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Even the notion of increasing the amount of time children slept, while responding to the growing concerns about doing everything possible to promote good health and growth, appealed to the unstated desire to get the little darlings out of parental hair now that there was less supplemental help and some new leisure alternatives.
Middle-class children were increasingly placed in individual bedrooms, in contrast to the 19th-century pattern in which same-sex children had commonly slept together, usually sharing beds, even in the upper middle class.
It was assumed that children slept better alone; having other children around involved potential noise, different waking times, and other disturbances.
After controlling for other factors, researchers found that men who slept 5 hours or less a night had twice as many heart attacks as men who slept 8 hours, report Japanese scientists in the July Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
In England, people went to bed an hour after sundown, got up a few hours later for a midnight meal, and then slept a few more hours until sunup, Horne says.
For example, Nilsson says, some people in the study might have slept less because of factors that increase their blood-cortisol concentrations, such as job stress.
If prehistoric people slept in two nightly periods, then regularly awakening out of REM sleep may have allowed them to reflect on and remember their dreams in a semiconscious state that's generally unavailable to modern sleepers.
The two-phase sleep pattern observed by Wehr corresponds remarkably closely to the way in which most Western Europeans slept between 500 and 200 years ago, according to historian A.
Researchers in four countries have found that as a smaller proportion of children slept prone, the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) fell.
The team found that about two-thirds of both the youngsters who died of SIDS and the healthy babies routinely slept on their abdomens.
Conversely, the morning after they were awakened during non-REM sleep, they did just as well as when they had slept undisturbed, the Israeli researchers discovered.
The men slept in the laboratory on nights 1, 3 and 6 of this phase.
The scientists found that when the men spent 10 hours in bed, they typically slept for nine hours and showed more alertness during the day.
Ideally, you should sleep until you're slept out," Roehrs adds.
Interviewers asked a total of 10,534 people, representing part of a random national sample gathered by the National Institute of Mental Health for a study of psychiatric disorders, whether they had trouble falling asleep or had slept too much over a period of at least two weeks during the prior six months.