Published on May 27th, 2012 | by No Artificial10
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need To Feel Rested?
Experts say that we all have different sleeping needs and sleeping patterns. While one person needs 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night, someone else may be happy with only 5 hours. For instance, Napoleon Bonaparte slept only for 4-5 hours a day, but Albert Einstein needed more than 9 hours of rest. In fact, a 2005 research proved the point that sleep needs are different across populations, and more research is needed to identify characteristics within genes that may generate a medical explanation of how sleep needs vary among individuals.
In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech released a seminal paper, based on 16 years of research, clearly shows many evidences and historical proofs that humans used to sleep 7 – 8 hours per day, but in two specific parts, one early evening, a break, and then a second later at night.
Throughout the waking hours our ancestors were relatively active. They typically got up, went to use the toilet, smoked tobacco, read, wrote and often prayed, or had sex.
Ekirch’s book “At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past”, issued four years later, unearths over 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern – in diaries, court public records, medical books and literature.
The historian believes that today’s sleeping issues, such as insomnia, may come from the fact that the human body’s natural desire for segmented sleep has disappeared.
So when you awake in the middle of the night, stressing out about your sleeping problems, just don’t worry to much about it, as your waking hours, very much the same as our ancestors, may be the greatest natural way to sleep.
Department of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Department of History, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University