The myth of the eight-hour sleep 为何八小时睡眠?

更新时间 2012年 2月 27日, 星期一 - 格林尼治标准时间18:19

英语学习点: Vocabulary: Sleep 睡眠

A man sleeping

Is the eight-hour sleep effective to recharge your batteries?

Good morning. Are you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after your recommended eight-hour sleep? Or perhaps instead you dropped off for four hours, got up, had a chat, smoked tobacco and visited some neighbours before hitting the sack for another four hours.

A growing number of experts are suggesting that the latter is actually a more natural way for us to recharge our batteries than the eight-hours-in-one-session sleeping pattern that people have come to consider normal.

In researching his book on the subject of shut-eye, Roger Ekirch discovered over 500 historical references to a first and second segmented sleeping pattern. They come from diaries, court records, medical books and literature.

By the late 17th century, street lighting started to appear in cities and more people began to consider spending the night kipping a waste of valuable time. Around the same time, references to a first and second sleep start to disappear.

So, if you are one of those people who find themselves wide awake in the middle of the night and toss and turn unable to return to the land of nod, your insomnia may not be a medical condition after all.

According to sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs, "For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is a part of normal human physiology." But the majority of doctors still don't recognise that one eight-hour slumber might be unnatural.

So what's the advice for those who after hours of counting sheep still can't nod off? Lie back and relax. It could actually be good for you.

Quiz 小测验

Did humans always try to sleep in one eight-hour session?

No. A growing number of experts are suggesting that the latter is actually a more natural way for us to recharge our batteries than the eight-hours-in-one-session sleeping pattern that people have come to consider normal.

Are there many references to first and second sleep segments in historical documents?

Yes. Roger Ekirch discovered over 500 historical references to a first and second segmented sleeping pattern.

Why did people start to stay out later at night in the late 17th century?

By the late 17th century, street lighting started to appear in cities and more people began to consider spending the night kipping a waste of valuable time.

Which word in the article means difficulty in sleeping?

Insomnia.

What technique for helping people fall asleep is mentioned?

Counting sheep.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

与内文相关的链接

BBC © 2014 非本网站内容BBC概不负责

如欲取得最佳浏览效果,请使用最新的、使用串联样式表(CSS)的浏览器。虽然你可以使用目前的浏览器浏览网站,但是,你不能获得最佳视觉享受。请考虑使用最新版本的浏览器软件或在可能情况下让你的浏览器可以使用串联样式表。