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Stache's avatar

Is segmented sleep unhealthy or harmful?

Asked by Stache (3725points) January 6th, 2019

For example, if someone sleeps from 12:30 am to 3:30 am, then 5:30 am- 7:30am, and then finally 8:30 am to 10:30 am?

I know this isn’t ideal but it’s reality right now. How will this affect a person?

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14 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I do this. I take advantage of the quicker internet speed at night. I find it difficult to socialize with those who sleep normally. On the up side I get to flag spam all night for giggles.

Stache's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 You aren’t the epitome of health but at least we aren’t alone in this. :)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Doesn’t bother me. The wee small hours are best for working without those tiresome and frequent distractions and interruptions.

anniereborn's avatar

I do the same kind of thing. I think as long as you can get a deep sleep in (REM) you are okay.

canidmajor's avatar

This is only one of many articles on the subject:
Google “first sleep second sleep” to see others.

For most of my life, segmented sleep has been the norm. Now that I’m older and have to pee more, it’s every night that I am up a few times, yet I do well if my cumulative hours are 7–8.

gondwanalon's avatar

We are all different. As long as you are feeling good and your sleeping habit doesn’t interfere with your work and social life then you are likely OK.

For decades I’ve been getting up several times per night (3–5) for bathroom trips. I always go right back to sleep. No problems in fact I feel terrific.

Good health to you!

LadyMarissa's avatar

According to the doctor that I discussed this with, as long as you get a full 8 hours, you should be good to go. That’s completely opposite of what I was raised to believe Then again, the doctors used to say that you got as much rest simply laying down as you did actually sleeping. Since the last switch on Daylights Savings Time, my sleeping pattern has become as erratic as what you describe. Since I can’t correct the pattern right now, I choose to not use it for a stress point. My sleeping patterns suddenly change every so often & I hope this one is short lived!!!

JLeslie's avatar

I remember reading somewhere that splitting sleep might be more natural, but they were talking about 6 hours at night and then another 1.5–3 hours either early morning or as a nap later in the day.

I don’t know the current consensus, but I think what’s important is total hours in a 24 hour period and being ble to complete all stages of sleep. The average is 1.5 hours to go through all stages including REM and deep sleep. I naturally nap 1.5 or 3 hours, so I assume it’s related to completing all the stages.

I think a lot of people wake at least once in the middle of the night. I hate waking up to go to the bathroom. I don’t mind as much if I wake up just because, and feel fairly awake.

As long as you feel fully rested I think it’s fine.

Kardamom's avatar

I have insomnia. It’s not helping me much to be asleep, then awake, then asleep, then awake. In fact, it’s maddening.

Patty_Melt's avatar

As long as the total is enough, and the segments are hours rather than minutes.
By the way, REM sleep is between deep sleep and waking. They are not the same, and both are needed.

Stache's avatar

I’m curious, would 2 hours of heavy sleep be more beneficial than 5 hours of restless sleep? Thanks to all for you guidance and comradeship. Sorry you suffer like I do.

Stache's avatar

@canidmajor Thank you for the link.

JLeslie's avatar

@Stache I don’t know the actual medical answer to your question, but I know that deep sleep is considered the most restorative, so I guess that means that stage is very important to be rested and heal the body? Again, I’m guessing.

It’s much easier to be woken during the first stages of sleep and even REM, it’s easier than during deep sleep. Deep sleep is the stage right before REM, REM is the dreaming stage.

I think it matters which stage you wake up in for whether you feel horrible and tired or not when you are first awoken. So, what I mean is if your alarm goes off when you are in deep sleep or REM I’m guessing that’s when we feel the worst, but I’m not really read up on it.

Keep in mind feeling ok when you wake isn’t the same as getting enough sleep in total.

Also, if you drink caffeine daily, if you are waking up as you withdraw off of caffeine you are likely to feel a little crappy in the morning even if you slept enough. You need your fix.

I did a sleep study several years ago, and when the doctor called to give me my results, I told him, “I think I spend longer than average for an adult in deep sleep.” He was surprised that I knew that, because it was true I’m in that stage longer than the average adult. Children spend longer in deep sleep than adults, which is partly why children sleep so soundly. Most children can sleep through a lot of activity and noise going on around them.

I didn’t really answer your question, because I don’t know for sure the answer, but I’m just trying to say I think all the stages are very important, but completing deep sleep is probably the most important to get the benefits of sleeping.

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