twice-a-night sleep

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phil
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twice-a-night sleep

Post by phil » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:53 pm

Interested to hear a BBC podcast on how the notion of sleeping straight through the night originated in the 20th century, until then it was the norm for people to sleep for a few hours and then get up in the middle of the night to do this and that and then go back to bed That has been my patten for awhile and of course I took it as a sleep disorder when it was perfectly natural. Obviously a good practice for people whose lifestyle doesn't allow time for meditation or whose time for writing, studying etc is limited. After hearing about this I decided to get right up, have a bit of green tea and have a proper writing session. But that ended up making me tired the next day. I guess I will skip the green tea and just work to the extent natural wakefulness allows.

Here is a related article

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ht-anxiety
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Kim OHara
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:25 am

:thanks:

I have heard references to this in the news lately, too. I believe it's perfectly correct so far as it goes, and that our current prescription is far more cultural than natural.
Another standard sleep pattern worth remembering is the Spanish and Latin American one, with a good siesta in the hottest part of the day and a shorter 'natural' night's sleep.
Going along with the majority is usually easiest but I see no reason to stick to it if it doesn't work for me, and that applies to sleep patterns as much as to politics. ;)

:namaste:
Kim

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phil
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by phil » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:31 am

Also the suttas sometimes refer to "first watch" of the night when describing/prescribing mindfulness of activities if I'm not mistaken. The article also refers to that. That could tie in with taking turns on watch against those village raiding daicots in more savage times of course.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

perkele
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by perkele » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:11 am

I've had such a sleep pattern consistently for several weeks just recently. That was due to work-related restlessness, waking me up every night with the thought "I have to get done with this", and then some hours of being too groggy to actually put anything into order and just idling away and wasting time. It was not a good pattern for me. I was always tired.
phil wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:31 am
Also the suttas sometimes refer to "first watch" of the night when describing/prescribing mindfulness of activities if I'm not mistaken. The article also refers to that. That could tie in with taking turns on watch against those village raiding daicots in more savage times of course.
If I remember correctly, the pattern most commonly described in the suttas was that a monk kept awake during the first and third "watch of the night", and rested only in the middling one. But I might be mistaken.

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Sam Vara
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:01 pm

I have also recently seen a couple of references to this aspect of social history, but I have my doubts. I can't recall seeing any reference to it in literature written before the 20th Century. My grandparents, who were teenagers when the 20th Century started, never mentioned it to me, and the change to all-night sleeping didn't feature as part of folk-history. Prior to the introduction of reliable instant sources of heating and lighting in Northern Europe, it would have involved a lot of inconvenience. Houses would have been dark and, in winter, bitter cold. Even I can remember the daily ritual of lighting the living-room fire early in the morning. It was miserable. You wouldn't have wanted to do that more often than you needed to. It probably happened, but I doubt whether such an important difference in widespread social practices would be so unknown to us.

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phil
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by phil » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:26 pm

. I
. I can't recall seeing any reference to it in literature written before the 20th Centur


Yeah I had the same reaction when I heard about it , have read a fair bit of 19th century lit and don't recall references. If it didn't match my own sleep pattern so closely I wouldn't have paid much attention. And good point about the practicalities.

A related point is of more import maybe. Do we really need 7-8 hours? I seem to do fine on 5-6. Late 50s mind you.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

binocular
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by binocular » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:50 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:01 pm
I have also recently seen a couple of references to this aspect of social history, but I have my doubts. I can't recall seeing any reference to it in literature written before the 20th Century. My grandparents, who were teenagers when the 20th Century started, never mentioned it to me, and the change to all-night sleeping didn't feature as part of folk-history. Prior to the introduction of reliable instant sources of heating and lighting in Northern Europe, it would have involved a lot of inconvenience. Houses would have been dark and, in winter, bitter cold. Even I can remember the daily ritual of lighting the living-room fire early in the morning. It was miserable. You wouldn't have wanted to do that more often than you needed to. It probably happened, but I doubt whether such an important difference in widespread social practices would be so unknown to us.
People weren't always so squeamish.

Children used to wear above-knee shorts and skirts in the winter as well. The upper class kids still do, such as Prince George.
It probably happened, but I doubt whether such an important difference in widespread social practices would be so unknown to us.
Not the only unknown. For example, how many people know that in Victorian times in England, a woman had her period about 4 times a year and that the menstrual cycle was much longer?

