End Your Insomnia: The New Shift in Sleep

Before artificial light was common, people snoozed for part of the night, got up for a while, then returned to bed. Our writer shows that this medieval pattern yields modern benefits

by Beth Levine
eye mask sleep image
Photograph: Ben Wiseman

What’s in this for me, you ask? Well, if you have young kids and/or a full-time job, maybe nothing. There is no way you are turning down the lights at 8 p.m. And if you already sleep like a log all through the night, why bother? But if you’re a fitful sleeper like me and have some flexibility in your life, biphasic slumber is definitely worth a shot. Who knows, maybe that nice lady from internal audit will come back someday.

Next: Sleepy? Your Genes May Determine How Much Shut-Eye You Need

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First published in the June 2013 issue

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