TED Talk: Our Natural Sleep Cycle [Video]

As a person with a sleep cycle that is best described as erratic (but more accurately, nonexistent), I’m fascinated by body clock studies. In this short TED Talk, Jessa Gamble talks about the influence of circadian rhythms on culture, and vice versa.

In today’s world, balancing school, work, kids and more, most of us can only hope for the recommended eight hours of sleep. Examining the science behind our body’s internal clock, Jessa Gamble reveals the surprising and substantial program of rest we should be observing.

[mental_floss]

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3 Responses to TED Talk: Our Natural Sleep Cycle [Video]

  1. I heard somewhere that the 1-2 hours of "wake time" during the night between sleep phases was actually for… can you believe? Mating. (Copulating, if you want the dry, scientific term)

  2. I rarely sleep more than 4 hours a night. If I slip into hour 6, waking up makes me feel hungover and I'm exhausted the entire day. At 8 hours it's not much better, but if I have a day off or an early night (ha!) 10 hours feels great. I've never really been able to pin down a good schedule; I just don't seem to have much in common with the planet in terms of day and night.

  3. I'm so average. Boohoo. If I go to bed when it gets dark (and I'm actually tired, mind you) I will sleep for about 6 hours, then I'll have a few hours of extreme wakefulness, and then I get really tired again and want to sleep. Unfortunately I've never been able to sleep but for a few hours in this second sleep cycle, so I always wake up feeling exhausted. I often wonder if I was able to sleep all the way through if I'd wake up more refreshed? (Either way, I never go to bed early because of this.)

    So for me, the next best time to sleep, is 11pm-1am. If I go to bed around this time, I'll sleep a solid 8 hours and wake up refreshed. Every single time. All my immediate family is like this too. I can't tell if I was just raised that way or if it's a genetic thing.