Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

Do you wake up in the middle of the night?

A lot?

Have you ever wondered that the reason isn't because you're stressed? It may be because your body just doesn't want to sleep the way you're telling it to.

Writing in the Conversation, sleep experts Dr. Melinda Jackson and Dr. Siobhan Banks say that it's not as if humans always used to go to bed after CSI Miami was over.

Indeed, so-called bi-modal sleeping was the favored method.

People would go to sleep a couple of hours after dark, then wake up a few hours later.

What did happy humans used to do during this nighttime waking period?

"People would relax, ponder their dreams or have sex," the doctors write.

There's something marvelously rational about this.

Not inundated with media -- social or other -- frenzy of our current times, these people would wake up merely to ponder their existence and the attractiveness of their partners.

Not everyone did that.

Some would just do normal things such as sewing, reading, chopping wood or plotting to kill a neighbor who had stolen their sheep.

I only made that last one up, but people could do many things thanks to oil lamps.

Once they'd done whatever business was at hand, they went back to bed and slept till dawn.

These patterns began to change in the late 17th century, with the northern Europeans -- so blessed with awful weather -- being among the first to sleep through the night.

Of course, in some modern societies, two periods of sleep are common.

In Spain, for example, you might have an afternoon sleep and then have dinner at 11pm.

The doctors say there's scientific evidence that one of the reasons for sleep disorders may be that bodies genetically don't want to sleep for one 7- or 8-hour period.

Some things inside us have their roots many hundreds of years ago.

Perhaps it's the case that some body clocks are simply geared to needing two shorter periods of sleep than one long one.

Of course there are those who prefer to have both: a nap in the afternoon and 7 hours sleep at night.

These people are sometimes called the IT department. 

Published on: Jun 16, 2016
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