East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

World Sleep Day

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I just found out today is the international World Sleep Day, a day dedicated – you probably guessed it – to sleep. And as a chronic insomniac, I can really appreciate the need to celebrate this absolute basic human necessity. And had I known before, I would have devoted this day to sleep – in the last few weeks I’ve been able to sleep more or less soundly.

But I’ll make up for that later.
Right now, I think I’ll just devote some room to this idea of first sleep and second sleep – basically the theory (that seems to be confirmed by facts) that the “good eight hours” is a modern invention: people in times of old would sleep four hours, than wake up and do something for two hours, like writing letters or a diary, or reading a book, and then four hours of sleep again.
These are what are called first and second sleep.
And indeed, this seems to be a well-established pattern, verified by experiment: if allowed to follow a natural sleep cycle, a lot of people will fall in the four/two/four sleep and wake pattern. It is called segmented or biphasic sleep.

And I will have to try it sometimes.
But right now, I feel like I could sleep for 36 hours straight.
Good night!

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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