Here is how we are supposed to sleep, and did, before the modern job existed.

Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleep pattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by a period of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it appears to be the natural pattern of human sleep. Maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.

In Western civilization before the Industrial Revolution, segmented sleep was the dominant form of human slumber since time immemorial, according to A. Roger Ekirch, a historian at Virginia Tech. […] Typically, individuals slept in two discrete phases, bridged by an intervening period of wakefulness of up to an hour or more.
[…]
The modern assumption that consolidated sleep with no awakenings is the normal and correct way for human adults to sleep may lead many people to approach their doctors with complaints of maintenance insomnia or other sleep disorders. Their concerns might best be addressed by assurance that their sleep conforms to historically natural sleep patterns.

Here’s another article on Ekirch’s research.

With this natural sleep considered aberrant now, drug companies to the rescue!

Bed is a medicine,” instructs an Italian proverb. Increasingly, Americans are inverting that counsel by ingesting sleeping pills to speed their slumber.

With complaints of insomnia mounting, and marketing by drug companies becoming ever more ubiquitous, we are turning in increasing numbers to drugs like Ambien and Lunesta. According to a recent report from the research company IMS Health, pharmacists in the United States filled some 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills last year, a rise of nearly 60 percent since 2000.

Your employer wants you awake to make them money, drug companies want to sell you products to keep you sleeping or awake, and all you need is a little nap….zzzzzz

Found by Brother Uncle Don



  1. Hmeyers2 says:

    So long that there is not unwanted advertising in my dreams yet, I don’t care.

  2. Tired Tired Tired says:

    Man, I can’t look at the picture without yaaaaaawning!

  3. sargasso_c says:

    We are becoming products. Sleep only makes us less marketable as a commodity.

  4. Uncle Patso says:

    Naps are a great gift we can give to ourselves.

    Try one today!

  5. /T. says:

    Maybe this interrupted sleep notion stems from ” … I’ll take the first watch over this cave fire …”.

    WAG …

  6. Cursor_ says:

    The problem with most sleeps studies is like most everything human it depends on the frackin human.

    Some require more sleep than others. There is no patent way of sleep time. Just like you can just say 8 glasses of water each because you may be getting 2 and a half from the food you eat.

    It is another idiotic human idea to regiment things so you can handily write it down on a peace of paper and read it each day because you don’t have mental abiility to note how your own body reacts.

    Just like all those light studies where they say people will get depressed more in the winter. Balderdash. Depends on the person.

    Cursor_

    • E. Branscom says:

      I thought I would point out that Prof. Ekirch is just describing the historical human sleep pattern, not necessarily a pattern based on sleep research.

  7. Animby says:

    Does my getting up to pee twice a night count as segmented sleep?

  8. An Old Woman from Nantucket says:

    Try counting sheeple.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    So the Mexicans down south, that have a substantial percentage of America’s manufacturing jobs, don’t take the afternoon siesta, just because it’s too hot to work straight through? You have to wonder what other third world countries, have this biphasic sleep pattern, as part of their culture? While the slave driving 16 hour awake cycle, was something created back in the bad old days of early western industrialization, when even children worked in the factories. Obviously, Europe and America’s industrial superiority came at the sacrifice of the afternoon nap. Although I suspect the heads of such industries still enjoyed it. I believe I read that Edison did.

    Then there’s the entertainment and news media, that spreads out its “coverage” on Tv, to all 24 hours of a day. Want to learn how to lose weight or save money? Start watching from 4:30am, until 9am, to find out. Cause you’ll never know when they sneak that tidbit of free advice in. The evening news blocks pull the same crap. You have to stay tuned for hours, to finally catch the minute or two they eventually devote to something they spent twice as much time TEASING you about coming up. That’s just what they did with the recent news about “sleeping pills cause death”.

    And whenever your Internet carrier throttles down your speed. It also causes you to lose sleep waiting for things to get done. And how many apps and programs offer that “shutdown after download complete” option? So you can get some sleep.


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