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The Myth of 8hrs Sleep

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posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:37 AM
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I'm a bimodal or segmented sleeper. I have been since I was a child. Being brought up in Rhodesia, this to me was normal but on moving here as a young teen, no naps and 8hrs a night was an utter nightmare for me. Now I discover it is in fact very normal ! I sleep for 2-3hrs late afternoon get up around 7pm do all my jobs chill out a bit then go back to sleep around midnight - 1am sometimes later depending on what I have to do the next day., when I will sleep for probably 4hrs. I can't even remember the last time I slept a full night as others do. I used to pop into my childrens' rooms and watch them sleep soundly and be so jealous of their uninterrupted sleep
When I have my first sleep, when I wake up I do so without being woken by an alarm, my body just wakes and what's more I'm WIDE awake i.e. no yawning or stretching etc and it doesn't take me a couple of hours to "come around" (unlike my son who takes at least an hour to be coherent lol). People have found it pretty amazing that I am immediately awake and not stumbling and yawning around!

Now throughout my life I've been called lazy, accused of "burning the candle at both ends", told I need more exercise, vitamins, better food blah blah and believe me over the years I've tried everything to change this pattern. If I don't have my 1st sleep, then its guaranteed I won't sleep until 3 or 4am as I will have "got past it" and then feel dreadful for the rest of the day. I used to feel so guilty about this and it really has interfered with my life particularly my social and working life, so I became self employed


Now whilst my sleeping pattern may not follow the medieval biphasic pattern perfectly, i.e. 2 four hour sleeps with a waking phase in between, the 1st sleep I do have is probably the deepest and I'm actually fast asleep in minutes, whereas at night trying to sleep normally I will toss and turn until 4-5am restless, head not switching off and eventually restless leg syndrome. Then when I wake in the morning I feel like I have a horrendous hangover. Two sleeps for me and I'm buzzing!! I have been known to re-arrange furniture, decorate and bake when in my waking stage, much to the annoyance of partners and my children, who come downstairs and stumble into coffee tables that weren't there when they went to bed! My energy levels are much much higher and I have no trouble doing a full day's work, that is, until it gets to around 4-5pm then my body switches off and my eyes start to close and there's nothing whatsoever I can do about it. My gp said I was narcoleptic...I believe this is inaccurate and its just my rhythm and fighting it simply doesn't work at all.

However, I have learnt that this method of sleep is actually the more natural form and prior to the 17th century approx, people regularly slept in 2 phases of around 4hrs each with a waking time in between. So accepted was this form of sleep that there were prayers written for the "wake time" for those that wished to meditate, people used this time to have sex with their partners, visit neighbours or do housework. A doctors manual found in France in the 16th century stated that the best time for couples to conceive was after the "first sleep". People used their awake time to talk to their partners, study or meditate on dreams or just simply relax. They didn't stress about being awake that would have seemed ridiculous to our ancestors. The awake time was viewed as good and said to put people in touch with their spiritual selves. It was only when the nobility spread throughout Europe and brought with them changes in society that people started sleeping in one shift through the night as only "peasants" slept bimodal. This segemented sleeping appears from research to only occur in Europe and if you think about it, certainly along the mediterranean it still does, with many taking afternoon siestas when the sun is at its highest. Shops close and places are deserted until around 6-7pm when they open again until 10 or 11pm


Strangely, the emergence of insomnia also seems to have occurred when biphasic sleep patterns were changed, with researchers finding references in various books & novels for the first time in the 19th Century. This middle of the night insomnia (when people wake and can't get back to sleep) is more than likely a throwback to the earlier sleeping patterns of our ancestors and our bodies fighting the "new" way of sleeping, and in fact was not even considered worthy of mentioning by medics of the day as it was accepted as being normal.

