A good number of people sleep continuously for 8 hours only to woken up by an alarm. But that is not how everyone does it; some people sleep in two or more shifts. Even though, that may seem like the way to go in today’s fast-moving world; you need to think again, does it suit your lifestyle? It is essential to watch out for signs of fatigue and sleepiness just to know that segmented sleep is not for you.

What is segmented sleep?

Segmented sleep is a sleep pattern in which night sleep is divided into two separate blocks with a period of wakefulness in between. Segmented sleep may also be referred to as bimodal, diphasic or divided sleep.

  • Most individuals are monophasic sleepers by nature. Monophasic sleep involves only one segment of sleep.

Examples of segmented sleep

Siestas are a traditional way of describing bi-phasic sleep. Here are the common types of segmented sleep:

Short nap: This involves sleeping around 6 hours each night with a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day

Long nap: One sleeps for 5 hours each night with about 1-1.5 hours of napping during the daytime.

Effects of segmented sleep

Lack of enough continuous sleep may lead to the following:

1. Inability to concentrate

Lack of proper sleep may lead to misinterpretation of events. One may not be able to judge situations wisely before finally making a decision. Experts say that it is wrong to think you are doing fine on less sleep. `Most people having less sleep each night may tend to feel adapted to insomnia, but one thing they fail to know is that they are going downhill in terms of performance” says sleep expert Gehman.

2. Weight gain

Lack of sleep has been associated with hunger and increased in appetite. The hormone ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin signals satiety in the brain to suppress appetite. Lack of enough sleep time leads to decrease in leptin and increase in ghrelin thus promoting obesity and weight gain.

3. Skin aging

Most people may develop puffy eyes and sallow skin after few days of deprived sleep. Here is what happens; when you don’t get enough sleep the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. In excess amount, cortisol breaks collagen, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and glowing.

Lack of enough sleep also causes the skin to release less growth hormone that is responsible for increasing muscle mass and thickening of the skin. Growth hormone is released during sleep that is uninterrupted.


Most people report that segmented sleep works better for them. They provide an alternative to the regular monophasic sleep.

Research shows that monophasic sleep may not work for everyone as each individual is unique in their way. Even though, it is essential to weigh the health risks involved in segmented sleep and irregular sleeping patterns. Sleep is very important for one’s general being. It is therefore advisable to stick to 7-8 hours of continuous sleep in a day.