The 8-Hour Sleep Myth Debunked

The 8-Hour Sleep Myth DebunkedWe often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

‘Waking period’

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks. These references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps. And these hours weren’t entirely solitary – people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.


‘Sleep maintenance insomnia’

Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. He attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses – which were sometimes open all night.

Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body’s natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light. This could be the root of a condition called sleep maintenance insomnia, where people wake during the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, he suggests.

The next time you wake up in the middle of the night, think of your pre-industrial ancestors and relax. Lying awake could be good for you.

Do you also believe in the idea of a contiuous 8-hour sleep? What do you do when you are struck by insomnia?

Source: Stephanie Hegarty, BBC News

Image: My Zeo

Top 5 Beauty Mistakes That Turn Men Off

Top 5 Beauty Mistakes That Turn Men OffGirls sometimes have the tendency to overdo beauty regimens. Enhancement is good, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Find out the top beauty mistakes that turn men off:

Eyeliner Overload

“The raccoon-eye makeup look à la Taylor Momsen is a big turnoff for me. All that eye shadow and eyeliner makes it look like she doesn’t know how to use makeup, like a little girl.” – Lawrence, 22

Makeup Mishaps

“I don’t like when I can see a girl’s foundation at her neckline. It makes me wonder why she doesn’t like the way her face looks naturally, and it’s clear she wears a lot of makeup. Or at least it’s clear that she can’t blend her makeup into her neck so that it’s not obvious.” – Alex, 31


Blinding Pearly Whites

“Overly-white teeth are a turnoff for me. I know you bleached them, and it looks synthetic and unnatural. In fact, I think it makes a woman’s face look harsh.” -Brian, 42

Super Scented

“When a girl wears a ton of perfume, I feel like I can’t breathe. If I can’t taste my drink because all I can smell is whatever scent you’re wearing, I’m probably not going to ask for your number.” – Peter, 22

Fake Baking

“I hate when girls go out of their way to be overly tan, especially if they didn’t need it in the first place. Healthy, natural skin is far more attractive.” -Addison, 19

Guys, did we miss other beauty mistakes that you find as turn-offs? Girls, have you fallen victim to any of these horrid beauty mistakes?

Source: Yahoo Shine

Image: College Candy