For the term "first sleep," I have discovered sixty-three references within a total of fifty-eight different sources from the period 1300–1800. See below in the text for examples. "First nap" appears in Colley Cibber, The Lady's Last Stake: or, The Wife's Resentment (London, 1708), 48; Tobias George Smollett, The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, 2 vols. (London, 1753), 1: 73; Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Ian Jack, ed. (Oxford, 1981), 97.
About the middle of the night, I was wakened from my first nap by Mrs. Linton gliding into my chamber, taking a seat on my bedside, and pulling me by the hair to rouse me.
'I cannot rest, Ellen,' she said, by way of apology. 'And I want some living creature to keep me company in my happiness!
He did not neglect the rendezvous, but, presenting himself at the appointed time, which was midnight, made the signal they had agreed upon, and was immediately admitted by Wilhelmina, who waited for hire with a lover's impatience. Fathom was not deficient in those expressions of rapture that are current on those occasions; but, on the contrary, became so loud in the transports of self-congratulation, that his voice reached the ears of the vigilant stepmother, who wakening the jeweller from his first nap, gave him to understand that some person was certainly in close conversation with his daughter; and exhorted him to rise forthwith, and vindicate the honour of his family.
The German, who was naturally of a phlegmatic habit, and never went to bed without a full dose of the creature, which added to his constitutional drowsiness, gave no ear to his wife's intimation, until she had repeated it thrice, and used other means to rouse him from the arms of slumber.
Study of the literature gives no clear evidence as to the optimal time-point of tooth brushing (before or after meals). However, in order to eliminate food impaction and to shorten the duration of sucrose impact by tooth cleaning after meals seems to be recommendable. Although—with our current knowledge of potential harm due to brushing of erosively altered and softened tooth surfaces—giving advice on a more individual basis is recommended for patients suffering from erosion.
Most medical research tries to explain the causes of an individual’s disease and seeks therapies to cure or relieve deleterious conditions. These efforts are traditionally based on consideration of proximate issues, the straightforward study of the body’s anatomic and physiological mechanisms as they currently exist. In contrast, Darwinian medicine asks why the body is designed in a way that makes us all vulnerable to problems like cancer, atherosclerosis, depression and choking, thus offering a broader con-text in which to conduct research.
The evolutionary explanations for the body’s ﬂaws fall into surprisingly few categories. First, some discomforting conditions, such as pain, fever, cough, vomiting and anxiety, are actually neither diseases nor design defects but rather are evolved defenses. Second, conﬂicts with other organisms—E. coli or crocodiles, for instance—are a fact of life. Third, some circumstances, such as the ready availability of dietary fats, are so recent that natural selection has not yet had a chance to deal with them. Fourth, the body may fall victim to trade-offs between a trait’s benefits and its costs; a textbook example is the sickle cell gene, which also protects against malaria. Finally, the process of natural selection is constrained in ways that leave us with suboptimal design features, as in the case of the mammalian eye.
Every night for four weeks the men came to the laboratory, where they spent 14 hours in windowless dark rooms, relaxing and sleeping as much as possible. Various hormone levels, temperature, brain waves and other functions were measured at regular intervals throughout the night. Later, similar measurements were made when the men came into the clinic to sleep for the more traditional seven to eight hours a night.
The researchers discovered a number of intriguing things about how ancestral humans may have spent their dark winter nights. For one thing, as the study volunteers adjusted to their artificial circumstances, their sleep patterns relaxed into distinct phases. The men slept only about an hour more than normal, but the slumber was spread over about a 12-hour period. They slept for about four to five hours early on, and another four to five hours or so toward morning, the two sleep bouts separated by several hours of quiet, distinctly nonanxious wakefulness in the middle of the night. The early evening sleep was primarily deep, slow-wave sleep and the morning episode consisted largely of REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep characterized by vivid dreams. The wakeful period, brain wave measurements indicated, resembled a state of meditation.
Braced myths begin as fallacies produced by errors, bias, lies, academic fraud, hoaxes and other forms of pseudo scholarship that are created, packaged to look like facts, and disseminated by orthodox experts. These fallacies become myths as more people accept them. They become braced myths when orthodox respected sceptics credulously believe them, and while still believing they are true promote them as examples of the need to be sceptical of fallacies and myths.
In addition to suggesting that consolidated sleep, such as we today experience, is unnatural, segmented slumber afforded the unconscious an expanded avenue to the waking world that has remained closed for most of the Industrial Age.
For there is every reason to believe that segmented sleep, such as many wild animals still exhibit, had long been the natural pattern of our slumber before the modern age, with a provenance as old as humankind
...Significantly for our understanding of early modern demography, segmented sleep may have enhanced a couple's ability to conceive children, since fertility might have benefited from an interlude of rest.
The fewer references to segmented sleep I have found in early American sources suggests that this pattern, though present in North America, may have been less widespread than in Europe, for reasons ranging from differences in day/night ratios to the wider availability of candles and other forms of artificial illumination in the colonies.
Until the close of the early modern era, Western Europeans on most evenings experienced two major intervals of sleep bridged by up to an hour or more of quiet wakefulness. In the absence of fuller descriptions, fragments in several languages that I have surveyed survive in sources ranging from depositions and diaries to imaginative literature. From these shards of information, we can piece together the essential features of this puzzling pattern of repose. The initial interval of slumber was usually referred to as "first sleep," or, less often, "first nap" or "dead sleep."65 In French, the term was "premier sommeil" or "premier somme,"66 in Italian, "primo sonno" or "primo sono,"67 and in Latin, "primo somno" or "concubia nocte."68 The intervening period of consciousness—what Stevenson poetically labeled a "nightly resurrection"—bore no name, other than the generic term "watch" or "watching" to indicate a period of wakefulness that stemmed, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "from disinclination or incapacity for sleep." Two contrasting texts refer to the time of "first waking".
A Prayer to be said at our first waking
God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom no rest of thine exceeding great benefits towards me this, which is the greatest that can be bestowed upon mankind, may be added also, namely, that as thou hast raised up my body from fast and sound sleep, so also thou wilt deliver my mind from the sleep of sin and from the darkness of this world, and after death restore the same body to life, as well as thou hast called it again from sleep : for that, which is death to us, is but sleep unto thee.
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