Benefits of A Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

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Polyphasic Sleep

Sleep is essential and non-negotiable. It is considered that sleep is necessary for getting more energy and better cognitive functioning during waking hours. How much do we sleep? It’s been said that people sleep 33 percent of the time during their lifetime, and that translates to 26 years. If you live up to 78 years, you would have spent only 52 years awake.

Many people will find that they cannot fit everything they have to do in one lifetime. You have to balance work, self-care, and family. Not many people will have time for hobbies and passion projects. However, many people argue that polyphasic sleep may just be the key to doing it all. But what exactly is polyphasic sleep?

Polyphasic sleep is different from monophasic sleep and even biphasic sleep. Monophasic sleep is how most people sleep, which involves one long, restful sleep stretching from 8 to 9 hours. Biphasic sleep involves a 7-hour sleep during the night and then a 20-minute break during the afternoon.

Many Latin American countries adapt a biphasic sleep pattern, and they have a term for their afternoon break called siesta. Polyphasic is entirely different and involves taking multiple naps. One type of polyphasic sleep, the Uberman sleep, requires a series of 20-minute naps throughout the day for six times. The Everyman schedule, on the other hand, starts with a three-hour sleep followed by 20-minute nap breaks throughout the day.

Is polyphasic sleep beneficial? It’s been said that polyphasic sleep is the secret of accomplished people like Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla.

The following are just some of the benefits of a polyphasic sleep schedule:

1. Polyphasic Sleep Helps You Maximize Your Day


Are you the type of person with tons of activities to do? Do you look forward to every waking hour and have everything already planned out? A polyphasic schedule helps you maximize your day so you will be doing more with your waking hours. Because you will be up and awake, you will be accomplishing more things. You will be able to fit at least several activities first thing in the morning, such as having phone conversations, having a coffee, walking your dog, and having a shower.

2. You Can Dive Right In The REM Sleep


REM or Rapid Eye Movement is crucial to brain activity. It is the restorative part of sleep that heals the brain and regenerates brain cells. It is the reason you wake up fresh and alert each morning. REM is also the part where dreaming occurs. Most monophasic sleepers only spend 20% of their time in REM sleep and 65% in non-REM sleep.

Non- REM sleep or light sleep is considered not beneficial at all since only REM matters. Polyphasic sleepers get right into the deep REM cycle immediately and lessen their NREM. People who have trained their bodies into polyphasic sleep enter the REM state almost immediately even if they are just napping, which is referred to as “repartitioning”. If the body becomes sleep-deprived enough, it adapts to achieve the necessary amount of rest.

Polyphasic sleep gives you more intense dreams and more lucid dreaming, which is a good sign that a person is really in REM mode.

3. Your Brain Gets Multiple Breaks Throughout The Day


A polyphasic sleep schedule allows your brain and body to have multiple breaks throughout the day. Once the brain has adjusted to a polyphasic sleep schedule, it allows you to have REM sleep multiple times so you will feel restored many times during the day, giving you the energy to fulfill any task.

4. Increased Cognitive Performance


People who have already switched to the polyphasic sleep pattern find that they have increased cognitive performance. Their concentration and alertness have also vastly improved, allowing them to not only do more but do better at tasks. Taking a nap by itself will have cognitive benefits, but polyphasic sleep allows the additional benefit of getting into REM and not just light sleeping, so polyphasic sleepers will have additional benefits.

5. Increases The Frequency Of Waking Activity For Emergencies


The main benefit of sleeping polyphasically is you have more time to be awake during different times, day or night. People who work in the emergency room, such as doctors and nurses, will benefit from sleeping polyphasically because their brains will be more focused on their tasks, which require attention to detail.

Firefighters will likewise benefit from sleeping polyphasically because it allows them to be at their optimum focus even in the middle of the night where people are most likely to be sluggish and sleepy. Likewise, sportsmen in solo yacht racing are also advised to sleep polyphasically because they need to monitor their boats, instruments, and the movements of the sea in a 24-hour schedule. Sleeping polyphasically allows you to be awake when you need to.

6. You Can Change Your Biorhythm Without Having Medical Issues


Polyphasic sleep has been around since ancient times. The key to being successful at polyphasic sleep is to keep it consistent. Most people’s biorhythms are dictated by human-instituted habits such as work schedule, which establishes that people have to be awake at 8 to 5 with only a few breaks in between. However, many polyphasic sleepers have had no medical issues after switching to this sleeping pattern and had normal health.

7. You Will Feel Less Sluggish And Tired


You may certainly feel tired adapting to a polyphasic sleep in the first weeks and you may feel some alterations in your energy levels. However, this will soon pass and you will get back to normal and feel more energized after your body has accepted the polyphasic sleep schedule. After your body has adjusted, you will reap the benefits of polyphasic sleep, which increase energy levels, attention, and focus.

8. You Will Be Among The Great Minds Who Have Adapted A Polyphasic Sleep Pattern


Perhaps the best evidence that shows that polyphasic sleep works and is beneficial is how it has been adopted by different prominent personalities throughout history. Many great thinkers and artists, including leaders have adapted a polyphasic sleep schedule:

  • Nikola Tesla – He is an inventor who only slept for two hours a day and managed to get his sleep by taking naps throughout the day.
  • Salvador Dali – Dali is known for his works in surrealism and couldn’t stand to be asleep too much. He only slept for a total of 4 hours and had his own method of waking up.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci – Da Vinci is a titan in the art world and likewise adapted a polyphasic sleep pattern. He slept for 5 hours a day divided into shorter naps.
  • Thomas Jefferson – He is an American statesman and diplomat who adapted to a polyphasic sleep as well. He only slept for 4 hours and would read before falling asleep.
  • Thomas Edison – He is a prominent inventor who was prolific in his lifetime. He considered sleep to be a waste of time and only slept for 3 hours.
  • Franz Kafka – He is a writer with an odd sleeping cycle that points to a polyphasic sleep pattern. He will go to sleep two times a day for no more than 3 hours each for a total of 6 full hours of sleep for the entire day.

There are many other great minds that habituated to a polyphasic sleep pattern and their lives have shown that this sleep pattern didn’t prevent their creativity, passion, and ability to achieve amazing things.

9. Increased Feelings Of Euphoria And Happiness


People who are depressed sleep more and too much sleep has been linked to many behavioral and mood disorders. In contrast, polyphasic sleepers spend more time awake and there is some evidence that they have increased happiness and feelings of euphoria. They also have better mood and social skills.

10. You Will Get Better Sleep Quality


When it comes to sleep, it should be quality and not quantity. Some people sleep half the day, but they still wake up groggy and with low energy. Polyphasic sleepers are different, and they get density and stability in their sleep. You will get stronger sleep compared to monophasic and biphasic sleepers. It should also be noted that people with sleep disorders such as nightmares, sleepwalking, or muscle soreness will feel better after switching to a polyphasic sleep pattern.

11. Your Power Naps Can Help You Become Both A Night Owl And An Early Riser


If you think that you are a bit of both a night owl and an early riser, polyphasic sleep can help you become both. The benefits of being a night owl and early riser is that there isn’t much noise around during these hours, so you can do your tasks in full concentration without being distracted. You can also accomplish more if you sleep less and focus more on quality but shorter sleep breaks.

Final Thoughts

Sleep is essential, but too much of it can make people depressed because they don’t have time for their life’s goals. Live your life with passion and get into the polyphasic sleep pattern, which allows you to do more. Recognize that sleep is essential, but it shouldn’t rule your life.

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