4

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Bimodal/Segmented Sleep?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 2:17 AM

I think it's been years since I slept all the way through the night. Always waking once a night for an hour or so and getting very frustrated. I didn't even know there was a name for it until I came across some article describing bimodal sleep.

First question is do you think there's validity to bimodal/segmented sleeping?

Second is, for those who experience this, what do you do for those 1 or 2 hours? In the past I always got extremely frustrated and turned the TV/computer on after 30 min or so, and now realize this isn't a smart thing to do, but lying there is just very boring for me.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 28, 2012
at 02:45 PM

It *is* glorious--I can't imagine how other folks do the 8-5 thang. Years ago, I had the 7-4 shift in a software company & it just about killed me getting up at 4:30 am to get on the 5:30 am bus.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 28, 2012
at 05:35 AM

sounds glorious. I love not waking to an alarm.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 28, 2012
at 04:38 AM

When I go to bed early I do tend to wake up for a while around 1 am. If I try to continue writing the story of my last dream I quickly fall asleep again. If I'm not aware of a "dream script" I turn on my Kindle with a very small light and play a word game (Thread.) I get sleepy within 10 minutes and don't wake until morning.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 02:36 AM

At last someone says something sensible about this Neolithic nonsense. I'm disappointed how fast this spread and how many just hopped on board without thinking.

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6 Answers

1
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on February 28, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I think this is a very normal pattern. If you are lucky enough to sleep with someone, it's a great time to talk or do other bedroom activities. If you're alone, I'd try to do things that don't require a TV or computer (the blue light will signal you that it's morning) -- read, write, clean your house. . .

I know a lot of folks in Africa that take work home with them and do it during this period. They all think this is perfectly normal because it is how everyone sleeps except young people in cities who party all night .

1
B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on February 28, 2012
at 04:41 AM

I get to bed early and often wake for a spell in the middle of the night.

I don't want to get up then --I want to stay in the dark and get back to sleep! What works best for me is to invent things in my head. I have a bunch of complicated imaginary things to work on. That's fun for me, and keeps me from getting onto topics that I might worry about.

Try coming up with a plot for a novel and see how that works for you! Or how about doing a full set of stretches?

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 28, 2012
at 03:01 AM

Works for us. Won't work for everyone, I'm sure!

My husband and I drifted into segmented sleep naturally.

We work for ourselves, on our own schedules, so we wake without alarm clocks and often go to bed around 9 pm to read, going to sleep around 10 pm.

We don't own a TV, and both have F.lux on our computers

We often wake together around 2-3 am and talk/snuggle or read a book for an hour, then go back to sleep.

If we wake separately, the first one up goes into our guest room or living room to read and have their second sleep.

We get up in the morning between 6:30-8 am, sometimes together, often at different times.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 28, 2012
at 02:45 PM

It *is* glorious--I can't imagine how other folks do the 8-5 thang. Years ago, I had the 7-4 shift in a software company & it just about killed me getting up at 4:30 am to get on the 5:30 am bus.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 28, 2012
at 05:35 AM

sounds glorious. I love not waking to an alarm.

0
920136e4a82348ca7e63bbb081569980

on October 04, 2012
at 02:44 AM

I naturally go to bed at 10 p.m., wake up at 4 a.m. and then go back to sleep at 6 (or at dawn). Then, I get up at 8 or even 9 a.m. (although a kid makes 9 a.m. impossible most days). I get up and just read or go for a walk. There's nothing I can do about the fact that my body does this. It isn't like I don't allow for 8 hours of sleep or that my room isn't dark - it is COMPLETELY blacked out. If this feels natural for your body and if you don't stress about it, you find that you are rested, then there is nothing wrong with that. The goal with sleep is to be rested. Get that goal using the least stressful route. If I were to fight my body wanting to wake for 2 hours every night (which I did for years before I just gave up and embraced it), then I would still be exhausted most days and depressed.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 01, 2012
at 09:07 PM

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 28, 2012
at 02:32 AM

You may want to take a look at Robb Wolf's recent take on this article. A highlight:

The BBC piece is a bit disturbing in that they essentially make the point that if you wake during the night it’s “nothing” to worry about because that’s a normal aspect of normal sleep. Do you see where this is flawed? We don’t GET normal sleep, so we need to do the best we can to get the sleep we need under the parameters of our lives. The researchers and journalists should be educating people to get more sleep, more dark time.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on February 28, 2012
at 02:36 AM

At last someone says something sensible about this Neolithic nonsense. I'm disappointed how fast this spread and how many just hopped on board without thinking.

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