Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK  Ekirch writes “Certainly, there was no shortage of prayers intended to be recited "when you awake in the Night" or "at our first waking," However, none of the below make any suggestion that they are referring to segmented sleep and it is clear that “first waking” means no more that the first time you wake in the night and is therefore not necessarily related to ‘first sleep’  Whole Duty of Prayer, 13; “Ejaculations to be used on several Occasions - When you awake in the Night.”   Richard and John Day, A Booke of Christian Praiers . (London, 1578), 440–41 “A prayer to be sayd at our first waking A prayer at our uprising.” R. Sherlock, The Practical Christian: or, The Devout Penitent . (London, 1699), 322–23; “Of Meditations and Psalms for the Morning.  As soon as you awake; At your up-rising.” Furnivall, Phillip Stubbes's Anatomy of the Abuses, 221; here “A praier when one awakes out of sleepe”  The actual quote from the anonymous parent quoted in Danielle Régnier-Bohler is    “I believe, my dear daughter the most profitable hour for you and us might be in the middle of the night after going to sleep, after digesting the meat, when the labors of the world are cast off and set aside and , and when, too, the neighbours will not see you and no one will look at you except for God, and there will be no one to hear our moans and tears and sighs coming from the depths of the heart……” Note that Ekirch omits some of the original quote (underlined above), the fact that the neighbours “will not see you” could imply that they would prey in darkness, however the fact that there is also “no one to hear our moans and tears and sighs” perhaps suggest that the neighbours would actually be asleep at that time. Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living and Dying: Together with Prayers Containing the Whole Duty of a Christian . . . (London, 1850), 41; here “Ejaculations and short Meditations to be used in the Night, when we wake.”   However it is clear that “first waking” means no more that the first time you wake in the night and is therefore not necessarily related to ‘first sleep’ Mr. Byles, The Visit to Jesus by Night, An Evening-Lecture (Boston, 1741). I cannot find anything relevant in this document here  BACK    
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