Your body and brain needs enough sleep to function properly. It is important to get enough sleep without any disturbances. However, many people wake up during the night. This can be caused by some kind of a health problem or some kind of a sleep disorder.
However, the waking up may not be caused by an illness or a sleep disorder. You don’t need to sleep through the entire night according to historical references.
Segmented Sleep Is Normal
Waking up at night or segmented sleep is not a disorder, but a natural thing for our body. You are not suffering from sleep apnea or insomnia. We have only forgotten that segmented sleep is normal.
In ancient times people even practiced this type of sleeping. They woke up at night and did some house chores or meditated. Documents and literature from the period before the Industrial Revolution speak about first and second sleep also.
The period between these sleeps was really relaxing because it was at midnight when the brain produces a hormone of relaxation called prolactin.
Sleep Disorders Are a Result of the Body’s Need for Segmented Sleep
A type of insomnia called sleep maintenance insomnia may be a result of our ancestors’ habits to practice segmented sleep. Nowadays, this sleep disorder is explained as waking up in the middle of the night, and then not being able to go back to sleep. This sleep condition began to be considered as a disorder in the beginning of the 20th century when segmented sleep was no longer practiced.
Although many people think that we need 8 hours of sleep every night, medical professionals do not agree with this belief.
Help Yourself without Taking Sleeping Pills
If you have troubles sleeping, don’t take sleeping pills. Instead, think of our ancestors. They had no light bulbs, so they went to bed when the sun set and woke up when the sun rose. Our body responds to light and dark, so try to follow their sleeping time until your biorhythm comes back to normal.