favor of increasing the efficiency and productivity. Now European life was not divided into days and hours anymore.
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When a person decides to defy nature
According Ekirha, in this deliberate change of regime lies most of the sleep problems in modern humans. We decided to go against nature and allowed ourselves to sleep at once. However, our body was originally programmed differently. It is not surprising, if you suffer from chronic insomnia or frequent waking during the night. We do not force you to redraw the usual routine and blindly copy the mode of life of a medieval man
However, there is no need to worry if you suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and cannot sleep. It is better to use this time for good use, as this period may be the most productive, even in comparison with the morning hours. By the way, the very concept of “Insomnia” was born in psychiatry in the 19th century. Earlier people were not aware of such a problem, but with the abolition of the two-phase full night’s sleep, it immediately manifested itself.
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You do not know what to do with yourself in the waking hours of night? Apart from having sex with your romantic partner, this time can be spent for the benefit of souls. Meditate, bring your thoughts in order and to pray. You can start reading a fascinating novel, or devote time to creative work on the next project. If the body is ready to accept such a regime in the future you can start going to bed early.
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