T Nation

Split Up Sleep

Ive read a lot about the importance of sleep, and looked at a few articles pounding that in. I was wondering if it is detrimental to have a 2 hour nap after working out (7:30-9:30pm) , then 7 hours of sleep later that night (5am-12pm).

It was a bizarre night with a lot of work I had to take care of, or i would have tried to sleep earlier. My question is: Is it bad to split up your sleep like that? What if it was something like 2 hours in the evening then only 5 or 6 hours at night? Thanks.

[quote]JJ! wrote:
Ive read a lot about the importance of sleep, and looked at a few articles pounding that in. I was wondering if it is detrimental to have a 2 hour nap after working out (7:30-9:30pm) , then 7 hours of sleep later that night (5am-12pm).

It was a bizarre night with a lot of work I had to take care of, or i would have tried to sleep earlier. My question is: Is it bad to split up your sleep like that? What if it was something like 2 hours in the evening then only 5 or 6 hours at night? Thanks.[/quote]

why would sleep be detrimental. You want to sleep to help recovery. I don’t really see how you can think more sleep is worse. so don’t worry about trying to go 2 hour nap then making yourself wake up early, your body is taking as long as it needs/as much sleep as it wants. A lot of people like naps after workouts( you are getting in your PWO nutrition though right?)

[quote]JJ! wrote:
Ive read a lot about the importance of sleep, and looked at a few articles pounding that in. I was wondering if it is detrimental to have a 2 hour nap after working out (7:30-9:30pm) , then 7 hours of sleep later that night (5am-12pm).

It was a bizarre night with a lot of work I had to take care of, or i would have tried to sleep earlier. My question is: Is it bad to split up your sleep like that? What if it was something like 2 hours in the evening then only 5 or 6 hours at night? Thanks.[/quote]

First, not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep. You might function perfectly well on 6 hours, or you might need 10 hours, everyone is different, so don’t rely on the industry standard.

Second, if you really do need 8 hours of sleep, then getting 6 at night and a 2 hour nap is better than just getting the 6 at night with no nap.

Obviously it would be more beneficial to get 8 hours straight rather than two 4 hour sessions, since you could be in REM for longer, but you have to realize that it’s not a perfect world, and when things don’t go as planned, you just do the best you can.

If that means taking a nap to offset lack of sleep, or eating a less than ideal food as opposed to missing a meal, or only getting in a 30 minute workout instead of the usual hour, so be it.

[quote]JJ! wrote:
Ive read a lot about the importance of sleep, and looked at a few articles pounding that in. I was wondering if it is detrimental to have a 2 hour nap after working out (7:30-9:30pm) , then 7 hours of sleep later that night (5am-12pm).

It was a bizarre night with a lot of work I had to take care of, or i would have tried to sleep earlier. My question is: Is it bad to split up your sleep like that? What if it was something like 2 hours in the evening then only 5 or 6 hours at night? Thanks.[/quote]

Doing that on an infrequent basis probably won’t have any effect. Bit in the long term you don’t want to break up sleep. Yes, you will survive, but you won’t be at your peak. Sleep should be continuous. 7-8 hours is optimum. Start getting 5-6 and you will feel it. Some people do fine with less, but they are unusual. Interestingly, people who work night crew and sleep during the day have a life expectancy about 5 years less than people who sleep at night. Circadian rhythms. Ever work a night crew? You just feel weird. If you HAVE to do your sleep cycle like you describe above, you will suvive just fine, but it’s not optimum.

Anyone remember an article not too long ago (Atomic Dog I think) that read about how getting eight hours of sleep straight is newer to the industrialized world?

Apparently people used to sleep about four hours, wake up and spend a couple of hours doing middle of the night chores and visiting, and then sleep for another four hours.

So breaking up your sleep may be a good option if it works for you.