Nobody questions the significance of getting adequate sleep. At minimum, it's important for rejuvenating the mind and rejuvenating the body. However, exactly what suffices? Lots of people find they wake throughout the night and wonder if they're experiencing a sleep condition or other health problem.
While that might be absolutely possible, it's also possible that sleep might not be an all-night thing. In fact, historic records, centuries-old literature, and ancient recommendations to sleep are all revealing a whole new method we should be looking at how we slumber.
Segmented Sleep: More Typical Than You Think
If waking up throughout the night is a regular "issue" for you, you may question if you're struggling with insomnia or sleep apnea. "Segmented sleep" is a relatively irregular sleep pattern that might not be a disorder at all, but a natural biological reaction that we, in modern-day times, have forgotten.
English scholar Roger Ekirch cemented the concept that our ancestors used to naturally "practice" segmented sleep, utilizing their middle-of-the-night waking hours to pray, practice meditation, or finish chores around the home. Roger Ekirch found references to "very first sleep" and "second sleep" in literature, legal files, and even letters written before the Industrial Revolution.
The between hour or hours were generally invested in prayer, and many found it to be one of the most peaceful periods. This might be because this middle period in between very first sleep and 2nd sleep is around midnight where the brain produces prolactin, a hormonal agent that supports a sensation of relaxation.
This describes how segmented sleeps leads to insomnia well. You can likewise watch this brief video for some more thoughts on our natural sleep cycle:
Many Sleeping Issues Might Have Roots In The Human Body's Natural Preference For Segmented Sleep
Ekirch believes that numerous modern sleeping problems have roots in the human body's natural choice for segmented sleep. He believes that our historical sleeping patterns might be the reason many individuals deal with a condition called "sleep maintenance insomnia," where individuals wake in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep. This type of condition first appeared at the end of the 19th century, roughly the very same time segmented sleep began to die off.
" For the majority of evolution we slept a specific method. Awakening during the night is part of normal human physiology.The idea that we should oversleep a consolidated block could be destructive, he says, if it makes individuals who wake up at night anxious, as this stress and anxiety can itself forbid sleep and is most likely to seep into waking life too."-- Psychologist Greg Jacobs
According to Russell Foster, a professor of circadian (body clock) neuroscience at Oxford:
" Many individuals awaken at night and panic. I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern. But most of physicians still cannot acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep might be abnormal. Over 30% of the medical issues that physicians are confronted with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. However sleep has been neglected in medical training and there are very few centers where sleep is studied."
Prior to Grabbing That Sleeping Tablet, Consider This.
Our natural biorhythms are governed by direct exposure to light and darkness. Prior to the introduction of the light bulb, practically everybody arranged their day around the increasing and setting of the sun. When the sun increased in the early morning, so did humans, and when the sun hit the horizon in the evening, we more than likely falling asleep around the very same time.
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