The pursuit of a good night’s sleep has preoccupied most people at one point or another. For those who suffer from insomnia, it’s a more acute concern than for others who just hope to fight off afternoon fatigue. A historian named Roger Ekirch has good news for both camps, though: human sleep has changed over time.
While researching a book about nighttime, he stumbled across court records referencing “first sleep.” Through extensive searching of these records and other official documents, as well as popular literature and songs of the past, he learned that humans in the pre-industrial world tended to sleep for a few hours once night fell and then wake up for approximately an hour before returning to sleep.
Biphasic sleep, as the process is called, appears to have been widespread. Ekirch found references to the phenomenon across Europe, as well as in accounts from South America and the Middle East. The period in between rests was a time for duty or reflection, depending on one’ s means. Peasants would check on their animals, while nobles might read or write until sleep overtook them again.
Photo courtesy of Freepik / 照片：Freepik提供
Biphasic sleep was known as far back as ancient Greece, based on a reference in the renowned poem The Odyssey. However, it faded as the Industrial Revolution took hold. Not only did artificial lighting begin to spread, but attitudes toward sleep also changed. When people were sleeping, they couldn’t be exploited in factories, so sleeping “too much” provoked accusations of laziness and time-wasting.
Today, we must be alert to the false belief that waking up early guarantees productivity, and that waking up in the middle of the night condemns you to exhaustion. When insomnia strikes, comfort yourself with the thought that you’re in touch with ancient human practices for the night, and occupy yourself quietly until sleep returns.
biphasic adj. 兩階段的
preoccupy vt. 使…關注；使…全神貫注
insomnia n. 失眠
reference vt. 提到；論及
renowned adj. 著名的
1. pursuit n. 追求；爭取
Emma went to France in pursuit of an advanced education in philosophy.
2. acute adj. 嚴重的；劇烈的
Unemployment in this region is an acute problem and needs to be addressed immediately.
3. extensive adj. 廣泛的；大規模的
Professor Eriksson has done extensive research on this topic, so he is the best-qualified person to give the talk.
4. reflection n. 沉思；深思
Stan prefers quiet moments of reflection to busy social events.
5. exploit vt. 利用；剝削
The employer exploited his workers by making them work sixteen hours a day.
6. accusation n. 指控；譴責
Mr Green made an accusation that Mrs. White was the one responsible for murdering the cook.
7. condemn sb to sth 使……遭受；使……處於（負面狀態）
Stanley’s inability to express his feelings to others condemned him to a lonely life.
8. exhaustion n. 疲憊不堪；精疲力竭
I planned to go to my friend’s party, but I ended up going to sleep early out of exhaustion.
9. overtake vt. 突然發生；頓時出現（三態overtake-overtook-overtaken）
A feeling of calm overtook Kayla when she breathed deeply and looked out onto the ocean.
Since the start of the pandemic, the option to “buy now, pay later’” has skyrocketed in popularity, especially among young and low-income consumers who may not have ready access to traditional credit. If you shop online for clothes or furniture, sneakers or concert tickets, you’ve seen the option at checkout to break the cost into smaller installments over time. Companies like Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, and Paypal all offer the service, with Apple due to enter the market later this year. But with economic instability rising, so are delinquencies. Here is what you should know: HOW DOES BUY NOW, PAY LATER WORK? Branded
Teams of scientists around the world have recently demonstrated the viability of airborne and waterborne DNA collection. The methods, which permit the analysis of large samples of soil, air or water for genetic material, rely on the concept of environmental DNA. This “eDNA” is found in the innumerable particles of biological matter that creatures shed as they go about their lives. While these tiny scraps are invisible to the naked eye, eDNA tests can reveal a wealth of information to researchers. For example, wildlife managers in the Susquehanna River system in Pennsylvania, US detected Didymosphenia geminata DNA through eDNA
A: Wow, look at that drone in the sky! B: Drones have become increasingly common in recent years. Walmart, Amazon and other companies have all begun promoting drone delivery services. A: Chunghwa Post is also providing this service. B: Really? A: Currently, Hsinchu County’s Jianshih Township post office is trialing parcel delivery to remote villages by unmanned aerial vehicles. B: That’s fantastic. It will make it much more convenient to post things to mountainous areas. A: 哇你看，天空中有一架無人機！ B: 這幾年無人機好像越來越普遍，沃爾瑪、亞馬遜等公司，都開始推出了無人機送貨服務。 A: 其實中華郵政也有這項服務唷。 B: 真的嗎？ A: 新竹縣尖石鄉的郵局，正在試辦無人機偏鄉物流運送。 B: 太棒了，以後寄東西到山區就方便多啦。 （Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩）
你會說很多種語言，是不是？ You speak many languages, don’t you? 情境對話 Situational Dialogues 美英：你會說很多種語言，是不是？ 大為：我只會說英文、日文和一點兒中文。 美英：真厲害。我想學英文，你能教我嗎？ 大為：可以啊！你什麼時候有空？ 美英：星期一或是星期五晚上，我都有空。 大為：好。那，我們星期五上課，怎麼樣？ 美英：太好了，謝謝。 Meiying: You speak many languages, don’t you? Dawei: I only speak English, Japanese and a little Chinese. Meiying: That’s awesome. I want to learn English. Can you teach me? Dawei: Yes! When are you free? Meiying: I’m free on Monday or Friday night. Dawei: Good. Well, how about we have class on Friday? Meiying: Great, thank you. 生詞表 Vocabulary 語言 (yǔyán) language(s) 只 (zhǐ) only 真 (zhēn) really 厲害 (lìhài) severe, terrible, efficient and cruel 教 (jiāo) to teach Get To Know Taiwan 生活小補帖 Chinese New Year In southern China, one of the favorite and most typical dishes is Niangao, sweet steamed glutinous rice pudding, which represents promotion year by year. 另外，每個家庭也都有年糕，而年糕象徵著「年年高陞」的意思。 教材音檔 Audio Files