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Your Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like You - SlumberWise

Your Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like You - SlumberWise
Ok, maybe your grandparents probably slept like you. And your great, great-grandparents. But once you go back before the 1800s, sleep starts to look a lot different. Your ancestors slept in a way that modern sleepers would find bizarre – they slept twice. And so can you. The History The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech. His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk. References are scattered throughout literature, court documents, personal papers, and the ephemera of the past. “It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch says. An English doctor wrote, for example, that the ideal time for study and contemplation was between “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Ekirch’s book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past is replete with such examples. But just what did people do with these extra twilight hours? Until about 1990. 1.

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