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Sam Vara
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:15 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:50 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:01 pm
I have also recently seen a couple of references to this aspect of social history, but I have my doubts. I can't recall seeing any reference to it in literature written before the 20th Century. My grandparents, who were teenagers when the 20th Century started, never mentioned it to me, and the change to all-night sleeping didn't feature as part of folk-history. Prior to the introduction of reliable instant sources of heating and lighting in Northern Europe, it would have involved a lot of inconvenience. Houses would have been dark and, in winter, bitter cold. Even I can remember the daily ritual of lighting the living-room fire early in the morning. It was miserable. You wouldn't have wanted to do that more often than you needed to. It probably happened, but I doubt whether such an important difference in widespread social practices would be so unknown to us.
People weren't always so squeamish.

Children used to wear above-knee shorts and skirts in the winter as well. The upper class kids still do, such as Prince George.
It probably happened, but I doubt whether such an important difference in widespread social practices would be so unknown to us.
Not the only unknown. For example, how many people know that in Victorian times in England, a woman had her period about 4 times a year and that the menstrual cycle was much longer?
More a matter of practicality rather than squeamishness, I would have thought. Sometimes, a thing being unknown is evidence of a thing not happening. I was aware of the other phenomena you mention, but can't think of a single instance in literature or other writings of this "double-sleep" thing outside of the standard examples. That's why I think that, despite it undoubtedly happening at times, it is a bit of an over-egged academic pudding in search of a consumer.

binocular
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by binocular » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:59 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:15 am
More a matter of practicality rather than squeamishness, I would have thought. Sometimes, a thing being unknown is evidence of a thing not happening. I was aware of the other phenomena you mention, but can't think of a single instance in literature or other writings of this "double-sleep" thing outside of the standard examples. That's why I think that, despite it undoubtedly happening at times, it is a bit of an over-egged academic pudding in search of a consumer.
It certainly seems like a career-making niche.

Anyway, out of necessity, I practice polyphasic sleeping. To begin with, I got used to getting up several times a night because of the cats, then when caring for my aging parents. We also have a traditional central heating furnace that needs to be loaded two or more times throughout the night in very cold winters. The family on my mother's side, with whom I spent a lot of time when I was growing up, had a farm with animals, and that requires constant alertness, nor rarely getting up once or more often per night; in the winters, also to load up the heaters.
Bottomline, it's simply normal for me to get up several times a night. I used to be grumpy about it, but eventually got used to it. Now I'm set on developing a kind of 24/7 alertness.

binocular
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by binocular » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:06 pm

perkele wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:11 am
I've had such a sleep pattern consistently for several weeks just recently. That was due to work-related restlessness, waking me up every night with the thought "I have to get done with this", and then some hours of being too groggy to actually put anything into order and just idling away and wasting time. It was not a good pattern for me. I was always tired.
I find that it makes all the difference in what I do when I can't sleep at night, or when, after being woken up in the middle of the night, I can't go back to sleep right away. If I do things just to kill time, I'm bound to be tired. I have a list of things to do that are suitable for the middle of the night -- usually mending clothes, solving sudokus, sorting things in boxes, ... depending on how alert I feel each time. It's important to be prepared for those times, because when they come, I'm usually too groggy to think clearly. (When tired, what is reduced the most is creativity.)

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ryanM
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by ryanM » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:12 pm

I snooze all throughout the night :zzz: :zzz:
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

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Sam Vara
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Re: twice-a-night sleep

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:19 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:59 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:15 am
More a matter of practicality rather than squeamishness, I would have thought. Sometimes, a thing being unknown is evidence of a thing not happening. I was aware of the other phenomena you mention, but can't think of a single instance in literature or other writings of this "double-sleep" thing outside of the standard examples. That's why I think that, despite it undoubtedly happening at times, it is a bit of an over-egged academic pudding in search of a consumer.
It certainly seems like a career-making niche.

Anyway, out of necessity, I practice polyphasic sleeping. To begin with, I got used to getting up several times a night because of the cats, then when caring for my aging parents. We also have a traditional central heating furnace that needs to be loaded two or more times throughout the night in very cold winters. The family on my mother's side, with whom I spent a lot of time when I was growing up, had a farm with animals, and that requires constant alertness, nor rarely getting up once or more often per night; in the winters, also to load up the heaters.
Bottomline, it's simply normal for me to get up several times a night. I used to be grumpy about it, but eventually got used to it. Now I'm set on developing a kind of 24/7 alertness.
That sounds like a tough lifestyle, but I'm glad that you have developed that much equanimity about it. I'm terrible if I don't sleep enough.

Cats have an interesting pattern (at least, ours do). They are usually crepuscular animals, going into hunting and play mode at dawn and dusk. During the night, ours sleeps quietly on the bed. In our case, children are the major sleep-disrupting factor.

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