Sleep is an essential part of our health, and the amount of sleep time we need can vary from person to person. Similar to other bodily functions, our sleep has their own cycles too. While a typical sleep cycle is required daily, there are others where people sleep at intervals. That being said, the pattern that is most common among people may or may not be the best option for a person’s health. Here is a look at the 5 types of sleep cycles that you should know and how they can affect an individual’s health and lifestyle.
Standard Sleep Cycle
The most common sleep cycle that everyone is familiar with, it consists of one sleep at night of between 7-9 hours. This cycle is best suited for individuals who work on the regular 9-5, or work schedules that do not allow short naps during the middle of the day. It’s also the most convenient because it’s just one long stretch of sleep at night. This provides great flexibility in sleeping and waking hours. Moreover, there is also a minor risk of sleep deprivation if you put aside a good amount of sleep daily.
That being said, is it considered the most efficient of sleep cycles? Some of the disadvantages of sleep patterns include inconvenience for those working on late shifts. The sleep cycle requires a large amount of total sleep time, which can be inconvenient for individuals that lead a particularly busy life.
Biphasic Sleep Cycle
Also known as segmented, bimodal, biphasic or divided sleep. The Biphasic sleep cycle refers to sleep habits of an individual sleeping for two segments daily. Sleeping during nighttime hours and taking a short nap during the middle of the day. The advantages of adopting a Biphasic sleep includes energy gain on days where you are particularly exhausted. Napping can improve memory and cognitive functions as well as improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress.
Individuals struggling with insomnia, napping perpetuates bad habits and can negatively affect sleep patterns caused by jet lag, illness and stress. Generally, Biphasic sleep is best suited for individuals with healthy sleep habits.
Polyphasic Sleep Cycle
Refers to sleeping multiple times which comprise of 6 to 8 naps throughout the day, each could last 20 minutes. Typically the naptime starts from 9 am till 9 pm as an adjunct to the normal sleep period. These sleep patterns consist of 3 different categories:
Everyman: A long sleep time of around 3 hours with approximately 20-minutes naps throughout the day. The advantage of this sleep cycle includes that it has longer waking hours compared to the others. This sleep cycle also provides more flexibility but it could potentially lead to sleep deprivation due to short sleep time.
Uberman: Minimum 3 hours of sleep daily in the form of six 30 minute naps throughout the day. This sleep cycle is best suited for any individuals that do not require to work longer than 3.5 hours.
Dymaxion: Minimum 2 hours of sleep daily, in the form of 30-minute naps every 6 hours. This sleep cycle is best suited for individuals that only require a short sleep time or individuals who are known to be short sleepers. It can also be advantageous to those who can fall asleep quickly once they get to the bed and allows 6 hour waking periods for a person to get things done. Compared to other sleep cycles, Dymaxion cycle is the hardest to adapt as you will feel exhausted throughout the day.
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