Sleep in the Tanakh

Last summer, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, an esteemed researcher in the field of sleep medicine and circadian rhythms, published an intriguing review in Psychosomatic Medicine. In the review, Ancoli-Israel dissects the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, and highlights passages that allude to physiological and pathological sleep-related phenomena. Though I would have mentioned the publication of this fascinating review in earlier blog entries, it certainly parallels last week’s entry that summarized the quest to localize a spirituality center within the brain.

Aside from any religious symbolism and indoctrination within these passages, it is interesting to note that even ancient societies were flummoxed and fascinated by an event humans spend 1/3 of the day undertaking, and were equivocally concerned about the “supernatural” disruptions of this event.


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