What Time Did People Go to Bed in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered what time people went to bed in ancient times? While we may think that modern society has disrupted our natural sleep patterns, the truth is that humans have been adapting their sleep schedules for centuries. Let’s take a deeper look at how people slept in ancient times.

The Sleep Patterns of Ancient Civilizations

Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans had vastly different lifestyles and work schedules than we do today. Many of these societies were agrarian and relied on daylight hours for labor and productivity. As a result, people tended to go to bed shortly after sunset and wake up before sunrise.

Ancient Egyptian Sleep Patterns

The ancient Egyptians are known for their impressive architectural feats and hieroglyphic writing system, but what about their sleep patterns? It’s believed that the average Egyptian went to bed shortly after sunset and woke up with the sunrise.

However, this schedule could vary based on social class. Wealthier individuals may have had more leisure time to stay up later or take midday naps.

Ancient Greek Sleep Patterns

The ancient Greeks valued physical fitness and intellectual pursuits such as philosophy and literature. To achieve these goals, they often practiced polyphasic sleep patterns, where they would take multiple naps throughout the day instead of sleeping for one long period at night. This allowed them to stay alert and focused during waking hours.

Ancient Roman Sleep Patterns

The ancient Romans were known for their military conquests and impressive engineering feats such as aqueducts and roads. Like the Greeks, they also practiced polyphasic sleep patterns but with shorter naps throughout the day. However, it’s important to note that not all Romans followed this schedule – some would stay up late partying or attending social events.

The Evolution of Sleep Patterns

As society has evolved, so have our sleep patterns. With the advent of electric lighting and industrialization, people began staying up later to work or engage in leisure activities. Today, many people struggle with getting enough sleep due to busy work schedules and constant stimulation from technology.

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

Regardless of what time period we live in, the importance of a good night’s sleep remains the same. Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, including physical and mental health. It’s recommended that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.


In conclusion, people in ancient times tended to go to bed shortly after sunset and wake up with the sunrise. However, sleep patterns varied based on societal norms and individual circumstances.

As society has evolved, so have our sleep patterns. While it’s important to adapt to changing lifestyles and work schedules, we should never underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep for our overall health and well-being.