..to the rhythm
adding page upon reading this post by Karen Emslie:
why broken sleep is a golden time..
(first read about segmented sleep in Steven Johnson’s how we got to here.)
The Romans, Greeks and Incas woke up without iPhone alarms or digital radio clocks. Nature was their timekeeper: the rise of the sun, the dawn chorus, the needs of the field or livestock. Sundials and hourglasses recorded the passage of time until the 14th century when the first mechanical clocks were erected on churches and monasteries. By the 1800s, mechanical timepieces were widely worn on neck chains, wrists or lapels; appointments could be made and meal- or bed-times set.
Societies built around industrialisation and clock-time brought with them urgency and the concept of being ‘on time’ or having ‘wasted time’. Clock-time became increasingly out of synch with natural time, yet light and dark still dictated our working day and social structures.
Then, in the late 19th century, everything changed.
The lights turned on.
Electricity greatly extended light exposure, and daytime activities stretched into night; illuminated streets were safer and it became fashionable to be out socialising. Bedtimes got later and night-waking, incompatible with an extended day, was squeezed out. Ekirch believes that we lost not only night-waking, but its special qualities, too.
The 17th-century English poet Francis Quarles rated darkness alongside silence as an aid to internal reflection:
Let the end of thy first sleep raise thee from thy repose: then hath thy body the best temper, then hath thy soule the least incumbrance; then no noise shall disturbe thine ear; no object shall divert thine eye.
Unless distracted by noise, sickness, or some other discomfort, their mood was probably relaxed and their concentration complete’. – Ekirch
Both Ekirch and Wehr’s work continue to inform sleep research. Ekirch’s ideas were the subject of a dedicated session at Sleep 2013, the annual meeting of the US Associated Professional Sleep Societies. One of the biggest implications to emerge was that the most common insomnia, ‘middle-of-the-night insomnia’, is not a disorder but rather a harking back to a natural form of sleep – a shift in perception that greatly reduced my own concern about night-waking.
It is this dreamy flow that seems to characterise creative work undertaken in the middle of the night. Between sleeps, there is the stillness, the lack of distraction and perhaps a stronger connection to our dreams.
Blissfully zonked out by prolactin, our night brains allow ideas to emerge and intertwine as they might in a dream
Night also triggers hormonal changes in our brains that suit creativity. Wehr has noted that, during night-waking, the pituitary gland excretes high levels of prolactin. This is the hormone associated with sensations of peace and with the dreamlike hallucinations we sometimes experience as we fall asleep, or upon waking.
might less feel need for drugs that spark hallucinations….?
Blissfully zonked out by prolactin, our night brains allow ideas to emerge and intertwine as they might in a dream.
Modern technology might have muddied the channels that connect us to our dreams and encouraged routines that are out of synch with our natural patterns, yet it can also lead us back. The industrial revolution flooded us with light, but the digital revolution might turn out to be far more sympathetic to the segmented sleeper.
tech that facilitates chaos (aka: natural rhythm of 7 billion people) – no?
Home working, freelancing and flexitime are increasingly common, as are concepts such as the digital nomad and the online or remote worker – all of whom might adopt a less rigid routine, one that allows night-wakers to find a more harmonious balance between segmented sleeping and work commitments.
and too – may allow for less/no work commitments.. a different singularity. 7 billion people in sync. everyday.
Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, bifurcated sleep, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleeppattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by periods of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it has been argued that this is the natural pattern of human sleep. A case has been made that maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.
Historian A. Roger Ekirch has argued that before the Industrial Revolution, segmented sleep was the dominant form of human slumber in Western civilization. He draws evidence from documents from the ancient, medieval, and modern world. Other historians, such as Craig Koslofsky, have endorsed Ekirch’s analysis.
a broken night’s sleep as bad as none.. july 2014
referring to interruptions in the night.. not self-awakenings
even w/o it being interruptions.. could see self-wakenings as assumed bad because of the man-made order of the day…?
Matt Mullenweg on 6 sleeps a day:
TIME (@TIME) tweeted at 4:15 AM – 4 Jan 2017 :
Why you don’t actually need 8 hours of sleep a night https://t.co/5NaQuVA1Ml (http://twitter.com/TIME/status/816603849456807937?s=17)
What we found early on is that sometimes you sleep less and feel more refreshed,” Kahn says. “It’s because you woke up in the light part of the sleep cycle.” The insight led him to develop a sleep-cycle alarm that could determine the best time to alert a person within a certain window. “Sometimes it’s better to get up at 10 of seven than at seven,” he says.
