biphasic sleep

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Definition - What does biphasic sleep mean?

Biphasic sleep is a sleeping pattern in which an individual has two distinct periods of sleep separated by a period of wakefulness. Researchers believe that biphasic sleep was common during earlier periods in history, particularly prior to the widespread use of artificial light. Biphasic sleep is also called bimodal sleep, segmented sleep, or bifurcated sleep.

SureHire explains biphasic sleep

Biphasic sleep should not be confused with shortened sleep. For optimum health, the combination of the first and second sleep of a biphasic sleep cycle should be equal to that normally achieved in one longer sleep cycle. Biphasic sleep patterns become problematic for an individual when his or her sleep cycle interferes with daily activities or deprives the individual of adequate rest. Disrupted sleep patterns may also be a symptom of or trigger other physical and mental health conditions. Unusual sleep patterns such as biphasic sleep may be caused by environmental factors such as external stimuli, work schedules, or a medical condition. If an individual's sleep pattern has a negative impact on his or her health or ability to function, then a medical evaluation may be necessary to identify the cause.

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