Stay Functional on Two Hours of Sleep a Night


The latest issue of Wired magazine describes how people with round-the-clock gigs (like astronauts and sailors) manage to get by on two hours of sleep total per day. Studies by the Chronobiology Research Institute recommend getting your Z’s in short bursts:

The most time-efficient strategy, dubbed the ├╝berman (what else?), calls for a 20-minute nap every four hours… The first seven days of deprivation will be sheer misery, but stay on track. Once you start dreaming during naps — a sign you’ve hit REM — you’ll begin to feel better.

Yikes! A hardier blogger who didn’t love to sleep as much as I do might actually try this out. I love you people, but seven days of misery is too much. (Wired warns that this isn’t intended to be a permanent lifestyle change, and long-term effects of this schedule are unknown.) See also our top 10 ways to sleep smarter and better.


  • Personally I find i’ve got different amounts of sleep which are more or less useful to me.

    If I stay awake for 36 hours + sometimes i’m tempted to sleep for more than 10 hours. I know this to be a very bad idea – as I feel just as awake if i have 8-10 as if I get even like 13.

    If I am engaging in a regular cycle of activity, I know I can wake up feeling completely alert after 2, 5, or 7-8 hours… If I wake up between 3-4 hours of sleep though I feel really angry for the rest of the day.

    I thought about polyphasic sleep but really don’t have a reason to go less than even the 7 or 8 per night. I just start using wakeful time unproductively.

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