Sleep. Is there an ideal pattern, amount, or time of day? Should you be embarrassed about sleeping too much or too little? To find out, let us look at how we have slept through the ages.
Generally speaking, we have slept at night and then again during the day. Night sleep has either been biphasic or monophasic. We slept in two buckets or one in one single shot. During the day, we have had siestas, one or two, depending on culture.
Generally speaking, as I reported earlier, globally, we now sleep about 9 hours on average. We were probably doing more during pre-civilization periods. Sleep commenced anywhere from 6 p.m. and, in some cultures, even as late as 3 a.m.
The Hazda, a tribe in Afghanistan, is believed to have gone to sleep between 2 and 3 a.m.
For some, sleep was either twice a night or for about 4-5 hours. Over time, with the coming of the industrial age, those who had not already been sleeping in one go started doing so. We had to get to our factories and offices, so it made more sense.
We napped, most of us. Some between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Most in the afternoon. We were recovering from a hard day of work or because the weather was inclement. Too hot, too cold, and so on.
So now that we know what our ancestors did, what should you do? There will always be a correct scientific answer. Allow me some leeway to give you a practical one.
Sleep as early as your lifestyle permits. If that is 9 p.m., like it is for me, or earlier, great. Earlier is better. Whatever you do, try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Nap in the afternoon if your lifestyle permits.
Either ten minutes or 75–90 minutes You complete one sleep cycle, ideally in about 75–90 minutes, so completing the cycle is ideal.
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