Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
  BACK July 9, 1774, Philip Vickers Fithian, Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773–1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion, Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. (Williamsburg, Va., 1943), 178. Ekirch writes that The Virginia tutor Philip Fithian studied during many evenings to the point of exhaustion in order to render his sleep "sound & unbroken" and immune to "cursed Bugs." I was waked by Sam the Barber thumping at my Door I was dressed In Powder too; for I propose to see & dine with Miss Jenny Washington to Day. D__ n the Bugs & Chinches, says Ben rolling over on the Bed, & rubbing his Eyes, I have slept none for them Mr . Fithian, do you rest any o-Nights? Don’t these cursed Bugs keep you awake? No Sir; for you see I commonly sit & read til half after ten, or eleven So that by the Time I lay my poor Skin & Bones on the Bed, I am so much fatigued with the tumultous Business of the Day, & the Study of the Evening that my sleep the rest of the night is sound & unbroken here  Can a “tutor” really be thought of as a member of the “labouring population”, other that in the absolutely literal sense of some one who does work? Note that the full passage does not talk about “exhaustion” or his sleep being “immune” to bugs. Also note that not just the “Study of the Evening” but also the “tumultous Business of the Day” which aids his sleep. Notice that he says that his sleep is “sound & unbroken” which rather contradicts Ekirch’s assertion 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
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