There are alternative sleep patterns we can use, but keep in mind it takes time to adjust to these new patterns. In a nut shell, it takes between 90 and 110 minutes to completely cycle through sleep. From Stage 1 through REM sleep. So it is conceivable to break the daily sleep required into 5 or 6 parts. Each of these parts can be spread across the day, allowing the practitioner to sleep only 90 minutes at night. But this also means naps need to be scheduled through out the day.
As an example, one could schedule a prime sleep time of 2 hours at night. Following this that person would then be awake and alert for just under 5 hours. Then a 90 minute nap, followed by just under 5 hours of wake time. This would continue for the entire day, or about 5 repetitions. If that schedule were followed, there would be the correct amount of sleep. Other scholars have proposed other systems, the key to all of them is that we sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
So why do most of us do all our daily sleep at night? We believe it is because, with the exception of the 20th and 21st century, lighting was poor or non existent at night. Unlike nocturnal animals, we do not see as well at night as we do during the day. From that stand point it makes sense to sleep when it is difficult to do anything else.
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With the advent of artificial lighting, things have changed. If you are in a room with bright light, and it's mid night, do you realize it's dark? Because of artificial lighting, we could adjust our sleep habits. But keep in mind, there is energy savings to follow a more traditional pattern. Some times you just can't find a better way... Electricity to power the artificial light, and environmental adjustments, like A/C in the afternoon to simulate night. You would also have to invest in room darkening shades to accomplish good sleep during the day.
All of our research tends to point out that as long as you get the gross amount of sleep required to be healthy, it really doesn't matter when you get it. So be yourself!