In today’s selection — for most of history people have had two periods of sleep each night, with the time in between being perhaps the most calm and relaxing part of their lives. Then came the lightbulb. This unexpected “two sleep” phenomenon was uncovered by historian Roger Ekirch when he began to do research for a history of the night:
I read about the fact that people used to sleep twice each night recently in the New Yorker. It could perhaps why we are all so tired nowadays. David Randall’s explanation of Ekirch’s discovery and how it could help us in the modern world is an interesting read.
This piece was posted in December of last year, but it found its way into my RSS feeds via Hacker News. An example of how archived articles can suddenly go viral.