Getting enough sleep is vital for everyone’s health, but that number shifts as we age. Sleep follows patterns much like any other bodily function. Some people only sleep once a day, while others sleep many times throughout the day. However, the prevailing trend in a population may not be the best choice for individuals’ health. Because of this discrepancy, some people say they are not receiving enough sleep even if they are in bed for a sufficient amount of time every night.

This article looks at the two prominent sleep patterns identified and how they might influence one’s health and sleeping habits.

Biphasic and Monophasic Sleep:

In humans, the sleep-wake cycle is regulated by the circadian rhythm.

  • A monophasic sleep pattern is when a person only sleeps once a day, at night, for a prolonged period (usually 8 hours).
  • If you sleep twice daily, you have a biphasic sleep pattern.

Let’s have a look at both of these in detail: 

Monophasic Sleep

Sleep that consists of just one stage is called “monophasic.” A monophasic sleep schedule is considered the “typical” sleep pattern in today’s culture. However, it is speculated that this was not always the case. During the industrial revolution’s extended hours, this sleep pattern became the “average.” Some claim that people’s melatonin levels have been declining since the invention of electricity and the widespread use of artificial light. This may have a detrimental effect on a person’s sleep-wake cycle and shorten their sleep time.

Biphasic Sleep

Some researchers have shown that people who sleep in two distinct phases each night are healthier than those who sleep continuously throughout the night. Those who engage in biphasic sleep patterns often get their whole night’s rest (about 5–6 hours) at night, then nap (or siesta) for a few hours during the day. The shorter break, which lasts about 30 minutes, provides a much-needed burst of energy to get you through the remainder of the day. In contrast, a siesta may take up to 90 minutes. One sleep cycle may be completed during a siesta that lasts 90 minutes.

A night of sleep may help with learning and memory, make you more alert, and lift your spirits. Segmented sleep is a kind of biphasic sleep called the “most natural” type of sleep. Two different nighttime sleep times characterize segmented sleep. Individuals with segmented sleep patterns often sleep for 6-8 hours each night but do so in two distinct stages. Naps are a more normalized kind of sleep and might have health benefits.

Monophasic VS Biphasic? How to Sleep Better!

A person should talk to their doctor or a sleep professional to see whether their current sleeping style is optimal. Some good sleep hygiene practices that might help you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day include maintaining a dark, quiet sleeping space and engaging in regular exercise are all recommended for better sleep. So is avoiding meals high in sugar, fat, processed ingredients, or caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime. Having the right mattress is a game changer too! 

The key is to find the one cycle that makes you feel well-rested and suits your sleeping needs well!