Vikings eating

Sleep eat repeat

Humans have been doing a couple things they can’t avoid since the beginning our humanity. Sleeping and Eating. I’m going to attempt to lay out the changes since we started living on this crazy planet, and how it’s changed through time and branched out within different cultures.

Cave people

Sleep : They don’t set a sleep schedule around when it’s light out. Typically, they went to sleep three hours and 20 minutes after sunset and woke before sunrise.

Eat: They ate 20 to 25 plant-based foods a day,” said Dr Berry. So contrary to common belief, palaeolithic man was not a raging carnivore. He was an omnivore who loved his greens. He would have gathered seeds to eat, used plants and herbs for flavoring and preserving fish and meat, and collected wild berries.

North American Indians
Sleep: The average bedtime and wake time was around 10 pm and 7 am, respectively.

Eat: Besides deer, the Native Americans frequently ate rabbits, Prairie dog, Beaver, Lamb, Buffalo, Mutton, and Pork. Using wild grains and vegetables was also commonplace in the Native American diet and along with squash; sage, wild onions, cabbage, pumpkins, and cactus played a vital role in Native American food. The times they are ate are unknown but likely but likely changes with sunset. Once the sun sets they would feast. Snaking throughout the day.


Sleep: With the sunrise, in every noble house, servants had to have everything prepared for the master. They used to go to sleep using “Petates” or bed mats along with cotton blankets that worked as a mattress.

Eat: Their first meal of the day included corn tortillas with meat or fish, a jar of chocolate. The rest of the population would not eat anything until they had heard the second call the temple around 9 in the morning. At midday they would hear the second drum of the day, that meant they could go ahead and take a generous second meal. In the meantime, lowers social classes would eat whatever they had taken to work with them, in less proportions and at a lower cost. Then, everybody had to go back to work until the sunset, when a third drum would be heard. Back home, nobles took a shower before the last meal of the day. It was a different shower, a vapor one in the temazcal with aromatic plants. Afterwards everything would be ready for them to eat. The last meal was usually fish, meat and variety of vegetables, with corn tortillas. The common beverage was water with honey or fruit juice. And to end a hot chocolate cup. Alcohol was forbidden until the noble would be 52 years ago.

Greeks and Romans
Sleep: Romans typically woke up every day at sunrise. The Emperor Vespasian in fact preferred to rise before sunrise and plan who and what he was going to deal with and see to any paperwork.

Eat: Much of the Roman diet, at least the privileged Roman diet, would be familiar to a modern Italian. They ate meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, cheese, grains (also as bread) and legumes. Meat included animals like dormice (an expensive delicacy), hare, snails and boar

Native Africans

Sleep: Daily sleep duration was observed to be unexpectedly short (~5?h–6.5?h group means) in traditional hunting and gathering societies in Africa and South America

Eat: Steamed, sautéed, roasted, grilled or raw, enjoy veggies like okra, cabbage, green beans, or eggplant in larger portions than the other parts of your meal. Think flavorsome vegetarian recipes like this eggplant curry, or vegan Ethiopian chili. They did not eat a lot of meat.

Eat: Unlike modern Norwegians, Vikings tended to only eat two meals per day. These were known as dagmal and nattmal, which meant a day meal and night meal.

Sleep: In winter, they would have gone to sleep around 6pm, gone up to eat from midnight to 2am and then woken up around 8am. In summer you would have slept from midnight to 4am at most, if at all

Modern Americans
Eat: Most Americans eat three meals during the day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Specific timing for these meals vary by schedule and family, but generally breakfast is eaten sometime between 7 and 8 am and lunch is eaten sometime between 12 and 2 pm.

Sleep: A new Study Finds survey found that Americans are now averaging less than 6 hours of sleep per night. This has changed from average of 7-9 hours of sleep. The average time to fall asleep in America is 11:30.

Eat: Dinner usually goes from about 6 or 7 pm, lunch from about 11 am to 2 pm.

Sleep: After returning home, dinner is usually eaten between 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 5. Bedtime is typically around 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

16th century Europe

Second sleep was the norm for all of Europe until they added street lights. They would sleep four hour or so and wake for a couple hours and sleep four more. By the end on the 16th century, more than 50 of Europe’s major towns and cities were lit at night. Night became fashionable and spending hours lying in bed was considered a waste of time. “People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century,” says Roger Ekirch. “But the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds.”

Strong evidence of this shifting attitude is contained in a medical journal from 1829 which urged parents to force their children out of a pattern of first and second sleep.

Eating habits are the same as they are now in the US. Three meals a day but fresh bread, oats, and pastas were much more common. I assume they never heard of the Keto diet.


Most modern cultures Eat and sleep at the same time and have three meals spread throughout the day. Older cultures had more strength and energy but a much shorter life spam. Cavemen were lucky to see 20 and Aztecs averaged around 23. Elders were looked up to as very special.

The average lifespan in America is 78 years old. This could be mostly be from better healthcare and our food and water being free from disease.

Either way it’s hard to argue we have progressed as humans. Vikings had the longest life span and the most aggressive sleep and eat schedules. And averaged 45 years of life. You have to wonder if they had the modern health and safety benefits we do how long they could live.

Most developed countries have a higher lifespan then Americans like Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, and Italy all reaching 84 or higher. You might find it interesting that Cuba and Lebanon have a higher lifespan rate than the US.