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Polyphasic Sleep : Trendy or Terrific?

From drive-thru windows and online appointment makers to those mini credit cards you can pass over a sensor to pay things at the speed of light; People are always looking for ways to save time. However, no matter how many technical marvels we invent to maximize our time, there is one inevitable culprit that demands eight whole hours of our day. Every single day.

Sleep.
Most of us will spend a third of our lives asleep and we just accept it. Yet, what about the people who don’t want to?

Polyphasic sleep can be easily explained as taking multiple naps throughout a 24 hour period as opposed to the traditional method (monophasic) where a person remains in a constant restful state. Going back to our Latin roots; “Mono” means one and “poly” means more than one, so it’s quite easy to remember the difference.

help polyphasic sleep chartpoly-phasic help

Two charts showing the contrast between the two, the “Uberman” pie being an example of Polyphasic sleep. Mmm. Pie.

What would an average sleep schedule be like with Polyphasic?

With the growingly popular Uberman cycle of polyphasic sleep, they nap for about 20-30 minutes, six times a day. All told they get 2-3 hours of sleep every 24 hours and people have been known to keep a fairly normal schedule, despite having a mandatory snooze every four hours.

2-3 hours of sleep? How do they not turn into lunatics?”

REM is the most important phase of sleep, with it you experience dreams along with your brain cataloguing and filing your short term memories. With a “normal” or monophasic sleep pattern, you enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) after about an hour and a half of falling asleep. Polyphasic sleep systems are designed to enable you to enter REM almost instantly after you zonk out, which makes those nap times beneficial.

Why are you telling me this?

I normally don’t do well on little sleep, but I’m willing to give it a shot. Afterall, having an extra 30-40 hours of week may help me pick up another hobby that involves general nerdiness. This is a fairly common trend where many people have written about it so I hope that with their help I will be able to reach new tiers of knowledge, alertness and well-being.

Or, maybe not. 😛