You’re Doing It Wrong: Our Ancestors Slept A Completely Different Way


You hit the sack at 11pm and wake up at 7am. That’s a perfect eight hours, but you still feel groggy and weird sometimes, right? Like you aren’t quite fully rested. Well, there’s good reason for that.

According to Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech, there’s overwhelming evidence that humans never used to sleep that way. In 15 years of research, he found that people normally slept in two different chunks. They would often sleep for 4 hours, wake for 1-3 hours, then sleep for another four hours.

“Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society. By the 1920’s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.”

It could very well be because segmented sleeping just kind of comes naturally to us. It’s the process at work when you wake at 4am and just can’t get back to sleep for a couple hours. But why the change?

“Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good. The night was a place populated by people of disrepute – criminals, prostitutes and drunks.” says Craig Koslofsky, an historian. “Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night.”

So what are we to make of all this?

“Many people wake up at night and panic. I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern.” says Russell Foster, a professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford University. “But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep.”

“But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centers where sleep is studied.”

It kind of makes me want to give it a try. Would you do it?



11 Great ways to improve your memory

These are proven techniques that really Work!!!  Yes! they do. while surfing on the internet for my presentation on Development Studies:Issues and Perspectives, I found some very interesting sites which were showing some very Great deeds. things like “what does your dream mean”  7 wonders of the Modern World, 10 smallest countries in the world and much more. These happened to be so fascinating to me that i had to post them. So here, I’m sharing quite a short yet highlighted form of Proven techniques of improving memory.

Woman connecting numbered jigsaw puzzle pieces inside of brain
Woman connecting numbered jigsaw puzzle pieces inside of brain

First thing, PAY ATTENTION in order to sharpen your memory is to pay more attention to what you’re doing or reading. Yes! if you do not pay proper attention you just cannot do whatever you are wanting to do. Or perhaps it won’t last for much time. things like this often happen on a daily basis, we read things, we try to memorize it and then we forget it. according to an article study, things that come in sight actually don’t vanish, they are stored in the FAR FAR AWAY part of our brain. and we assume as if we have forgotten what we have sighted. they help us in the time of nothingness lol we acknowledge them later at some point. So, FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON THE MATERIALS YOU’RE STUDYING Second thing, to be known is to AVOID CRAMMING BY ESTABLISHING REGULAR STUDY SESSION. According to Bjork (2001), studying materials over a number of session’s gives you the time you need to adequately process the information. Research has shown that students who study regularly remember the material far better than those who do all of their studying in one marathon session. Thirdly, STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZE THE INFORMATION YOU’RE STUDYING. Researchers have found that information is organized in memory in related clusters. You can take advantage of this by structuring and organizing the materials you are studying. Try grouping similar concepts and terms together, or make an outline of your notes and textbook readings to help group related concepts.

Woman placing sticky notes on board
Woman placing sticky notes on board

Fourth, UTILIZE MNEMONIC DEVICES TO REMEMBER INFORMATION. Mnemonic devices are a technique often used by students to aid in recall. A Mnemonic devices are a technique often used by students to aid in recall. A mnemonic is simply a way to remember information. For example, you might associate a term you need to remember with a common item that you are very familiar with. The best mnemonics are those that utilize positive imagery, humor, or novelty. You might come up with a rhyme, song, or joke to help remember a specific segment of information.

ELABORATE AND REHEARSE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU’RE STUDYING. In order to recall information, you need to encode what you are studying into long-term memory. One of the most effective encoding techniques is known as elaborative rehearsal. An example of this technique would be to read the definition of a key term, study the definition of that term and then read a more detailed description of what that term means. After repeating this process a few times, you’ll probably notice that recalling the information is much easier.

teenage students: studying
teenage students: studying

VISUALIZE CONCEPTS TO IMPROVE MEMORY AND RECALL.Many people benefit greatly from visualizing the information they study. Pay attention to the photographs, charts, and other graphics in your textbooks. If you do not have visual cues to help, try creating your own. Draw charts or figures in the margins of your notes or use highlighters or pens in different colors to group related ideas in your written study materials

RELATE NEW INFORMATION TO THINGS YOU ALREADY KNOW. When you are studying unfamiliar material, take the time to think about how this information relates to things that you already know. By establishing relationships between new ideas and previously existing memories, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of recalling the recently learned information.

TEACH NEW CONCEPTS TO ANOTHER PERSON.  For many people fear-of-lagging-behind is an issue in real terms. where there is insecurity concerns about your own learning, things become much difficult to  be handle . Because that’s where your Psychological issues give birth to your social exclusion. Teaching and sharing your knowledge with others not only help them but it also benefits you in many ways for example you are much competent on information than you were before and this helps you remember things over a long period of time.

Examination stress
Examination stress

PAY EXTRA ATTENTION TO DIFFICULT INFORMATION. Have you ever noticed how it’s sometimes easier to remember information at the beginning or end of a chapter? Researchers have found that the order of information can play a role in recall, which is known as the serial position effect.While recalling middle information can be difficult, you can overcome this problem by spending extra time rehearsing this information. Another strategy is to try restructuring what you have learned so it will be easier to remember.When you come across an especially difficult concept, devote some extra time to memorizing the information.

VARY YOUR STUDY ROUTINE. Another great way to increase your recall is to occasionally change your study routine. If you are accustomed to studying in one specific location, try moving to a different spot during your next study session. If you study in the evening, try spending a few minutes each morning reviewing the information you studied the previous night. By adding an element of novelty to your study sessions, you can increase the effectiveness of your efforts and significantly improve your long-term recall.sb10068570b-001

GET SOME SLEEP. Researchers have long known that sleep is important for memory and learning. Somerecent research has shown that taking a nap after you learn something new can actually help you learn faster and remember better.One study actually found that sleeping after learning something new actually leads to physical changes in the brain. Sleep deprived mice experienced less dendtritic growth following a learning task than well-rested mice.So the next time you are struggling to learn new information, consider getting a good night’s sleep after you study.

Young woman sleeping on bed in student dorm, head resting on books
Young woman sleeping on bed in student dorm, head resting on books

Are you looking for more information about your memory and mind? Be sure to check out the following links for more information:

References: Bjork, D. (2001, March). How to succeed in college: Learn how to learn. APS Observer, 14(3), 9.

Yang, G., Lai, C. S. W., Cichon, J., Ma, W., Li, W., & Gan, W. B. (2014). Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning. Science, 344(6188), 1173. DOI: 10.1126/science.1249098