Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK 13 July 22, 1712, Cowper Diary; The full passage from Cowper show that she is not only talking about sleep and that indeed ‘the rest of the enjoyments of the world’ are also ‘not altogether free from uneasiness’. This subtly, but significantly, differs from the interpretation given by Ekirch. “Tho sleep may be rekon’d one of the blessings of life yet its pleasures are purely negative and consist merely in a freedom from pain. When our spirits are exhausted we wish for sleep as old men for Death, only because we are tired with our present condition. But even sleep itself like the rest of the enjoyments of the world is not altogether free from uneasiness. The mind is often full of perplexitys and the same cares that disquiet us when waking gives us frequently no small disturbance when in [deepe?] sleep” Thomas Nashe, "The Terrors of the Night," in The Works of Thomas Nashe, F. P. Wilson, ed., 5 vols. (1910; rpt. edn., Oxford, 1966), 1: 355. The full passage makes it that clear that Nashe is talking about falling asleep and not, as Ekirch implies, sleep itself. here “To nothing more aptly can I compare the working of our  braines after we haue vnyoakt and gone to bed, than to  the glimmering and dazeling of a mans eyes when hee  comes newly out of the bright Sunne into the darke shadow.  Euen as ones eyes glimmer and dazle when they are  withdrawne out of the light into darknesse ; so are our thoughts troubled & vexed when they are retyred from  labor to ease, and from skirmishing to surgerie” Amy Zipkin, "Counting Sheep, and Dollar Signs," New York Times, May 31, 1998. here  BACK
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