gardening at night
March 19, 2012
I have taken more (much more) than a fair share of heat for eating during the night.
Not just for eating after dark. For waking up in the middle of the night, going downstairs, and eating. Then going back to bed.
Well, I’m feeling like thanking God almighty, because I’m also feeling a little vindicated.
According to Ekirch‘s argument, typically individuals slept in two distinct phases, bridged by an intervening period of wakefulness of up to an hour or more. Peasant couples, who were often too tired after field labor to do much more than eat and go to sleep, awakened later to have sex [or, if their partner was not a segment sleeper, to eat Oreos]. People also used this time to pray and reflect,and to interpret dreams, which were more vivid at that hour than upon waking in the morning. This was also a favorite time for scholars and poets to write uninterrupted, whereas still others visited neighbors, or engaged in petty crime.
The human circadian rhythm regulates the human sleep-wake cycle of wakefulness during the day and sleep at night. Ekirch suggests that it is due to the modern use of electric lighting that most modern humans do not practice segmented sleep, which is a concern for some scientists.
I will now return to my normally scheduled programming of nocturnal eating of Oreos. Because I’m pretty sure that’s really what Ekirch was getting at.