Originally Posted by Ati
Aaww.. gee... as a new biphasic sleep experimenter, I'd like to see your posts !! But of course whatever you like.
I had figured that since biphasic sleep was so much more proven than polyphasic, that it wouldn't be necessary to post results on as regular a basis. However, if you think it would be helpful to you and others, then I certainly will--my reason for starting this thread was to provide good information for people interested in alternative sleep schedules. I probably won't need to write as much in each post, unless biphasic sleep is far more eventful than expected! But I'll provide as much useful information as I can.
I'll officially start my "reboot" tomorrow and log that here as well, I think (though I've already stopped the polyphasic naps and taking another nice long nap in addition to the morning one).
Originally Posted by Ati
I'm not altogether clearly seeing a consensus on whether more REM is good or not. They say long sleepers have more REM. They also say that morning and noon naps taken by nighttime sleepers have more REM (how much nighttime sleeping not stated), and nighttime sleepers have much less REM during afternoon or evening naps. They say dreaming occurs with NREM sleep and is typically more "lucid and purposeful" than dreaming with REM sleep which is "typically abstract and surreal"./ They say that REM occurs every 90 to 100 minutes with the first REM period shorter (<10 minutes) than later REM periods (15 to 40 minutes). They say most REM occurs in the last third of the night and most stage 4 deep sleep in the first third.
Since learning that dreaming can take place in any sleep stage, I've been wondering what the function of REM is. I looked on Wikipedia to see what the theories are. Here's the one that's most convincing to me (you can check out the other two here
According to a third theory, known as the Ontogenetic Hypothesis of REM sleep, this sleep phase (also known as Active Sleep in neonates) is particularly important to the developing brain, possibly because it provides the neural stimulation that newborns need to form mature neural connections and for proper nervous system development (Marks et al. 1995). Studies investigating the effects of Active Sleep deprivation have shown that deprivation early in life can result in behavioral problems, permanent sleep disruption, decreased brain mass (Mirmiran et al. 1983), and result in an abnormal amount of neuronal cell death (Morrissey, Duntley & Anch, 2004). REM sleep is necessary for proper central nervous system development (Marks et al. 1995). Further supporting this theory is the fact that the amount of REM sleep decreases with age, as well as the data from other species (see below). |
REM sleep occurs in all mammals and birds. It appears that the amount of REM sleep per night in a species is closely correlated with the developmental stage of newborns. The platypus for example, whose newborns are completely helpless and undeveloped, has 8 hours of REM sleep per night; in dolphins, whose newborns are almost completely functional at birth, almost no REM sleep exists.
If this theory is correct--and the evidence in the last couple sentences is very persuasive in my opinion--then this suggests that for grown adults, REM sleep is practically useless! It doesn't mean that polyphasic sleep is unworkable; as I've stated in an earlier post, polyphasic sleep actually ends up with the same ratio of NREM to REM as other types of sleep (contrary to the popular belief that well-adapted polyphasic sleep is primarily REM sleep). But it does mean that long mono- or biphasic sleepers are gleaning almost no benefit from their later sleep cycles!