The industrial revolution seems to have been the pre cursor for the 8hr sleep rule, with the development of artificial lighting and factory jobs. The biphasal sleeping pattern was forced into a shift so that workers could work a full day in the factories which were quite often very long hours, and then when they got home despite the dark nights of winter, electric or gas lighting "tricked" their body clocks into staying awake and disrupted people's sense of time. Street lighting also changed sleep, as did the first coffee houses. Whereas prior to the 19th Century the night was considered a "dark and mournful place full of reprobates and whores" not to mention the various supernatural beliefs throughout Europe, once street lighting was invented, the night became illuminated, people stayed out longer, hung around in coffee houses and up market taverns and the night became fashionable and the habit of "promenading" started (where the wealthy paraded in their best clothes particularly their single daughters)

Quotes
"He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream." Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (1840)

"And at the wakening of your first sleepe You shall have a hott drinke made, And at the wakening of your next sleepe Your sorrowes will have a slake." Early English ballad, Old Robin of Portingale

So...contrary to the now popular belief that 8hrs is best, there is in fact no actual medical evidence to support this and it has become apparent through research that this unbroken sleep pattern could be more detrimental to health both physical and psychological, as is evidence by the emergence of insomnia and other sleep related illnesses/effects.

Now...could there be another form of sleep pattern emerging with the dependency on technology? It is thought that due to the sheer amount of time many children spend on social media/phones/ipads not daring to switch off in case they missed some important facebook update lol that these children are going to sleep later and later and will in fact wake up over and over again throughout the night if there is a notification ping on their phone.

Strange times

Further Reading
www.theguardian.com...
aeon.co...

Also see A Roger Ekirch "At day's close: A History of Nighttime"




posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: PhyllidaDavenport

People used to work at all hours of the day before the industrial revolution. Some of those jobs still hold their 'traditions' bakers, and butchers for example wake up extremely 'early' or even just work overnight to get their product ready for the day time.

I used to work some crazy shift work hours, once I had a 8 month stint of working one week, 6:30AM - 4:30PM, and then the next week 8PM - 6AM, when I worked the night shift I only slept for maybe 3 hours when I got home, and then had a nap shortly before my shift started. It took a lot of discipline.

I think if you don't work traditional "9 - 5" job, sleeping in 4 hour stints works just fine. I used to do it all the time before I switched my career, I worked in restaurants and it was odd hours. And then I jumped into the shift work for welding, which was odd hours.

Now I work straight days, 7 - 4, at first I found it extremely difficult to get into a routine, but after about 4 months of doing it, I can see why the 8 hours of sleep became the norm. I wake at 5AM, and usually pull 9 - 10hour days, come home, cook, sit down to have a beer, and I am half in the bag by 9PM on my couch with my fiance yelling at me why do I fall asleep during movies. And when I sleep, it's lights out till' 5AM. Even at that it's not a full 8 hours, it's usually 6-7, only on weekends I will find myself sleeping more than 8 hours, I guess my body needs that rest.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 08:53 AM
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a reply to: strongfp

Did you notice any difference in energy or ability to wake up when you changed sleeping patterns?



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 09:23 AM
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originally posted by: PhyllidaDavenport
a reply to: strongfp

Did you notice any difference in energy or ability to wake up when you changed sleeping patterns?


To be honest. I did.
When I was working the hell shifts I found myself at around 4AM almost falling asleep and then all of a sudden I push through the 30 minutes or so of fatigue and I am wide awake.

When I was on the day rotation, around 10AM or so I had the same problem.

When I was on shift work I found there were certain times I would become lethargic and fatigued, to the point where I was falling asleep while welding. When I got into the pure day shift routine, I have only felt that if I stayed up late on a Sunday night or something, which I guess is normal.

But if I remember back when I was in the restaurant world I was still working odd shifts, but not shift work. I never felt the fatigue or anything of the sort. I guess it was the shift work that did it.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 10:55 AM
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I have had sleep problems starting in my early childhood. I blamed that early problem on my dad's snoring that rattled the windows throughout the house. I knew that if I didn't get to sleep before her started, I was screwed. I never could get there.

It takes me literally hours to finally get to sleep. I'm usually in the bed tossing and turning several hours before I finally get to sleep, causing me to be in the bed 12 hours or more just to get that 8 hours. I'm getting old now and I blame my inability to fall asleep on neck, low back aches and leg pain for this condition.

