References all the way back to Homer’s Odyssey show that people used to sleep in two distinct four-hour phases, interrupted by a one to two hour period of being awake. Researchers say modern society with its electricity and active nightlife has altered the understanding of a good night’s sleep.
22 February 2012 Last updated at 11:58 ET By Stephanie Hegarty BBC World Service We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferisView all posts by Lisa Aliferis →