Split sleep: Good or bad idea?

Split sleep: Good or bad idea?

Split sleep: Good or bad idea?

It is possible that at some point in your life you have found that you need to sleep at different times. For example, you may have been woken up during the night and had difficulty getting back to sleep. But what if you sleep like this every day or every night? How do these split sleep periods affect your sleep quality? There may be significant consequences that might be enough to dissuade you from split sleep.


Split sleep disrupts natural rhythms

If you tend to be tired all the time, it may be due to periods of split sleep. You may be excessively sleepy during the day and want to fall asleep almost anytime. When you sleep for short periods at night instead of sleeping for a consolidated period at night, it will affect your natural circadian rhythms and disrupt normal sleep cycles. The more you are awake the more you want to sleep. We can resist this for many hours (even days), but over time the desire to sleep takes over and we fall asleep. 

The second element that contributes to the desire to sleep is the circadian rhythm.  As creatures normally awake during the day and asleep at night, the circadian rhythm reinforces this sleep pattern. In nocturnal animals, such as rats, the reverse pattern is observed. Many hormones in the body follow a circadian pattern. Melatonin, for example, peaks at night. Another hormone, cortisol, plays an important role when we wake up in the morning. These two processes combine to encourage increased sleepiness and a strong desire to sleep at night. However, our behaviors can alter these natural tendencies.

The more you are awake the more you want to sleep. Split sleep: Good or bad idea?

Behavior and role of sleep fragmentation

Although our bodies want us to sleep through the night, we don't always follow these patterns. Ideally, we would sleep in a consolidated period during the night, lasting about eight hours. However, modern life lends itself to distraction and disruption...Naps can be a good idea for people who don't have a rest through the night, although sleeping 6 nights is ideal. 8 hours straight. Naps should not last more than 20 minutes, because if you sleep for several hours during the day, at night it will be more difficult to sleep or get enough rest. 

If you go to bed late at night, you may have difficulty falling asleep and end up suffering from insomnia.As sleep begins to overwhelm you at night, you can slip out of sleep almost without realizing it. 

This can be especially true if you fall asleep with the TV on or with music playing in your headphones. Persistent stimuli can interrupt your ability to transition into sleep normally. On the other hand, if you wake up and continue watching your program, your sleep will be significantly fragmented.

The sleeping environment is important and you should not have any potentially disturbing stimuli.

The sleeping environment is important and you should have no potentially disturbing stimuli, and eliminate television, computers and other distractions... it can help you sleep better. If you sleep during the day or in an environment that is only partially dark, be sure to ensure 100% darkness or you risk waking up. You can opt for a sleep mask, the simplest solution. You will also need to protect yourself from noise, a major cause of insomnia and poor quality sleep, with noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.

For those employed in shift work, their circadian rhythm may be ignored, as they are forced to stay awake at night and sleep during the day. The quality of your sleep can be significantly compromised and may have other health consequences.


Split sleep: Good or bad idea?

Consequences of having split sleep. 

The act of sleeping divided into periods dispersed throughout the day and night, in especially chronically, can have significant cognitive effects.  This may be due, in part, to an interruption in the natural sleep cycle. This is a description of the natural pattern of sleep stages that occur during a standard sleep period. An important consequence of sleep fragmentation is the resulting sleep deprivation. This can happen by slipping in and out of sleep, which shortens the time for deep, restful sleep. 

The total amount of sleep may also be suboptimal. Dividing your sleep into nighttime naps and daytime naps seems to have the same effects on your mood, concentration, and cognitive abilities as if you were to chronically restrict your sleep. The nocturnal vigil promotes these deficits, because split sleep is not so restorative. If this happens to you, you will need to improve your sleep hygiene.

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