How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Everything has a history, even sleep.

It turns out that there is nothing natural about the way we sleep.

Dr Bodhisattva Kar, from UCT's Historical Studies department, explains how the major shift in sleep patterns coincided with industrial capitalism.

He says historians have shown that throughout much of human history, humans like animals, have always slept in phases.

Humans had always had what they technically called polyphasic sleep, which is you sleep in different segments, for a few hours, wake up and then sleep again.

Dr. Bodhisattva Kar, Head, Head (Academic) Department of Historical Studies, UCT

These major shift happened with the onslaught of industrial factory based production where the machines demanded that we work for compacted 8 hours at a go.

Dr. Bodhisattva Kar, Head, Head (Academic) Department of Historical Studies, UCT

Kar says people used to sleep at least two to four times a day and while it is a biological necessity

The interesting thing is that all those had to be somehow monitored, disciplined and regularised according to the need of the factory based capitalism.

Dr. Bodhisattva Kar, Head, Head (Academic) Department of Historical Studies, UCT

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio.....


This article first appeared on 702 : How we invented the modern concept of sleep


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
[LISTEN] What 'The Lost Boys' lays bare about the truth of apartheid atrocities

[LISTEN] What 'The Lost Boys' lays bare about the truth of apartheid atrocities

To see 'The Lost Boys' as a book which merely exposed a paedophilia ring during the 80s is an oversimplistic view, experts explain.

'SA sees 44% drop in new HIV infections'

'SA sees 44% drop in new HIV infections'

Professor Francois Venter sits down with Eusebius McKaiser to speak about the fight against HIV and Aids in recent years.

Is everything you say prefaced with your social labels? Listeners talk identity

Is everything you say prefaced with your social labels? Listeners talk identity

Can you express a view without announcing yourself as a member of a certain social group first? Eusebius opened a discussion.

[LISTEN] Sanitary towels added to proposed list of VAT zero-rated products

[LISTEN] Sanitary towels added to proposed list of VAT zero-rated products

An economist at Argon Asset Management Thabi Leoka explains how they came up with the proposed list for zero-rated products.

Sleep sense for babies and toddlers

Sleep sense for babies and toddlers

Author of Sleep Sense, Megan Faure speaks to 702's Phemelo Motene about solutions to ensuring your baby get a good night sleep.

[LISTEN] The tune guaranteed to send baby to la la land.

[LISTEN] The tune guaranteed to send baby to la la land.

Darren Simpson plays the sounds that he insists put babies to sleep - something moms and dads will be delighted to hear.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] What 'The Lost Boys' lays bare about the truth of apartheid atrocities

[LISTEN] What 'The Lost Boys' lays bare about the truth of apartheid atrocities

To see 'The Lost Boys' as a book which merely exposed a paedophilia ring during the 80s is an oversimplistic view, experts explain.

ANC Tshwane says the City's mayor knew of the looted R12 billion

ANC Tshwane says the City's mayor knew of the looted R12 billion

ANC Tshwane spokesperson Bafuze Yabo gives details of their planned action against the City of Tshwane.

Jacques Pauw: We need more evidence on the 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book

Jacques Pauw: We need more evidence on the 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book

Investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw shares his thoughts on 'The Lost Boys of Bird Island' book.

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

Dr Taj Hargey says he is advocating for the ban of women wearing burkas in public because they look ridiculous.

[WATCH] Kid goes from 'be a fart machine at work' to 'I love you dad'

[WATCH] Kid goes from 'be a fart machine at work' to 'I love you dad'

Khabazela shares tweets & videos that have gone viral including a parrot that told firefighters the F-word during its rescue.

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

Institute for Race Relations researches Terence Corrigan explains why they believe the list Afriforum has released is genuine.

Private schooling for your kids (at a low price unheard of just a few years ago)

Private schooling for your kids (at a low price unheard of just a few years ago)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews SPARK Schools cofounder and CEO Stacey Brewer.