I've crossed the Atlantic and Pacific 95% solamente in a small boat. According to where I became cruising, would determine my night watches. I'd sail nonstop, with a wind-powered autopilot (windvane) to steer. I hardly ever, if hand-steered the boat while on sea passages.
When sailing alone for these types of long periods (my longest had been one month), I would be very attuned into the ship. Any improvement in activity, or noise would wake myself up. Generally speaking mid-passage i'd sleep no more than 2 hours at a time without waking up. Getting up would be simply getting out of bed, poking my set off the companionway, and doing an instant search for weather, heading, other boats and a brief look at the sail trim. I would after that go back to sleep instantly - this method would just take no more than 30 seconds.
In busier places, i might keep a vigilant watch. The longest I have been awake while sailing had been only over 37 hours without sleep, considering heavy shipping, along with other factors i will not enter here.
In hefty weather if I required sleep additionally the ship had been sailing dangerously, I would heave the vessel to (the watercraft would set hove-to). This might be a 'stalling' strategy, additionally the watercraft pretty much stops sailing utilizing the sails up. I would personally after that fall asleep making no over night development.
For non-solo vessels, watches are set-up. I sailed from Palau to Darwin with two crew and myself. We took two-hour watches each throughout the night, and constantly had some body up top during hours of sunlight to steadfastly keep up watch.