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.

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15 Responses to “gardening at night”

  1. steve Says:

    Um, this Ekirch dude not mention eating in the middle of the night, not that I am against that personally. However, if you were composing these Pulitzer prize winning Blog’s or interpreting dreams WHILE you were eating Oreo’s, now you would be on to something. Which reminds me, I was dreaming someone was rubbing my head in my sleep. What do you think that means?

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    I surfed upon this same thing via Boing Boing (http://boingboing.net/2012/02/24/the-myth-of-the-8-hour-sleep.html) last month. I was relieved since I started waking up in the middle of the night about 5 years ago and was considering the usual Ambien method of dealing with it. It’s still annoying, but a natural annoyance?

    Give me a call next time you’re up and we can discuss Gone With The Wind, with Oreos of course.

  3. cantareros Says:

    Precisely because you eat Oreos at ungodly hours, you are now the prime suspect for the wave of vandalism that happens in our neighborhood every year around this time and in the summer.

  4. The Flyin' Ute Says:

    Oreos….because your wife is NOT a segmented sleeper…?

  5. Brandon Banks Says:

    “must be time for penitence”


  6. Dug,

    What do you think about the Tebow trade to the Jets?

  7. dug Says:

    i am tebowing right now on behalf of tim and the good citizens of nyc, who tend to love all things religious, and will totally respect timmy and his love for tebowing in the public square.

  8. planetjenn Says:

    Bleh. Seems like I may be a segmented sleeper. I wish we had some Oreos.

    Or Ambien.

  9. planetjenn Says:

    It’s 0215 here, not 1915, btw. I’m not THAT segmented.


  10. 100 years giving the excuse to segment sleep!


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