Sleep Information from Wikipedia

Excerpts from the Wikipedia pages on sleep. Most interesting I find the information on the human biological clock, and the hormonal and bodily effects it has. Habit and behaviour are but a small part in this.


Sleep is often thought to help conserve energy,[3][4] but decreases metabolism only about 5–10%.[3][4]

Sleep timing is controlled by the circadian clock, sleep-wake homeostasis, and in humans, within certain bounds, willed behavior.


Some of the many proposed functions of sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Ontogenesis
  • Memory processing
  • Preservation
  • Dreaming

Sleep Needs for different age groups:

  • Newborns (0–2 months) 12 to 18 hours[36]
  • Infants (3–11 months) 14 to 15 hours[36]
  • Toddlers (1–3 years) 12 to 14 hours[36]
  • Preschoolers (3–5 years) 11 to 13 hours[36]
  • School-age children (5–10 years) 10 to 11 hours[36]
  • Adolescents (10–17 years) 8.5 to 9.25 hours[36][37]
  • Adults, including elderly 7 to 9 hours[36]
  • Pregnant women 8(+) hours

Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleep pattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by a period of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it has been argued that this is the natural pattern of human sleep.[1][2] A case has been made that maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.[3]

Polyphasic sleep, a term coined by early 20th-century psychologist J.S. Szymanski,[1] refers to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period—usually more than two, in contrast to biphasic sleep (twice per day) or monophasic sleep (once per day).

For more literature on sleep, see this post.

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