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Polyphasic sleep

Historical and Cultural Practices of Polyphasic Sleep: – Siesta as a common cultural practice in warm climates. – Segmented sleep with two distinct phases and […]

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Historical and Cultural Practices of Polyphasic Sleep:
– Siesta as a common cultural practice in warm climates.
– Segmented sleep with two distinct phases and a period of wakefulness in between.
– Benjamin Franklin and Buckminster Fuller’s advocacy for biphasic sleep patterns.
– Ekirch’s analysis of interrupted sleep before the Industrial Revolution.
– Activities during wakefulness in segmented sleep periods.
– Modern disruption of natural biphasic sleep patterns by electric lighting.

Benefits and Strategies of Polyphasic Sleep in Extreme Situations:
– Inadequate sleep in crises leading to the need for systematic napping.
– Claudio Stampi’s research on optimal performance with short naps.
– All stages of sleep included in short naps for improved performance.
– Polyphasic sleep strategies enhancing prolonged performance under continuous work conditions.

Scientific Understanding and Physiology of Polyphasic Sleep:
– Polyphasic sleep involving multiple sleep periods in 24 hours.
– The role of prolactin hormone in inducing peace during nighttime wakefulness.
– Different age groups and conditions exhibiting polyphasic sleep patterns.
– Studies by Campbell, Murphy, and Wehr on sleep duration and patterns.
– Common occurrence of polyphasic sleep in irregular sleep-wake syndrome, infants, animals, and elderly individuals.

Military and Research Findings on Polyphasic Sleep:
– Recommendations for nap lengths by the U.S. Air Force and Canadian Marine pilots.
– Cognitive benefits of napping according to NASA-funded research.
– Italian Air Force experiments on vigilance with polyphasic sleep schedules.
– Importance of nap length, timing, and effects for astronauts.
– Research by various institutions on biphasic and polyphasic sleep patterns.

Global Sleep Practices and Cultural Perspectives on Polyphasic Sleep:
– Chinese and Italian traditions of napping after lunch.
– Consideration of napping as a constitutional right in some cultures.
– Recommendations for segmented sleep practices in different publications.
– Varied sleep patterns across different cultures and historical periods.
– Sources like ‘The Oxford Handbook of Sleep and Sleep Disorders’ and ‘Time’ magazine discussing polyphasic sleep impacts and productivity.

Polyphasic sleep (Wikipedia)

Polyphasic sleep is the practice of sleeping during multiple periods over the course of 24 hours, in contrast to monophasic sleep, which is one period of sleep within 24 hours. Biphasic (or diphasic, bifurcated, or bimodal) sleep refers to two periods, while polyphasic usually means more than two. Segmented sleep and divided sleep may refer to polyphasic or biphasic sleep, but may also refer to interrupted sleep, where the sleep has one or several shorter periods of wakefulness, as was the norm for night sleep in pre-industrial societies.

A common form of biphasic or polyphasic sleep includes a nap, which is a short period of sleep, typically taken between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm as an adjunct to the usual nocturnal sleep period. Napping behaviour during daytime hours is the simplest form of polyphasic sleep, especially when the naps are taken on a daily basis.

The term polyphasic sleep was first used in the early 20th century by psychologist J. S. Szymanski, who observed daily fluctuations in activity patterns. It does not imply any particular sleep schedule. The circadian rhythm disorder known as irregular sleep-wake syndrome is an example of polyphasic sleep in humans. Polyphasic sleep is common in many animals, and is believed to be the ancestral sleep state for mammals, although simians are monophasic.

The term polyphasic sleep is also used by an online community that experiments with alternative sleeping schedules in an attempt to increase productivity. There is no scientific evidence that this practice is effective or beneficial.

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