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Tag: Polyphasic Sleep

iPhone makes life easier for polyphasic sleepers

Last week I was experimenting with Polyphasic Sleep, and specifically the Uberman sleep pattern (read more on Polyphasic Sleep in my other post here) which consists of a 20 minute nap every four hours. One thing I noted during my trial is how my iPhone made this experiment easy for me.

For the Uberman sleep, you need six reminders for each nap during a day, along with six timer alarms to make you wake up from the naps. Setting up those reminders/timer alarms would be so annoying if your alarm only handles one setup a time. Luckily my iPhone made it very simple for me. I could setup in parallel six timer alarms which were always on, and post six reminders for my naps repeated every day, with two alerts five and 15 minutes before each nap.

I absolutely didn’t need to get worried about my naps neither about waking up from them. Though you might hate the iPhone, it will be your best friend if you get to be a polyphasic sleeper, unless you need an ear-popping alarm to make you wake up from those comatose naps!

iPhone alarm

iPhone alarm

Polyphasic Sleep: more free time with less sleep

We are all aware that we spend a third of our life sleeping, which is the average of eight hours of sleep per day. But what if we can decrease the number of sleeping hours and thus increase the waking hours, and still operate with the same and even more mental alertness and energy level. We can then use the extra time to study, finish our work, learn a new musical instrument, and accomplish endless opportunities that we used to dream of doing only if we had more time. Is is possible to do that?

The answer is yes. It’s called Polyphasic Sleep. I thought of introducing this concept since not too many people have heard of it. The term was first introduced in the early 20th century by the psychologist J.S. Szymanski. It refers to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period totaling an average of 3 hours of sleep per day. Most people are monophasic (having one block of sleep), while a big - yet decreasing - number of people are biphasic (having one block of sleep with an added nap). Hence, polyphasic sleeping occurs when people use multiple (more than two) ultra-short naps during the day. Polyphasic sleepers gain the most of their sleep time, while coming out from their naps in a highly alert state.

There are many patterns of polyphasic sleep such as Everyman, Uberman, and Dymaxion. They basically differ in the amount and duration of the naps. Everyman consists of a core nap of no more than 3 hours, with three short naps of 20 minutes. Uberman sleep consists of 20 minute naps every four hours, round the clock. Dymaxion pattern, which was advocated by the famous architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller in the 1940s, consists of 30 minute naps every six hours, round the clock.

There are claims that Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and many others used to be polyphasic sleepers, but they lack documentation. With the recent introduction of Blogs into the internet, many people have started to log their experiments with polyphasic sleep. From those logs, a lot of people quit the first couple of days because they found it hard to adapt. But those who bypassed the adaptation period, which is usually from a week to a month, said that they became highly energetic and alert, and enjoyed it to the extent that they did’t want to go back to monophasic sleep. The only reason that made most of them quit was because the world uses the monophasic pattern, and it was hard for them to cooperate and work with other people.

More information about this topic can be found on Wikipedia.
An extensive log of a polyphasic sleeper can be found on Steve Pavlina’s blog.
The archive article about Fuller’s Dymaxion Sleep, dating back from October 11th 1943, can be found on the Time Magazine website.
An up-to-date list of current polyphasic sleepers can be found on Jorel’s blog.

Comparison of sleep patterns - Jorel on Wikipedia

Comparison of sleep patterns - Jorel on Wikipedia