Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK W. D. Howells, Selected Letters, v, 1901–1911, ed. William C. Fischer and Christoph  K.  Lohmann  (Boston,  1983),   213. March 10 1907 I read them mostly at night when I woke up out of my first sleep and had an hour of wakefulness before me. They bore this test so well that I had to read something else before I could get to sleep again. This is simply a description of middle of the night insomnia and not segmented sleep. Note that he awoke “out of my first sleep and so this is another example that challenges Ekirch’s assertions that “Typically, descriptions recounted how an aroused individual had "had," "taken," or "gotten" his or her "first sleep." and that “the vast weight of surviving evidence indicates that awakening naturally was routine, not the consequence of disturbed or fitful slumber.” It is also clear that he did not consider this a normal state of affairs given the fact that he read the plays only “mostly at night” and secondly he needed to read something else before he “could get to sleep again” which is a far better description of middle of the night insomnia, rather than the natural period of wake as conceptualised in Ekirch’s model of segmented sleep. Further support for the idea that this is middle of the night insomnia can be found in a letter to Aurelia Howells dated 3rd March 1906 when Howells is 69 years old and as he writes I suffer from gas in the stomach especially at night…..’That fulness’ is a perfect misery at times, and no medicine, so far helps. on 15th January 1911 he writes, But I have the habit of waking about 2 or 3 a.m. and descending into hell, with black despair hardly a description of segmented sleep as proposed by Ekirch. BACK
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2018