Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Governal, In His Tretyse That Is Cleped Governayle of Helthe (New York, 1969); here AFter when thou hast ete thou sholdest stode or walke a lityll softly vp & down tyl toy mete goo downe to the botom of thy stomak and then slepe a lityll yf thou be vsed ther¦in both daye & nyght namly slepe fyrst on thy syght side for that is kyndely for thy dygestiō rhall be better / for then lieth thy lyuer vnder thi stomak / as fyre vnder a caudren: And after thi fyrst slepe turne on thy lifte syde that thy ryght side maye be rested of thy longe lygyng theron / And whan thou hast layen theron a good while and slept turne ayen on thi ryght side and ther slepe all nyght forth / and loke y• thou lye not to streight ne to croked wyth thi legges but in a meane bytwene streight & croked. This passage states that “after thi fyrst slepe turne on thy lifte syde that thy ryght side maye be rested of thy longe lygyng theron” this begs teh question what ‘longe lygyng’ meanesns in this sentance and whether it fits into Ekirch’s conception of ‘first sleep’ Also it states that “whan thou hast layen theron a good while and slept turne ayen on thi ryght side and ther slepe all nyght forth” Ekrich uses this reference to imply that people woke after their first sleep to turn onto thier left side, but by the same token this must imply that they would also wake to turn back onto their right side therefore this passage actually describes three, not two, periods of sleep, adoes not fit into Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep. Either that or if it does not imply they woke after their first sleep then this passage does not fit into Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep Bullein, Newe Boke of Phisicke, 90; here “sleeping on the right side is deemed best for digestion” Note that this quote does not actually mention “first sleep”  Boorde, Compendyous Regyment; here “lye a lytel whyle on your left syde, & slepe on your ryght syde. And whan you do wake sleep on your right side of your fyrste slepe, make water yf you fele your bladder charged, and than slepe on the lefte syde ; and loke, as ofte as you do wake, so ofte toume yourselfe in the bed from the one syde to the other.” This passage mentions multiple waking and turnings and so does not fit into Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep  André Du Laurens, A Discourse of the Preservation of the Sight: Of Melancholike Diseases . . . , Sanford V. Larkey, ed., Richard Surflet, trans. ([London], 1938), 190; here “It is good to take his first sleepe vpon the right side, for seare the liuer should fall vpon the stomacke and oppresse it, as it would doe if he should he vpon the spleene; and further because that lying on the right side, he liuer vnderlaieth the stomacke, and seruing it in stead of a chafing-dish, helpeth disgestion very much. After this he must turne him vpon his left side, to the end that the vapours retayned by lying on the right side, may breathe out: & finally he must lie vpon the right side, to the end that what shalbe concocted, may discend the more easily.” This passage mentions multiple waking and turnings and so does not fit into Ekirch’s conception of segmented sleep  Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (New York, 1938), 464–6 here  he fittest time istwo or three hours after supper, when as the meat is now settled at the bottom of the stomach, and 'tis good to lie on the right side first, because at that site the liver doth rest under the stomach, not molesting any way, but heating him as a fire doth a kettle, that is put to it. After the first sleep 'tis not amiss to lie on the left side, that the meat may the better descend; and sometimes again on the belly, but never on the back.  Vaughan, Naturall and Artificial Directions for Health, 53; here  Vpon his right side, vntill the meate, which he hath eaten, be descended from the mouth of the stomack (which is on the left side:) then let him sleepe vpon his left side, and vpon his belly, that the meat may be the more easily sodden and digested in a more hot and fleshy place. Note that this passage does not actually mention “first sleep” However Venner, Via recta, 275; here actually says the exact opposite.  “But if you desire to know whether it be best to lye first on the right side, or on the left: I answer, that it is best to lye first on the left side, that the meats may the better descend to the bottome of the stomacke, which toward the left side is chiefly situated, and the alimentary juice be the more easily conveied to the Liver: and after the first sleep to turn to the right side; for this change doth greatly ease the body, and helpe the concoction and distribution”.  Francis de Valangin, A Treatise on Diet: or, The Management of Human Life (London, 1768), 288 here  The best Posture for lying is on the right Side, particularly when there  is yet any Food in the Stomach; for. it will then naturally fall  towards the Bottom of the Stomach; but when the Stomach is empty, or after the first Nap lying a little on the left side or 'changing posture sometimes upon the right sometimes upon the left times: , seems the most salutary Interestingly this passage is slightly more ambiguous saying that one should lie “a little on the left side” either “when the Stomach is empty, or after the first Nap” Although Cogan says Page 274 here  And it is most wholesome to sleepe first on the right side, that the meat may the better descend to the bottome of the stomacke, and be nearer to the liver. Which is to the stomacke as fire to the pot, and after to turne to the left side.  Note that this quote does not actually mention “first sleep” BACK
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