You may have heard of the term polyphasic sleep, but do you know what it means?
Humans naturally follow this form of sleep pattern. Depending on you and your life’s schedule, you may have a segmented night’s rest or nap throughout the day.
This is known as a polyphasic sleep schedule, and while it might seem unconventional, it has numerous benefits.
Let’s dive in to find out more.
What is Polyphasic Sleep?
First and foremost, we need to know the three basic and most common sleep cycles:
This is when you sleep in a single block, during a single wake-sleep cycle of 24 hours.
If you stay clear of daytime naps and can manage a six to eight hour period of blissful sleep, then you are most likely a monophasic sleeper.
This is when your sleep cycle has two blocks of sleep in 24 hours.
If you are known to have a daytime nap as well as your night’s sleep, then you are probably a biphasic sleeper.
This is when you have more than two blocks of sleep during the day, and your night sleep is broken into smaller stages.
This sleep cycle has several benefits and many people are already using this schedule across the world.
Polyphasic sleep is very common for humans. Most likely, you would have adapted to it as a baby, though as you grow older, you will gradually lose your nap slots and become biphasic around the age of one.
At this age, you only require a single nap in the day to keep you going.
Benefits of Polyphasic Sleeping
Polyphasic sleep studies have shown a number of benefits for those who adapt to their earlier habits.
It improves sleep density, sleep stability, and decreases overall time asleep, which is beneficial since, while we all need sleep, only certain stages are important for us to recover each night.
Who would have thought that altering your sleep schedule could enhance your life span?
We have been told for decades that the required amount of sleep for optimal health is eight hours.
However, recent studies have shown that those who sleep less, averaging six to seven hours a night, are more likely to have a lower death rate, compared to those who sleep eight hours.
Give Yourself More Time in the Day
It is obvious that if you sleep less, you will have more hours to spare and make better use of your time throughout the day.
It has been calculated that by changing to a single nap schedule, you can have an extra 40 days a year to do what you want.
You could top that by cutting down your sleep by three hours and giving yourself an extra 91 days a year.
Better for Learning
If you are a student, then you may want to consider a polyphasic sleep cycle as it has been proven to help with learning and information retention.
If you are taking a 90-minute nap during the day, you are more likely to learn twice as much as you would if you didn’t.
One of the most common benefits of polyphasic sleep is that it can enhance your mood.
It is known that sleeping too much can be a link to depression.
Several people who have adapted this sleep cycle have stated having feelings of euphoria, better social skills, and overall increased happiness!
The video below explains more on polyphasic sleep and its benefits.
How to Polyphasic Sleep
The trick to polyphasic sleep is to have more frequent naps and spend less time sleeping at night.
If you would like to try this method, here are two of the most common ways to adapt to this cycle:
This method is probably the easiest to start with if you are new to polyphasic sleep.
The bathroom method involves drinking water or any non-stimulating liquid before sleep begins.
For this method, you will give your body a desire to urinate and finish the second or third sleep cycle naturally in order to wake up.
When you wake up, you will need to go to the toilet, and therefore be more active after sleep.
For this method, you will need to have something filled with icy water next to your alarm.
When you first wake up, you will need to stick your face into the icy water and hold it there for 60 seconds.
After this, you will need to have a hot shower, warm up, and then switch to cold water until your skin normalizes the cold temperature.
You will need to keep alternating between hot and cold many times.
The contrast in temperature will get your blood pumping, and the icy water creates a metabolic shift to help you reach a more wakeful state.
Have you tried polyphasic sleep?