January 21, 2021

Biphasic and Polyphasic - The Unusual Sleeping Patterns

Sleep has always been one of our basic necessities and it is recommended that we should have at least 7-8 hours of rest at night. But is that pattern really set in stone? Humans have a routine that occurs within a 24-hour period such as eating, catching some Zs, brushing teeth, taking baths, and so on. Similar to other body functions, there are different patterns of sleep. Some are used to dozing off once per day while others choose to have some shut-eye in intervals or naps in between.

What is a Sleep Pattern?

Sleep patterns are a biological rhythm that serves as the guide for when your body needs to shut off and wake up. It follows a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle and is one of the body’s circadian rhythms which is our biological process that occurs each day. Our health is reliant on our sleeping pattern since it helps our body and mind recharge, repair, and store the information we’ve gathered through the day. Since rest is essential, not having enough of it is detrimental to our health. 

Several factors can hinder a healthy sleep pattern. Alcohol, drugs, stress, exercise, quality of rest, environment, and temperature are some of these factors. One scenario would be feeling sleepier and wanting more snooze time than usual on cold winter nights. These factors can disrupt sleep and eventually ruin one’s pattern. Now that more and more people are working from home, our routines have changed, catching the bus or driving to your workplace is replaced by another activity which may or may not be beneficial for your sleeping pattern.         

 

Types of Sleep Patterns

There are three common types of sleep patterns. The most common pattern among humans is monophasic sleep. It is considered as the norm in this day and age, however, some countries practice snoozing for 5-6 hours at night and 90 minutes in the morning to maximize their energy throughout the day, some even conform to having 4 to 6 naps per day to maximize their productivity. Regardless of what pattern you choose, it is essential to set aside time for shut-eye.

Before we head on to the different types of sleep patterns, we must recognize other ways of resting first. Most of us are familiar with naps! (Most of us LOVE naps, too!) Naps are short sleep and are also known to be a more natural way of sleeping. Thankfully, there are a lot of benefits to napping including improved memory, learning ability, improved mood, and increased alertness. This is why we often feel better after a well-deserved nap during the day or even at night. A siesta is a short nap done in the early afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Its duration is closer to a nap but longer which is about 90 minutes.

Monophasic Sleep

Monophasic sleep means a single phase of sleep. It is the most common sleep pattern across the world. This is practiced by workers with 9 to 5 jobs that require at least 7 hours of sleep at night to meet their sleep requirements before starting the day. In this type of sleep, it is important to note that our bodies don’t just shut off like a computer when in slumber, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Sleep is composed of cycles, typically 80 to 120-minute cycles. The first stage is very light sleep... You may feel the body functions slowing down with chances of twitching and moving around in bed. The second stage also called light sleep, occurs when breathing and heart rate slow down along with a slight decrease in body temperature. The third stage of sleep is the beginning of deep slumber. The fourth stage is a very deep sleep where breathing is rhythmic, and movement is minimal. Dreams may happen at this point, but remembering them wouldn’t be possible. The fifth and final stage is the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The body would have zero movements, shallow breathing, and the eyes would move rapidly during this stage. 

Biphasic Sleep

Biphasic sleep has two phases - a long duration, and a shorter duration of sleep. The long duration may take 5-6 hours while the shorter duration or naps would last 20 to 30 minutes. Taking naps would give energy boosts whenever the body needs it. A siesta can also be done as a shorter duration of rest... They usually last longer (for about 90 minutes) which completes a cycle of sleep.

Some argue that biphasic sleep is a better sleep pattern compared to the conventional 7-8 hour sleep.

Polyphasic Sleep

Just as the name suggests, polyphasic sleep is made up of many phases, about 4 to 6 times during a 24-hour period. These phases have various durations and polyphasic schedules which are categorized as Everyman, Uberman, and Dymaxion. Everyman is composed of a long duration of snoozing around 3 hours with three 20-minute naps when combined would be 4 hours in total. Uberman consists of six 30-minute naps that amount to 3 hours of shut-eye per day. Lastly, Dymaxion is practiced by having 30-minute naps every 6 hours or 2 hours of rest per day and is best for people who can almost instantaneously sleep once they get into bed.

Polyphasic sleep is used by people who aim to be productive throughout the day and minimize the need for sleep.

What is the Best Sleep Pattern?

Sleeping hours vary per person. Some conform with monophasic sleep because it is used by most industries, some choose to have freedom in their sleep period which is helpful since more and more people have been working from home. With that said, there is no perfect sleeping pattern for everyone. The decision of which sleep pattern to follow all comes down to the person’s needs, genes, and factors such as demographics.

If you ought to try a new sleep pattern, make sure to gather as much information from reliable sources since sleep affects our overall wellbeing after all. Although there are different schedules per sleep pattern, it is best to get at least 7 hours of rest per day to prevent sleep deprivation. 

Conclusion of the Different Sleep Patterns

We hope we were able to give you some insight into the different sleep patterns! Also, you're so welcome... We know that you're going to add more naps to your daily routine due to the different benefits that they offer!

Thank you so much for reading this blog and have a happy sleep! If you need any comfortable sleeping products, then don't forget to shop our store, Warm Things!


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