A while ago I looked into different sleep cycles in an effort to become more productive. I have a pretty consistent wake-up time of 4:30 (4:23 to be exact). But with everything I do during the day I don’t always go to bed at a consistent time. And I always find things that need to be done but I can never get to.
I would love to be able to use more of my nighttime hours to get some of my indoor projects and things that won’t wake up the neighborhood. I don’t remember where it was that I first read about polyphasic sleep cycles but they immediately caught my attention.
Normally, it’s suggested to get eight hours of sleep at one time each day. But there are also less common sleep cycles that consist of more than one sleep period every twenty-four hours.
The first is biphasic sleep which is about five to six hours of sleep at night, then an hour to hour-and -a-half long nap during the day. I’ve read that there are parts of the world where this is common and I feel like I could easily adapt to this one. But it doesn’t gain me any extra work time.
The first polyphasic cycle is the Everyman cycle It has one block of three and a half hours and three blocks of a half hour. This results in four and a half hours of sleep in each twenty-four hour period.
The time between when I start work and when I get my lunch is five hours, which is the amount of time between each block if they are evenly spaced. I’ve read that it isn’t necessary for them to be evenly spaced so I could make this one work with my schedule if I had different spaces between each one.
The next cycle is the Dymaxion. It has four half-hour naps evenly spaced throughout the day resulting in two hours of sleep.
The amount of time between each cycle would work perfect for me if I took a nap before going to work, then during lunch, then shortly after getting back home. The problem would be that I only have a half hour for lunch so I wouldn’t have time to actually have the full nap.
The last cycle is the Uberman. It has six twenty-minute blocks evenly spaced out. This would work for my lunch break but not for the time when I actually need to be working.
I read on a blog once about someone who had tried the Uberman cycle. They kept a record of how they felt each day and they tried it for about a month before going back to their normal schedule, which they started with a 16 hour nap.
I didn’t like the results I saw because I think they could have made a better attempt. Not that their attempt was bad. They were lucky enough to have a schedule which allowed them to take the naps they needed at the correct times and they stuck with it.
The problem I had was that they only tried it for about a month before admitting defeat. I would expect the one month point to be when the body actually starts to adapt to the new schedule.
I used to get up at 6:00 before we got Lucky. He’s a little guy so he can’t go too long without going to the bathroom. He’d usually start whining around 4:30 so I started making that my wake-up time. It took a couple of months to shift my sleep schedule over but I got used to it.
I have a feeling if the person in the blog had had another month they would have started to show signs of adapting to it and it may have worked for them. And until I get a different work schedule I’ll never know if any of these would work for me.