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Article Title: The 17th Century Guide to Sleep


Article Summary

This article named 17th Century Guide to Sleep says that despite the modern obsession with a good night’s rest, more of us are sleeping less. Perhaps we should pay attention to the advice of early modern doctors. The article revisits history to get some remedies and solutions to get a good night’s sleep. The article starts by mentioning that sleep is an urgent topic for neuroscientists and now more than ever is known about its crucial importance for concentration and memory formation. Despite all this, the western world spends fewer and fewer hours asleep. In particular, the impact of light-emitting screens upon the circadian rhythms, so essential to well-being, are only just becoming apparent.

Why 17th Century holds the answer to this problem of sleeplessness? It is because the science of sleep was developing rapidly in the 17th century, when rest was regarded as one of the core factors for maintaining good health. Early modern doctors emphasized that we must follow the course of Nature, that is, to wake in the day, and sleep in the night. This understanding has been based on the lives of plants and their circadian rhythms, which determine the movements of leaves and flowers in accordance with light sources in the environment. In conclusion the article mentions that the advice that still rings true today is: ‘If therefore ye desire peaceable and comfortable rest, live soberly, eschew crudity, and embrace tranquility of mind.’ This means that is one desires peace and rest, one must be simple and self restrained, he or she must abstain from cruelty and look for peace within themselves.

Article Link: Click here to read the full article

Words to learn from this Article:

Profound: Very Great, Intense
Elusiveness: the quality of being difficult to grasp or pin down
Soporiferous: Inducing or tending to induce sleep Purge: physically remove (something) completely.
Eschew: deliberately avoid using; abstain from.
Circadian rhythm: Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle

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