Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Lawrence Wright, Warm and Snug: The History of the Bed (London, 1962), 195; “Jeremy Taylor lowers the average opinion considerably when he judges three hours sleep enough” Interesting Larwence Wright provides no reference for this statement, the earliest source I have found is from 1812 a hundred and fifty years after Bishop Taylor died. In  An Account of the Life and Writings of Lord Chancellor Somers: Including Remarks on the Public Affairs in which He was Engaged, and the Bill of Rights, with a Comment Henry Maddock 1 January 1812 London : Printed for Clarke and Sons page 107 here the following statement is made concerning the sleep of Lord Somers “It would seem, he thought with Bishop Jeremy Taylor, that three hours sleep was sufficient”. This statement seems to be apocryphal, while there seems to be no direct source for the sleeping habits of Bishop Taylor, his statements about about sleep in his “The rule and exercises of holy living” here contain no such prescription contrary to what Ekirch claims “In the morning, when you awake, accustom yourself to think first upon God, or something in order to his service; and at night, also let him close your eyes: and let your sleep be necessary and healthful, not idle and expensive of time beyond the needs and conveniences of nature; and sometimes be curious to see the preparation which the sun makes, when he is coming forth from his chambers of the east.” and “Sound but moderate sleep is its sign and its effect. Sound sleep cometh of moderate eating; he riseth early, and his wits are with him.” Boorde, Compendyous Regyment. Olde auncyent doctours of Physycke sayth. viii. houres of slepe in somer &. ix. houres of slepe in wynter is suffycyent for any man, but I do thynke that slepe ought to be taken as the complexcyon of man is, whan you do ryse in the mornynge, ryse with myrth and remembre god. Note that Boorde says that it was some unspecified “Olde auncyent doctours of Physycke” that recommended 8 hours in summer and 9 in winter whereas he in fact disagrees with this and thinks that sleep “ought to be taken as the complexcyon of man is.’ BACK
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