In last week’s article, we discussed research that pointed to a historical segmented sleep pattern. The research suggests that the typical eight-hour sleep pattern commonly recommended today may not be the natural sleep pattern that our bodies require. The ancient pattern included a block of time that, out of necessity, was usually relegated to relaxing activities. This week, Farmington Hills dentist Dr. Askari explores how phasing out the segmented sleep pattern may have negatively affected our overall health.
Sleep, Relax, and Sleep Some More
To recap last week’s article, Virginia Tech historian Roger Ekirch uncovered over 500 historical references that described a sleep pattern involving about four hours of first sleep, followed by a couple of hours of wakefulness, and then another four hours of sleep. The works that Ekirch uncovered, which included doctors’ manuals, diaries, and literature that ranged from Homer’s “Odyssey” to an anthropological account of Nigerian tribes, described this period between sleep as a time of rest and relaxation. People would rise from their first sleep to read, pray, write, visit with neighbors, or sit and smoke tobacco. A doctor’s manual from 16th century France describes this period as the best time for a man and his wife to conceive, as opposed to at the end of a long day of work.
Mass Sleep Deprivation
Some experts believe this extra time of rest played an important role in our capacity to naturally regulate stress. They are not surprised at the rise of anxiety, stress, and depression that has occurred with the disappearance of the fragmented sleep pattern. After all, excessive stress has been linked to numerous health concerns, including heart disease, depression, and memory impairment.
So the next time you wake for no reason, don’t worry. In fact, relax. It’s what your body is asking for. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Aziza Askari by contacting Comfort Dental Spa at (248) 474-6434. We serve patients throughout the Midwest including the Chicago and Detroit areas.
ABOUT YOUR FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, TMJ EXPERTS:
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights, MI.