Behavioral Sleep Medicine Specialist Dr. Gregg Jacobs is an expert in naturally treating insomnia. (6)
He explains: “For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology.” (7)
With segmented sleep, a surge of prolactin occurs during the period of wakefulness.
“There is evidence that the prolactin hormone surge associated with regular and stable night sleep segmentation can lead to improved sleep architecture, increasing restorative SWS [slow-wave sleep] in the first sleep, and increasing REM [rapid eye movement] in the second sleep.” (8)
That’s not to say you should set your alarm clock for 2:00 a.m. The point for consideration is that if you normally go to sleep for two to four hours, wake up for a while, and then fall back to sleep there’s no cause for alarm. If you wake for the day feeling refreshed, it’s your body following a natural rhythm.
If not, go to bed an hour or two earlier and use the time of wakefulness between sleep in a productive, reflective, but not-too-active way that would prevent you from falling back to sleep. Listening to your body is crucial for getting enough sleep that’s appropriate for you.
For more information on segmented sleep, check out the video below and the Polyphasic Society’s site here.
Readjusting Your Sleep
If segmented sleep is leaving you feeling drained and tired, here’s how to reset your sleeping pattern for good.