Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Note Ekirch does not quote a source for the idea that labourers are “barely able from numbing fatigue to take an evening meal” and without a supporting reference one must assume that this is a poetic invention by Ekirch. John Aubrey, Aubrey's Natural History of Wiltshire (1847; rpt. edn., New York, 1969), 11. here The full quote is “On the downes, sc. the south part, where 'tis all upon tillage, and where the shepherds labour hard, their flesh is hard, their bodies strong: being weary after hard labour, they have not leisure to read and contemplate of religion, but goe to bed to their rest, to rise betime the next morning to their labour”.  Note this passage clearly describes consolidated, not segmented, sleep despite the fact that Ekirch contends that “Until the close of the early modern era, Western Europeans on most evenings experienced two major intervals of sleep bridged by up to an hour or more of quiet wakefulness.” BACK
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2018