I hate sleep. There, I said it. I hate it, hate it I tell you. Sleep is a waste of time. Sure, the body and brain need to rest. That doesn’t mean I can’t hate it. It steals productive time of my day (or night). So, I have managed to sleep less than the average person. About 6 hours during the night. No naps during the day. That’s called monophasic sleep. And I’m considering to convert into a polyphasic sleeper.
All this began this morning when I watched a Casey Neistat’s video on productivity. If you don’t know him, that’s good for you. You won’t procrastinate, spending your valuable time on watching his videos and vlogs. Anyway, in that video’s comment section people discussed the sleep schedule and debated whether someone can stay healthy by sleeping less. It didn’t take long for the term ‘polyphasic sleep’ to come up.
Briefly, polyphasic sleep is having more than one phase of sleep, which usually happens during the night. You can do your own research about the ins and outs of it, just as I did:
- Uberman sleep schedule – a 15-year-old post
- Successful people sleeping less
- A funny post on a polyphasic sleep experiment by a Parisian
- How to save 20 years normally spent in bed
- Polyphasic sleep, facts and myths
Let’s make this blog post more personal now that the theory is out of the way.
I am known for my habit to wake up very early. I am an early bird.
I go to sleep usually around 10 or 11 pm and wake up at 4-5am. If I did my math correctly, that’s about 6 hours of sleep.
As I told you, I hate sleep.
But I love waking up early!
How can I make the most out of this love-hate relationship?
I had no idea until I read about Everyman Sleep and Uberman Sleep. These are all polyphasic sleep patterns. Even the lifestyle of Mediterranean/Latin American people, who sleep 5-6 hours at night and take 90-min ‘siestas’ in the afternoon, is one of them (biphasic pattern). These types of sleep patterns simply change the time and interval between naps and the core sleep. Thus, they beg the question: what kind of polyphasic sleep your lifestyle can adopt?
Polyphasic sleep seems to fit into my schedule remarkably well (not the Da Vinci’s hardcore cycle, though, of taking a 20-minute nap roughly every four hours). I am self-employed and I can more or less plan easier when I go to bed. It’s my family/social needs that need to be addressed before I embark on this polyphasic sleep journey.
Theoretically, these schedules could unlock an extra 20 years of being awake over the course of a lifetime.
To tell you the truth, I think I have already slept polyphasically (is that a word?) before, although I didn’t know the term. There were times when I woke up at 2 AM and I felt fully alert. Often, I would take a 30-min nap at 6 AM. Other times, I would instead take that nap right after gym at 10 AM. What I am trying to tell you here is that I took random, short naps during the day when I had slept less than 4 hours in the night. Just because I felt doing it.
Five percent of the population goes down to four hours a night or even less at times.
I like to be in that 5%, the same percentage of profitable gamblers, traders and poker players!
I also remember when I recently fell asleep at 7 PM, woke up at 10 PM and didn’t sleep again until 2 AM for about three more hours. From the sound of it, my sleep schedule may have been messed up. Yet, as Casey has stated, a fool sleeps when he has to, a wise man sleeps when he can. Here are some motivational/inspiring quotes by this filmmaker, all squeezed into a 32-min video.
The most irritating thing for me about all this polyphasic sleep-mania is that I will need to set an alarm to wake up. I haven’t used an alarm clock to wake up since my days at the university – that’s now more than a decade ago. I like to consider myself a free man. I want to wake up whenever I feel like to. Besides, I am so thrilled of the things I do in life, that I am too excited to oversleep. I am eagerly waiting for my body to wake up every time I go into bed so that I continue where I left off the previous day. So, an alarm clock wasn’t really a necessity for me. However, to follow the rules of polyphasic sleep and avoid taking a 2-hour nap, I should make use of one.
How does somebody that’s sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone that’s sleeping three or four?Donald Trump
So, when do I start? Honestly, I haven’t decided on that yet. I’ll continue sleeping the way I do, but I will make a note when I take a nap (a lot more voluntarily now, whereas I forced myself not to), and find out if I can actually implement polyphasic sleep.
Your turn: would you reduce your sleep time to win back more productive time?
Featured photo: Peng Zhang