I believe that our primal ancestors slept many times during the day. The concept of a solid 8 hours was not really possible probably. They slept until they woke, then got up and did something. Going to bed at dark and getting up with the sun is a popular myth, but I do not think many animals, predators anyway, do this. Hunting is better at night. And since the tigers are hunting at night, humans had better be on guard too. Watch your dogs and cats. They are up and down all day and all night.
If you have a 9 to 5 job, napping might be difficult. But I always find plenty of opportunity to nap. I sleep until I wake up, then do something, day or night. I live in Thailand and this is normal here. Have to wait for an hour? Sleep. Waiting in the doctors office? Sleep. You see people sleeping on the side of the road here!!! Tired of walking? Sleep! lol
So I have started this pattern too. I sleep if I am sleepy, day or night. I NEVER lay in bed and toss and turn. I get up and do something. Then sleep another time. I notice that on a primal diet and lifestyle, my metabolism is much higher and I don't have the deep long sleeps that I used to have. A couple of hours of good sleep and I am ready to go!
Anyway, curious about other thoughts...
Since I was a teenager, I've found it pretty difficult to get 7+ hours all in one stretch. Add six years of college where I really had to learn to sleep when I could because I often worked full time while carrying a full or close to full load of classes. Add to that my first job after graduation was in a profession that is lucky if it sleeps at all between January and April. Well you get the picture.
I love naps. I have a sleep mask to keep light out during the day. I also very much like the quiet of 2-5am. Primal hasn't made that much difference that I notice in this area. So, for me, I sleep as much as I can at night, then try to take a compensatory nap when I want or need one. It's working now, but if I ever have to work 9-5 again, I could be screwed for the first month or so. :)
Thanks to the what they call a more "civilized" society in the US(and most Westernized countries), telling someone you don't sleep at night gives you weird stares. I do think our ancestors were predators, so surely they did sleep at throughout the day. But the near infinite ability of humans to adapt has made it possible to live a good life where you sleep all at once.
But the polyphasic sleeping was mostly seen in human babies, not influenced by society norms but by their own genes, they sleep polyphasically as well. Maybe we would be much happier and healthier overall if we listen to our genes and not everybody else.
[url=http://www.marksdailyapple.com/biphasic-sleep/#axzz2AJV3RUag]What is Biphasic Sleep? | Mark's Daily Apple[/url]
mark posted this a while back, and it really rang true for me. i don't notice myself waking in the middle of the night during the week, but i think that has something to do fitting into the work schedule. but, i naturally switch to a more polyphasic sleep (non)schedule on the weekends and vacations, and went through most of college the same way. i really prefer that more natural way of sleeping, and would love to have a month or two to really explore it's effects on me. that may be a fun summer experiment when things at my job slow way down.
After reading Dustin Curtis' website, I got really excited about polyphasic sleep. I wasn't able to successfully implement it, mainly because no matter how tired i am, I am unable to nap during the day. But I think it's a cool idea.
[url=http://www.dustincurtis.com/sleep.html]Sleep (or how to hack your brain) + Dustin Curtis[/url]
This was the MDA post on the topic : [url=http://www.marksdailyapple.com/biphasic-sleep/#axzz2AJV3RUag]What is Biphasic Sleep? | Mark's Daily Apple[/url]
When I backpacked the Pacific Crest Trail I lived on the trail for 2 3-month time periods. I slept from dusk to dawn. I slept on a little foam on the ground so we're not talking comfort here. I slept really well, unless there was a moon out or I had a little insomnia or it was too cold for my gear. It taught me a lot. I learned that it is normal and healthy to sleep from dusk to dawn, that insomnia just happens sometimes and it's no need for concern, that birds will be fooled by the moon into thinking it is daytime and they will sing sometimes at night. I also learned it is very hard to take a nap in the woods. It's hard to sleep with ants crawling up your pants and you can forget napping when there are mosquitoes. Other napping challenges included extreme heat, desert bugs I mistook for rattlesnakes going off all around me, swarms of bees interrupting my attempts at napping. I'm just not so sure that in all parts of the world polyphasic sleep actually works.