Trick Your Body Into Needing Less Sleep

Most people go to sleep in a monophasic sleep cycle for six-to-eight hours each night. Polyphasic sleep cycles consist of sleeping several times in a 24-hour period that total between two-to-four hours. Some cycles are more challenging than others, but all of them will give you additional time once your body takes around a week to adjust.

Brain hack weblog High Existence reports that the shorter more frequent periods of sleep experienced with polyphasic cycles trick the body into entering Stage 5 REM sleep immediately instead of the 45-75 minutes it normally takes. This is why you can sleep less overall and function without problem.

There are many polyphasic sleep cycles; two of which are illustrated in the image above. The source link below goes into detail of four of them — out of the four I think the Everyman Cycle would be the easiest to adapt as you'd get a 3-hour nap at night and three 20-minute naps spaced throughout the day. That way I could go to bed with my wife and get up a few hours later to get some work done.

Have you ever tried polyphasic sleep? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Alternate Sleep Cycles: You Don't Really Need 6-8 Hours! [High Existence via Reddit]


    Interesting... I'm always one for having more hours in the day... but a little impracticable for people with regular 9-5 jobs.. Bit hard to disappear 2-3 times every day for a sleep in an office environment.

    @Tim, my thoughts exactly.

    My workplace adopts flexible hours so it may be possible to make this work for me, except I'll still need a place to sleep in the workplace! Sick bed maybe?

    I worked in a government call centre, a fella there used his lunch break to fall asleep on a couch in a little break area we had.
    He swore by it, a little 20-30min nap in the middle of the day.

    Agree with the above - our society doesn't match these sleep patterns so unless you work for yourself, at home, and have no family then polyphasic sleep isn't sociably viable. Note in the linked article that people who tried (and blogged) or invented the different types of phases all went back to monophasic because of family or work.

    I thought this fad died out a decade ago.

    Did anyone think of Kramer??

    Will try this. I'm at a point in my life where almost every hour in the day counts. I work 9-5 for someone else but from home so I can fit in the naps. But in a desperate attempt to escape the working for someone else I have a project I'm working on in my own time. I also have a wife to keep happy.

    So I'm going to try the Everyman cycle from today (just jumping right in) for the same reason David sited. I can go to sleep with my wife and get up a little later to do some work.

    We'll see how it goes...

    Being a student, for me polyphasic sleep was never an option - however I did try biphasic sleep for a while, which meant that I slept 6 or 7.5hrs a night. I'd have a 1.5hr nap right after school, and then a 4.5 or 6hr core sleep (depending on how tired I was). It did sorta work, however I would always feel really drowsy after that nap, and then I went away on holidays for two weeks and after I came back I never really picked it back up again...

    This was pretty much how I got my dissertation finished... Slept 6 hours in the 3 days leading up to the deadline... Then went to lectures after handing it in. Wasn't in great shape mind you

    I am pretty sceptical of this theory.

    I have played with similar methods throughout the years and usually end up feeling rubbish after a few days and give up on it.

    I tend to stick with about 6 hours a night and a nap straight after work for just over an hour - still don't feel awesome doing it but I manage to get by.

    Unfortunately, this would never work for me. I am unable to simply put my head down and sleep. I need a good 30-60 minutes, usually reading before I can drop off.

    How long have the Spanish had the midday siesta?

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