I have always worked shift work or even irregular hours when I drove trucks for around 6 years. That was a miserable time.

I'm retired now. Over the years, I have tried laying down in the afternoons to try to catch up on my rest but could never actually go to sleep.

Your post reminds me of Albert Einsteins sleep habits. It has been said that he took short naps at all hours of the day rather than sleep a full 8 hours straight. I'm going to experiment with your ?"theory"?. If I can make it work for me, it would be far better than what I am now enduring. Trying to maintain regular hours as the situation is now is nothing less than mental torture.

Thanks for the post! S&f



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 11:01 AM
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OP,

Good to hear I'm not the only bimodal sleeper. Thanks for the info because it really rationalized what my body tells me to do; its good to understand why things are as they are.

Two 4 hours sleeps separated by waking period keeps me productive and happy.
All my family is trying to feed me this pill or that oil so I will sleep for 8 hours but I have resisted.
Now I have a basis to explain to them about bimodal life -- so thanks again OP!

Sweet dreams...




originally posted by: PhyllidaDavenport
I'm a bimodal or segmented sleeper. I have been since I was a child. Being brought up in Rhodesia, this to me was normal but on moving here as a young teen, no naps and 8hrs a night was an utter nightmare for me. Now I discover it is in fact very normal ! I sleep for 2-3hrs late afternoon get up around 7pm do all my jobs chill out a bit then go back to sleep around midnight - 1am sometimes later depending on what I have to do the next day., when I will sleep for probably 4hrs. I can't even remember the last time I slept a full night as others do. I used to pop into my childrens' rooms and watch them sleep soundly and be so jealous of their uninterrupted sleep
When I have my first sleep, when I wake up I do so without being woken by an alarm, my body just wakes and what's more I'm WIDE awake i.e. no yawning or stretching etc and it doesn't take me a couple of hours to "come around" (unlike my son who takes at least an hour to be coherent lol). People have found it pretty amazing that I am immediately awake and not stumbling and yawning around!









posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: PhyllidaDavenport




People used their awake time to . . . meditate on dreams . . .

The awake time was viewed as good and said to put people in touch with their spiritual selves.


Could the nobility benefit from a workforce who haven't learnt from their dreams and are out of touch with their spiritual selves? Could the once a day sleeping pattern be a mind control conspiracy?



Ekirch believes that the period of quiet wakefulness also offered a unique opportunity to contemplate dreams. People often awoke from a dreaming state and so were particularly likely to remember their dreams, and thus to gain access to an otherwise unavailable part of mental life. He believes that we may have lost something in our move to consolidated sleep.
www.psychiatrictimes.com...



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: CharlesT

Whenever I tried to sleep the "normal" hours etc, I noticed that the longer I was in bed the more tired I'd be and the more aches & pains I'd have. My brain used to be fuzzy like thinking through cotton wool and normally I'd get a rotten headache.

If you've nothing particularly to get up for, sleep when you're tired....its your body telling you that you need it. I've just woken up from my evening nap...I'm buzzing...now I'll cook, walk the dogs, get the washing machine on, and do alsorts...this is the time I'm at my most creative too



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAIKI

You're welcome!
Been there done that with family & friends etc heard it all "oh just stay awake and you'll sleep the night" Nope doesn't work



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 02:26 PM
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Exactly the same sleeping pattern here!
God is good to know I'm not the only one with crazy sleeping hours. Have been years since my sleeping pattern slowly changed from one night sleep to this one. Being an artist and kind of self employed I just accepted as it is even if sometimes is uncomfortable for the rest of the family. In the last year I started working but only half of the time so I'm still able to go to sleep in the afternoon.
There's nothing better than to wake up at 4-5 am and start my day when all the world is silent and at peace. Is the best time of my day.
And there's nothing worse than having guests or errands and missing my afternoon sleep; I'm disabled for the rest of the day and I hate the whole world.
S&F. At least I can stop worrying that maybe I have some disorder or something.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: PhyllidaDavenport

I don't sleep for 8 hours unless I just spent a week or more with less than 3 hours of sleep per day.

