Glass of milk
While suffering from insomnia, drinking a glass of milk as it contains sleep-inducing amino acid called tryptophan.Reuters

British TV journalist Dr Michael Mosley discloses his secret of conquering insomnia by his secret schedule. The 59-year-old revealed that he suffered from sleep deprivation around 3 at night since he turned middle aged. Mosley even got himself a new mattress to get rid of this disturbing disorder.

Not just that, Mosley previously tried getting rid of his sleeplessness by trying every over-the-counter (OTC) drug available for triggering sleep and felt that he had developed chronic insomnia.

The doc finally analysed his sleeping pattern and found that he suffers from biphasic or segmented sleep. Biphasic sleep refers to falling asleep again after a long span of walking.

A historian named Roger Ekirch, who is a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US, did a lot of research on this syndrome by studying medical books, diaries and novels. Ekirch found that biphasic or segmented sleeping was a common phenomenon for people during pre-industrial times.

The sleeping pattern of the people back in the pre-industrial times included four or five hours of sleep which was known as 'the first sleep' which was followed by a session of staying awake for an hour or so and then sleeping again, which was known as the 'second sleep'. The time span in between the two sleeps was used by the people to do household chores, socialise or stay at home. They even enjoyed intimacy during this time.

Ekirch revealed a manual belonging to a doctor from the 16th century which reveals that the best time to have better and more enjoyable sex is after the first sleep.

These findings were published by Ekirch after 15 years and Mosley came across it while researching for TV show The Victorian Slum. Mosley could relate to the findings of Ekirch and found it to be absolutely natural.

According to Ekirch, sleeping norm has transformed due to the introduction of industrial revolution and arrival of electric lights at the beginning of 20th century, which changed the people's habit of hitting the bed as soon as it was dark.

This led to the extinction of first and second sleep norm from the lifestyle and sleeping continuously became the new trend since then. This led to curbed the socializing trend due to lack of time, though some people still follow it, like the members of the hunter gatherer societies.

To curb his sleeplessness at the middle of the night, around 3 am, Mosley planned a schedule for himself which curbed his chronic sleeplessness.

The following are present in the doc's "Things to do list", which he feels are better to do than popping sleeping pills:

  1. He strictly advised to avoid television and work, like checking mails after the first sleep as it would affect the secretion of the melatonin hormone from the body. This hormone manages our body's sleep and wake cycles.
  2. Drinking a glass of milk which contains sleep-inducing amino acid called tryptophan.
  3. The doctor also found that people who wake up after the first sleep often go out to do yoga with others suffering from the same issue.

Dr Mosley concluded by saying that sleeping in two shifts is better than sleeping continuously, Daily Mail reported.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia can be caused by various reasons like:

  • Medical conditions
  • Psychiatric
  • Unhealthy sleeping habits
  • Biological factors
  • Medical conditions