Two sleeps were eventually considered a wasteful way to spend these hours.No matter why the change happened, shortly after the turn of the 20 century the concept of two sleeps had vanished from common knowledge. Two sleeps per night may have been the method of antiquity, but tendencies towards it still linger in modern man.The effect of all of this is that we’re increasingly distracted.Less and less able to pay attention to anything for what used to be reasonable length of times.
I feel a constant need to pull it out – to check email, to text, to see if there is something interesting happening RIGHT NOW. [show the 2 slides on ‘phone addiction’ and ‘35% look before getting out of bed’]. Look at how internet access has changed since smart phones came into being (and this data is a year old, so I’m certain it’s even more in this direction).
There could be an innate biological preference for two sleeps, given the right circumstances.
In the early ‘90s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr of National Institutes of Mental Health conducted a study on photoperiodicity (exposure to light), and its effect on sleep patterns.
We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night.
This range was about 12 hours long, and began with a sleep of three to four hours, wakefulness of two to three hours, then sleep again until morning.