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Polyphasic sleep

1. Historical Sleep Patterns: – Siesta, segmented sleep, and biphasic sleep were common historical sleep patterns. – Benjamin Franklin and Buckminster Fuller followed biphasic sleep […]

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1. Historical Sleep Patterns:

– Siesta, segmented sleep, and biphasic sleep were common historical sleep patterns.
– Benjamin Franklin and Buckminster Fuller followed biphasic sleep patterns.
– A. Roger Ekirch highlighted segmented sleep in Western civilization.
– Pre-industrial sleep patterns often involved waking up in the middle of the night.
– The myth of the eight-hour sleep has been challenged by historical research.

2. Polyphasic Sleep Definition and Usage:

– Polyphasic sleep involves sleeping in multiple periods within 24 hours.
– Napping behavior is a common form of polyphasic sleep.
– Polyphasic sleep is common in animals and believed to be ancestral for mammals.
– Dymaxion sleep, a form of polyphasic sleep, has been studied for its effects on human sleep patterns.
– Street music in the metropolis has been linked to segmented sleep patterns.

3. Effects and Research Studies on Polyphasic Sleep:

– Adverse impacts of polyphasic sleep patterns on humans have been reported.
– Studies have shown that polyphasic sleep can have negative effects on human health and performance.
– Research on sleep timing and quality across different age groups suggests variations in sleep patterns.
– Some research suggests that shorter, polyphasically-placed sleep is common across the animal kingdom.
– Stampi’s research on polyphasic sleep is detailed in the book ‘Why We Nap.’

4. Physiology and Fatigue Management:

– High levels of prolactin hormone in the brain during nighttime wakefulness contribute to a sense of peace.
– Naps should ideally last at least 45 minutes, with longer naps being more beneficial.
– NASA research on napping in space suggests challenges in achieving 8 hours of continuous sleep.
– The US Air Force Research Laboratory has explored the use of stimulants to counter fatigue in aviators.
– Caldwell’s overview highlights the utility of stimulants for fatigue management.

5. Modern Interpretations and Napping Research:

– An online community experiments with alternative sleep schedules.
– There is no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of polyphasic sleep.
– NASA-supported researchers have discovered surprising aspects of polyphasic sleep.
– Scientific American Frontiers featured an episode on catnaps and their benefits.
– Sleep researchers Zee and Vitiello studied circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

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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