I can function with a clear mind and a powered core doing manual labor or complex tasks for many consecutive weeks, sleeping 3-4 hours a day, eating 1-2 meals a day.

If I am well rested then sleeping too much will actually make my muscles start to atrophy and my body will shut down.

IMO it all depends on YOUR body and its current state of toxicity, blood content (diet), and it's state of disrepair.

Sleep is about healing or hibernation for me.
edit on 11 4 2018 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: WhiteHat

hahaha people in my life now know NEVER to ring me or invite me out before 7pm
What I achieve in my wake time between the 2 sleeps is great everything from writing novels to making candles. Im the lone weirdo in Tesco's at midnight


The expectations of other people though and the current working day do cause pressure for those of us that don't sleep "normally" and that in itself causes sleeplessness. How many times have you woken up in the night then started to panic with your head thinking "Oh crap only 4hrs till I have to be up"...then you end up clock watching and getting more and more agitated....then fall asleep just as your alarm is about to go off!!
edit on 4-11-2018 by PhyllidaDavenport because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: tadaman

I agree....whilst sleep can be healing and I suppose is meant to be...I have Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and if I stay in one position for too long I cease up and can barely move so staying in bed for 8hrs or more for me is impossible anyway



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 05:03 PM
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I have always had strange sleeping pattern, but is more of a night and day thing. I feel like I literally come alive once night falls, and in the day I am the opposite, I feel a total lack of energy all the time. I was like this as a kid too, my dad is the same, as he said his dad was, so maybe there is something to that I don't know.

I survive on little sleep, but when I do a block of long sleep, say 10hrs or so I do feel much better, I notice!

Guess I'm just a Night Owl I suppose.

Very interesting thread though, thanks, makes a change around here



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: valiant

Of course depending on age we do need much less sleep as we get older. A newborn sleeps around 18hrs a day whereas an older person past 40 or so sleeps a little less but gets a lot less rem sleep.

Communal sleeping in existing hunter-gatherer tribes and civilisations follow a similar segmented pattern in that they tend to sleep when tired regardless of the time, and for hundreds if not thousands of years, people slept together with children grand parents and others and still do in many countries. This of course promoted closeness and a deep sense of community, something we are generally lacking in this 21st century



posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 01:54 PM
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Cool thread. I'll be back to read more.

I have had sleeping issues as far back as I remember but never knew what to call it except "Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome". Most of the time, I really want to stay awake late (4a). I always just joked that the moon likes me too much. But it causes real problems getting on in society and eventually you're just a "loser". Sometimes, with no effort or intervention, my sleeping cycles "flip" and I'm a morning riser for several months, then it's back to my moonjail.



posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 10:49 PM
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Nice thread, thanks. For me it's until REM sleep sets in, that can be varied but what counts the most for myself, not specifically the amount of hours.As others i fit the night owl label. Though, I can change it due to work, etc., hours, certain morning hours have always been tough whether having sleep that felt okay for me or not. Also, the older I get the more I agree on naps being beneficial.
edit on 5-11-2018 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 11:14 PM
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Sleep cycles is mostly determined by you environment and what you do in any day to day routine. Now a day's really, your job is the determent of your sleep cycle. That is all there is to it really.

In caveman times your job was hunter gatherer so that determined when you slept, now a days its the same thing, the jobs merely have changed. And ya, in past times people slept twice per 24 hr cycle, because it was the normal. Now a days the normal was changed to better suit our economic times, it is a created thing. That is all.



posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 11:24 PM
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everyones different but for me eight hours sleep is good.

Think for a moment a 24 hours cycle
1/3rd sleep
2/3 awake
2/3 = .666 we serve the beast system



posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: AthlonSavage

Or you can sleep for 1/3, wake up do something for 1/3, then get another 1/3 of sleep.

Wait a minute, isn't 1/3 + 1/3 = .666, well that's not good, so that means your marked by the beast when you sleep.

Oh well. At least that way you sleep like a beast though.




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