Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once?

A shocker for most, a study suggested that what may suit our bodies better than sleeping once a day is sleeping twice a day. Two shorter slumbers may suit our body clocks better than one long eight-hour sleep. Many doctors and sleepresearchers are suggesting that sleeping twice a day could only be a modern concept, which came along the advent of electricity.
Should you be sleeping twice a day instead of once? (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

Are we sleeping the wrong way?

There are many countries and cultures that follow the concept of biphasic sleep, that is, sleeping in two slots during a day. Some follow sleeping six hours at night and 120 minutes during the day; some ancient civilizations have been known to split their sleep in two slots of four hours each. Studies now are suggesting that sleeping in two segments can increase one’s alertness, can better his time management and provide him with greater flexibility to carry out his work.

Today, it is reported that about a third of the world’s population has trouble falling or staying asleep. Waking up in the middle of the sleep could signify what used to be followed by our ancestors. For them, it could be the norm to wake up at that time and have a segmented sleep. In fact, there have been mentions of ‘first’ and ‘second’ sleep in African and American tribes and in many texts of medieval literature.

Is it why we feel the post-lunch dip in energy?

Meanwhile, many sleep scientists are also saying that the monophasic way of sleep that we follow is simply a result of the advent of electricity. Our ancestors, without an artificial source of light, had to depend on sun to light their homes. They are known to go to bed at 8:30 pm and woke up at 2:30 am to read or pray. Segmented sleep was only ubiquitously followed.

Now, that we have routines that require us to work 8 to 12 hours a day and commute for the same, we have all the resources that do not handicap us to natural light for our day to day activity.

Should we sleep twice a day?

Though studies are claiming that biphasic sleep may be better for our body clocks and give us certain advantages, can we really adopt to it in a modern set-up? What will happen if we do? As doctors advise an ‘uninterrupted’ 8-hour sleep, how does the biphasic sleep bode with that?

Changing your sleep pattern can negatively affect your body and can keep your energy drained out throughout the day. If one tries to push a certain sleep cycle on his body, it may even destroy his circadian rhythm and biological clock. In fact, one of the prominent causes of postpartum depression in women is known to be irregular sleep routine that they get after the delivery of a child. So, one can only wonder if the biphasic sleep model would really be something worth the energy and time of research being put into it.

Top cop Jatin Narwal is the custodian of law and order of Delhi University he once topped

Delhi University (DU) boasts a number of Bollywood celebs, such as actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, as its alumni. However, the list of notable alumni of DU is not restricted to actors only, it also includes top cops. Jatin Narwal, IPS officer and DCP (North), who is often referred to as modest, humble and approachable by his subordinates and public alike, is one such IPS officer who is doing his university proud.

Jatin Narwal

As DCP (North), the Delhi Police top cop also takes care of the law and order of the North Campus of the University of Delhi, which falls in his administrative area. He shares some of his college memories with us. Excerpts:

FACT FILE
  • College: Hans Raj
  • Course: BA, History Honours
  • Year of enrolment: 2001

“Those were the days… I am from Haryana and getting into DU was itself an achievement for me. I remember the day I got admission in Hans Raj College, my mother stopped the car near Bahadurgarh border and bought sweets. Ladke ka DU mein admission ho gya tha, mithai toh banti thi (This boy got through DU, the occasion demanded sweets),” says the fit cop.

The hype and craze of Delhi University was much more during his college days, he says. “That time, neither the culture of going abroad was popular nor were there any private universities worth vying for. So, DU used to be the ‘it’ dream,” says Narwal.

And it was here that this Hans Raj College graduate nurtured a dream to excel at the prestigious administrative services. “The day I entered DU, I decided to go for USPC. When other students would hang out, I preferred to sit in the library and study,” says Narwal, who not only topped the college but was also among the University toppers.

However, he wasn’t the no-fun-only-books guy; he was up-to-date with the latest flicks, too. “Amba and Liberty theatres were my go-to places. I used to watch films on weekends with my friends, aur third year main Satyam khul gaya tha, to bas bike pe vahan chale jaatey the (and by the time I was in third year, we had Satyam. We would pick up our bikes and vroom there),” he says.

He is now married to Anamika, a civil servant posted as Divisional Forest Officer. And the two have recently become parents to an adorable daughter. “It is a great feeling and responsibility to safeguard your city. And I must say that my wife has been a great support… it’s not easy to be a cop’s wife,” he smiles.