Polyphasic Sleep

Out of random walk link following, I wound up at Steve Pavlina’s story of switching to a polyphasic sleep schedule. I won’t lie, even as I admit that I need it I always begrudge the hours of the day I lose to sleep. If I could get by on 3 hours of sleep a day, I’d love that. Years ago when I interviewed Nancy Kress about her book Beggars in Spain I found it wish fulfillment fantasy. If I never had to sleep and could be no worse the wear for it, sign me up.

I’m still in the middle of reading Steve’s story. I’m around day 20 now, and I see from the looks of the title of the last entry that this did not become a permanent change for Steve. Interesting stuff, though.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

6 thoughts on “Polyphasic Sleep”

  1. Polyphasic sleep fascinated me when I first read about it, unfortunately I didn’t discover it until after Uni or I would’ve tried it as well.

    The migration phase sounds a little hard to handle while holding down a full time job 😉

  2. I read that as he was going through it and he ended up abandoning it for some of the reasons you’d expect. Our sleep cycles are the way they are for more reasons than our actual need for sleep:

    work, social obligations, family and, quite frankly, marriage and sex all play a role in our sleep schedules that make these “more efficient” approaches nearly impossible for a married guy who works a 9-to-5 to implement.

    Even Pavlina, who works from home found it difficult to tell people that he had to cut a meeting short or step out of a family gathering for 20 minutes so he could get his nap in.

    I’m currently doing a more do-able setup where I go to bed at the same time my wife does and set my time to get up based on the natural 90 minute cycles that sleep comes in. At the moment, that puts me getting up at 4:30am.

    However, after quite a bit of experimentation, I’ve found that I’m more alert, have less difficulty falling asleep at night, can concentrate better all day, etc. on 6 hours that matches the cycles instead 7 or 8 hours that has me waking up in the middle of a cycle.

    I’m not sure I’m ready to shave another cycle off yet. I want to go a month or 2 on 6 before trying 4.5.

  3. Whoa! New look! I’ll let you know how I find it after more repeat visits. I mostly only come here to comment, as I mostly receive your writing through NetNewsWire.

    Anyhow, that’s not why I’m here now. 🙂

    This polyphasic sleep thing is interesting. I’m gonna check out the link. I am like you, I wish I didn’t have to sleep. I can get by on 5 hours a day, and I’m always wishing I could make it 4 or 3 hours.

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  5. People who are severely nutrient deficient may naturally do a polyphasic type of sleep. I did. It was impossible for me to sleep more than two hours at a time for a while. I usually slept 60-90 mins, woke up for 4-6 hrs, then cycled again. Three to six hours of sleep throughout a 24 hr period.

    I don’t recommend it to anyone. While it intensifies daydreaming and out-there thought processes, it’s incredibly detrimental for health. I came out of it after supplementing high doses of water soluble vitamins. Now I sleep more than I ever did in my entire life.

    Doing this type of sleep cycle will tax your adrenals, liver, brain, etc..It’s not natural. To think that is moronic. What we evolved with is the natural sunlight schedule. Melatonin increases as the moon rises, it drops as the sun comes out.

    Duh !!

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