Ever since I heard about polyphasic sleep a year ago, I have been fascinated by it. Is it really possible to sleep less but be just as rested as with a standard monophasic 7-9 hour sleep schedule? I’ve spent the last year learning more about polyphasic sleep–the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24 hour day–and decided it was time to give it a shot.
There are several types of polyphasic sleep schedules that people have successfully adopted. The most extreme is known as Uberman and consists of taking six 20-minute naps spaced evenly throughout a 24 hour day. I settled on the much less extreme Everyman schedule–one 3-hour core nap and three additional 20-minute naps spaced evenly throughout the day. On this schedule, I would sleep from 4A.M. to 7A.M. and take 20-minute naps at noon, 5:20P.M., and 10:40P.M.
From what I’ve read on the topic, there is a 1 to 2 week adjustment phase for the Everyman schedule. This is because your body has to be trained to adjust to the new sleep schedule (think of jetlag). Once I knew I would have 2 weeks that weren’t too busy, I started on my polyphasic sleep experiment.