The Cut: There can be many, and multiple, reasons for insomnia, but worrying about sleeping, or more accurately, about not sleeping, is nearly always a confounding factor.

Embracing that time, and planning for it, is one way to remove the anxiety from the equation and reframe your relationship to sleep.

Whether it’s chronic COVID stress, seasonal agita about the holidays, or just the company I keep, it feels like everyone I know is complaining about the agony of wanting to sleep, yet finding it impossible to do so in the wee hours. If any of that sounds familiar, behold: segmented sleep.

Segmented, or polyphasic, sleep had a moment a few years ago, first as an item of historical interest and then as a lifehack to sleep less and do more. This is not a guide for how to do that. (Because who wants to do that? Sleep is the best.) This is a guide for those of us for whom 3 a.m. has become an hour we already dread, not sleep through. Consider segmented sleep a tool for reframing our not-enough-sleep panic, to take some of the anxiety out of the equation and find a semi-workable schedule that doesn’t leave us exhausted and enraged.

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