“People say that if you can’t sleep for eight hours without waking up, something’s wrong with you. That’s such a fallacy,” he says. “Before electricity, people used to sleep in two shifts. That’s how I behave. Sleep for four hours, get up and do an hour and a half of work, and then another four.” He’s also skeptical of the notion that a quiet room is the best environment for shut-eye and dismisses the perceived deleterious effects of repeated rousing. “The sign of good sleep hygiene may not be how many times you wake up, but rather how rapidly you fall back to sleep. Sleep should be like hunger. Eat only when you’re hungry and until you’re satisfied.”
It’s not an exaggeration to say lack of sleep is killing us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it a public health epidemic and estimates that as many as 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation has been linked to clinical depression, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually in the U.S. There are 84 sleep disorders, and some 100 million people—80% of them undiagnosed—suffer from one of them in particular: Obstructive sleep apnea, generally indicated by snoring, costs the U.S. economy as much as $165 billion a year, according to a Harvard Medical School study. That’s more than asthma, heart failure, stroke, hypertension, or drunk driving. And the study doesn’t account for tangential effects, like loss of intimacy and divorce. BCC Research predicts that the global market for sleep-aid products—everything from specialty mattresses and high-tech pillows to drugs and at-home tests—will hit $76.7 billion by 2019.
The financial upside for anyone who can crack the sleep code is obvious. And so the race is on. “I believe that 15 years from now, if we do this right, we can actually tackle epidemics like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and any number of lifestyle diseases,” says Kahn. “We’re going to help people live longer and better lives.”
Human clocks are equally powerful, but we aren’t quite as enslaved by them because we don’t depend on photosynthesis. By some estimates, up to 70% of us live in spite of our internal clocks, or in the scientific jargon, outside our chronotype. Your chronotype predisposes you to being a night owl or a morning person or even being hungry at certain times, and many of us are guilty of ignoring our chronotypes, whether because of our lifestyle or just the call of duty.
When we live largely out of sync with our chronotypes, we experience everything from grogginess and reduced productivity to digestion issues, weight gain, and accelerated aging.
We also increase our risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Kay cites studies that link such lifestyles to an increased rate of breast cancer. “We evolved to adapt on this planet that has periods of light and dark. But modern life is really clashing with that,” he says.
“The key is being internally synchronized.
Your sleep-wake cycles, your food-intake cycles, your metabolic cycles are all working together. When they’re out of sync, that’s when (a) you feel lousy, and (b) you start seeing the disturbance of all kinds of markers. Sleep efficiency collapses. Leptin plummets. Insulin goes up.”
*Reset wants to tweak our clocks with a drug. Such a drug would help reset the chronotypes of people who choose or need to live a different lifestyle or whose clocks are impaired.
fb share by jason silva
a woman in Tübingen who was hospitalized for depression and claimed that she normally kept her symptoms in check by taking all-night bike rides. He subsequently demonstrated in a group of depressed patients that a night of complete sleep deprivation produced an immediate, significant improvement in mood in about 60 percent of the group.
Of course, total sleep deprivation is impractical, to say nothing of the fact that you will crash back into depression as soon as you catch back up on sleep…
One theory is that depressed people have something wrong with their circadian rhythm. Their bodies tend to release melatonin — a hormone that regulates sleep — earlier in the evening than non-depressed people, and they tend to wake up earlier in the morning.
The clock in your brain doesn’t just take cues from light, but from the hormone melatonin as well. Every night, about two to three hours before you conk out, your brain starts to secrete melatonin in response to darkness. Taking a melatonin supplement in the evening will advance your internal clock and make it possible to fall asleep earlier; taking it in the morning will do the opposite.
Studies show that it is possible to make wake therapy even more powerful by incorporating two additional interventions: early morning light therapy and what’s called sleep phase advance, in which the patient goes to bed about five to six hours earlier than usual and sleeps for about seven hours. This combination of treatments is called triple chronotherapy, and the typical course involves one night of complete sleep deprivation followed by three nights of phase-advanced sleep and early morning light.
Whether chronotherapy will prove as widely effective as conventional antidepressants for serious depression is still unknown. But there is no question that we can relieve everyday problems like jet lag and insomnia simply by better aligning our circadian rhythms with the world around us.
april 2018 – should you sleep in 2 shifts