The individuals did not stress about falling back asleep, but used the time to relax. In the winter months, this meant a lot of darkness and a lot of sleep.
His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk.
We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night.
What is surprising is not that people slept in two sessions, but that the concept was so incredibly common.
Two-piece sleeping was the standard, accepted way to sleep.
Although history shows that two sleeping was common, and science indicates that it is (in some conditions) natural, there is no indication that it is better.
Two sleeps may leave you feeling more rested, but this could simply be because you are intentionally giving yourself more time to rest, relax, and sleep.Once they had caught up on their sleep though, a strange thing started to happen. Over a twelve hour period, the participants would typically sleep for about four or five hours initially, then wake for several hours, then sleep again until morning. The middle hours of the night, between two sleeps, was characterized by unusual calmness, likened to meditation.This was not the middle-of-the-night toss-and-turn that many of us experienced. He and his family intentionally went an entire month with no electric light.Giving the same respect to the single, eight-hour sleep should be just as effective.Note too that two sleeping needs a lot of darkness – darkness that is only possible naturally during the winter months.Religious manuals included special prayers to be said in the mid-sleep hours.