The question is: Should we be sleeping TWICE a day?. This, however, I found quite interesting being now trapped awake most of the night:
Around a third of the population have trouble sleeping, including difficulties maintaining sleep throughout the night.
So there may be an answer in going back to our primaeval past. This is how it concludes:
A number of recent studies have found split sleep provides comparable benefits for performance to one big sleep, if the total sleep time per 24 hours was maintained (at around seven to eight hours total sleep time per 24 hours).
However, as might be expected, performance and safety can still be impaired if wake up and start work times are in the early hours of the morning.
And we don’t know if these schedules afford any benefits for health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
While the challenges of night shift work cannot be eliminated, the advantage of some split shift schedules is that all workers get at least some opportunity to sleep at night and do not have to sustain alertness for longer than six to eight hours.
Although we aspire to have consolidated sleep, this may not suit everyone’s body clock or work schedule.
It might in fact be a throwback to a bi-model sleep pattern from our pre-industrial ancestors and perhaps work well in a modern industrial setting.