The Benefits of Segmented Sleep
People spend most of their waking lives worrying about their sleeping habits. Do I snore, how do I stop sleepwalking, what do my nightmares mean, and does the fact that I dreamed of sleeping with my boss mean that I secretly want his body? These questions and more have haunted a fair share of people over the years.
There are medications, hypnotists, and dream analysts that all claim the same thing. ‘I know the secret to a full night’s sleep. I can help you get the rest you deserve.’ These words may sound familiar, but what’s also familiar is the sense of disappointment that comes when they don’t work. So, what are you supposed to do when the so-called experts are telling you that you need a full six, eight, or ten hours of sleep just to get through the day. Are you abnormal if you only sleep four or five and come out feeling fine afterwards? What if you wake up a lot during the night, will that be proof that you’re an insomniac?
Here’s some good news for you. The amount of sleep that you need changes depending on who you are and what your situation is. If you can live off of only a handful of hours of sleep each night, then there’s nothing wrong with that. Even better, if you wake up multiple times during a single sleep period, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unless there is something medically wrong with you, waking up repeatedly is a lot better for you then sleeping nonstop. Not only do you experience more fulfilling sleep periods if you wake up and then fall back to sleep, but you can also do a number of different things during the times that you are awake.
Before the 1700s, the idea of segmented sleep was more accepted. People slept better because of this acceptance. It was only when the industrial revolution came along that the idea that the longer a person slept, the better they would feel came along. But consider this. There are some people who sleep for long periods of time and wake up feeling sleepier than they did before they went to bed. Then there are people who go to sleep for a while only to wake up feeling physically sick with headaches, nausea, and other complaints.
Just from that alone, it should be obvious that sleep in large doses is actually more frustrating in most cases than not sleeping at all. Why spend hours lying in bed at night trying to force yourself to go to sleep when you aren’t even tired. That isn’t a sign of insomnia, it’s a sign that you should be doing something else until your mind and body are both ready to fall asleep naturally. If you have to force sleep, then whatever benefits you’d gain from hours of rest would go straight down the drain.
If your body is in the mood for segmented sleep, then just go with it. You’ll be happier for it in the long run and you can even use the extra time to do things that you may not have had time for during daylight hours.