Tag Archives: sleephygiene

Got sleep?

How did you sleep seems to be a question that people frequently ask each other. Did you rest? Some sleep patterns mean a person will sleep once per day while others mean they sleep at intervals. However, the pattern that is most common or traditional in a population may or may not be the healthiest option for people. A person’s internal circadian rhythm is responsible for their sleep-wake cycle.

A monophasic sleep pattern is when an individual sleeps once per day, typically for 8 or so hours a night.

A biphasic sleep pattern is when someone sleeps twice per day, sometimes referred to as a siesta sleeping pattern. In many cultures, particularly along the equator, people sleep in the afternoon especially during the hottest part of the day, and the workday is extended into the evening.

A polyphasic sleep pattern is when a person sleeps for periods of time throughout the day.

People have an internal circadian rhythm, a routine of biological and behavioral processes that roughly occur every day over a 24-hour cycle. Despite this, what is the correct time for a person to sleep per night?

Monophasic sleep
Monophasic sleep is what today’s society would refer to as a “normal” sleeping pattern. There is, however, discussion that this has not always been the case.
This sleep pattern became “the norm” during the industrial revolution’s longer-than-normal hours of working time. Some argue that since the advent of electricity and increased exposure to bright artificial indoor light instead of sunshine, melatonin and Vitamin D levels are decreasing. This can interrupt a person’s sleep-wake cycle and have a negative impact on their sleep durations.

Biphasic sleep
Those who practice biphasic sleep typically sleep for a long duration at night, for 5-6 hours, and have a shorter period of sleep or siesta during the day. The shorter period of rest typically lasts 30 minutes and gives an energy boost to finish the day. I asked my patients to set their alarm so that they wake up after 30 minutes, thereby not disrupting their sleep later on in the day. Some neuropsychology research shows that biphasic sleep is a healthier sleep pattern than a monophasic pattern, and some countries have adopted a biphasic sleep pattern as the norm.

Another form of biphasic sleep is segmented sleep, which some may refer to as the most natural of all sleeping patterns. Segmented sleep includes two sleep periods, both of which occur at night. A person experiencing segmented sleep will sleep for 6-8 hours but in two shifts during the night. This becomes more common as we age.

Naps may be beneficial and be a more natural way of sleeping. The suggested benefits of brief naps include improved memory and learning ability, increased alertness, and an improved mood. In fact, certain innovative companies have implemented napping periods or even rooms where employees can rest during the workday. If naps improve health, then is insomnia an actual disorder or a natural form of the sleep-wake cycle?

One theory by social psychologists is that before industrialization in the modern world, it was normal for people to have what was called first and second sleep. This meant that a person would sleep in two segments of time throughout the night with a waking period of about one to three hours in between.

Polyphasic sleep
Polyphasic sleepers can rest 4 to 6 times during a day. These sleep combinations are broken down into categories including:
– A long sleep time of around 3 hours with approximately three 20-30minute naps throughout the day.
– Only 3 hours of sleep per day in the form of six 30 minute naps throughout the day.
No individual person’s sleep requirements are exactly the same. Some require 8 solid hours of sleep for optimal function. Someone else, however, may lead a productive and healthy life on 5 hours of sleep per night with a short nap or naps during the day.

At my practice, we individualize and fine-tune sleeping patterns, and figure out what works best for each person, from sleep hygiene patterns, to duration.

Embolden Psychology
Embolden

Embolden offers the ADOS-2, the gold standard assessment for kids on the spectrum.

Combined with psychoeducational testing, it helps provide comprehensive information and recommendations to help children and teens six and up.

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