Secrets of Sleep

By Alexander Borbely; Deborah Schneider | Go to book overview

3
Sleep: A Theme with Variations

Lausius--an ancient poet--decrees five hours' sleep for the young man and the graybeard, six for the merchant, seven for aristocrats, and for the lazy and wholly idle man eight hours.

-- HEINRICH NUDOW Versuch einer Theorie des Schlafs ( 1791)


Sleep at Different Stages of Life

A baby spends two-thirds of its time asleep in the first few days after birth. It wakes up at intervals of two to six hours, drinks its milk, and goes back to sleep. Its sleep is distributed almost evenly over a twenty-four-hour period. Luckily this state of affairs, which often robs worn-out parents of their much- needed rest, tends not to last long. A three-month-old infant seldom wakes up during the night; at the age of six months it is still sleeping about twelve hours a day but is also awake for long periods at a stretch.

The amount of time spent sleeping during the day decreases in the early years of a child's life. Although most preschool children still take an afternoon nap, when they reach school age they stay awake for the whole day. The so-called polyphasic

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Secrets of Sleep
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface to the American Edition vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - A Historical View of Sleep 3
  • 2 - Scientists Investigate Sleep: The Different Stages of Sleep 16
  • 3 - Sleep: A Theme with Variations 31
  • 4 - Dreams 48
  • 5 - Sleep and Sleeping Pills 70
  • In Conclusion 86
  • 6 - "I Didn't Sleep a Wink All Night": Insomnia and Disorders of Sleeping and Waking 87
  • 7 - Sleep in Animals 105
  • 8 - Sleep and the Brain 122
  • 9 - The Search for Endogenous Sleep Substances 136
  • 10 - Sleep Deprivation 151
  • 11 - Sleep as a Biological Rhythm 170
  • 12 - The Purpose of Sleep 191
  • In Conclusion 204
  • Appendix: - Sleep Disorders Information Leaflet 207
  • Notes 210
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 223
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