Dr. Walker on Biphasic Sleep: The First & Second Sleep Debate

The best H2 title for this transcript section is: The Debate Over First and Second Sleep

Walker explains that there are different types of sleep patterns, including monophasic, biphasic, and polyphasic sleep. Biphasic sleep involves one long bout of sleep at night and a short bout during the day, usually coinciding with the natural drop in alertness that occurs between 1 and 4 pm.

Historically, some cultures practiced a different version of biphasic sleep called “first sleep, second sleep,” where individuals would sleep for about 4 hours, wake up for several hours to engage in various activities, and then return to sleep for another 3-4 hours. However, Walker argues that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that this is a biologically natural sleep pattern for humans.

He cites a study that is often used to justify the concept of “first sleep, second sleep,” but he points out several issues with using this study as evidence. These issues include the artificial nature of the study, the lack of a clear separation between the two sleep periods, and the small sample size of only seven healthy males.

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