3 Reasons to Sleep Twice or Take a Nap

By Chad Taylor on June 23, 2016

Australian researchers are trying to change the game. They’re saying that sleeping in two blocks of time might be better than that 8-hours of shuteye that is often thought of as the Holy Grail. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. Better For Your Body Clock. You’ve probably experienced it – that letdown in the early afternoon. You don’t feel as alert; you may actually feel sleepy or tired. Your work rate falls off and you may find it harder to concentrate. A nap may work. Additionally, establishing 2 blocks of sleep also can accommodate shift work and give a person more flexible time to spend with their family.

2. Be More Alert And More Creative. Melinda Jackson, a researcher at Australia’s RMIT University, and Siobhan Banks, a researcher at the Centre of Sleep Research at the University, think that the Spanish siesta has it right. When your body is slowing down, take a nap and wake up to another period of increased alertness and creativity. A German study asked people to remember specific words and pairs. Then, half the group took an hour nap while the other half were entertained with a DVD. The nap group? They performed five – that’s five! – times better than those who watched the DVD. Even more, a study at the University of California, San Diego, found that people who entered REM sleep (the sleep where you dream) were more creative problem solvers. Even NASA joined in saing that pilots who napped for 40 minutes were more alert. So, nap – and nap deeply!?

3. Fight Insomnia. Insomnia keeps 1 in 3 people awake according to the Sleep Health Foundation. In some cases, it’s a mild form of insomnia; in other, it’s a night of watching the minutes – then hours – tick off on the clock. For some, trying to reach that magic 8 hours a night seems out-of-reach, but what if they were able to follow their natural body rhythm? In the pre-industrial era, there was thought to be a “first sleep” and a “second sleep” – two blocks of sleep. In a 1990 study, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr said that “bi-phasic sleep” (sleeping in two four-hour blocks) is a “natural process with a biological basis”. Maybe he – and all those Spaniards taking a lunch and siesta (nap) break have it right. If you weren’t worried about how to sleep and how long you needed to sleep, would you sleep better?

Coffee or no coffee? Dim lighting or watching TV in bed? Getting out of bed, but doing nothing or following in the steps of our pre-industrial ancestors and thinking you could accomplish when you wake up halfway through the night. You can find experts on either side of all the equations about how to get a good night’s sleep, but one thing everyone agrees on – a worn-out, uncomfortable bed is going to contribute to keeping you from that restful night’s sleep. If you think you need a new bed – or if you know it – take a look at the newest way to buy a bed, on the Internet. You’re going to find amazing Latex mattresses and you’re going to find prices you can afford. Look into it and sleep well!