Alright, rocketeers... this post is on a subject that's near and dear to my heart.
Whenever people hear about the polyphasic sleep schedule, they come up with reasons they couldn't do it. I don't know why... It's really awesome and everyone should want to do it. By far the most common excuse is :
"But I love my sleep. I would never want to give it up."
I'd say that 80% of people come up with som variation on this. Now, there are some valid reasons people shouldn't do this. Like... if you were a race car driver who had to race nonstop for 8 hours at a time. If someone told me that, I would agree they shouldn't do it. I'm sure there are other valid reasons too, but I can't think of them right now.
But this one, the prince of polyphasic criticisms, is totally bogus. Here's why :
First of all, I LOVE sleep. More than you. More than him. More than her. Even more than yo' mammy. Let's keep in mind that before going polyphasic I was averaging somewhere in the ballpark of 8-10 hours. My signature move was the wakeup / eat breakfast / go back to sleep combo. So don't get all up in my grille acting like I don't like sleep.
But the fact is that because I love sleep so much, I will never get off the polyphasic schedule. Why, praytell? Because it's MUCH better sleep than peon sleep.
In peon sleep, the whole night is a blur. Sometimes you dream, sometimes you don't. Polyphasic sleep delivers hard hitting dreams almost every time, coupled with the deepest sleep I've ever encountered. Are you a glutton for sleep? No problem - polyphasic sleep FEELS longer. In fact, each nap feels like 2-4 hours, depending on how deep you go. That's 12-24 hours of virtual sleep per day. Order now!
Also... what do people really like about sleep? Is it that they enjoy being unconcious for 8 hours and missing out on the wonderful things the world has to offer them? No. The pleasant parts of sleep are the falling asleep and the dreams.
Well guess what, champs? I get to do that 6 times a day. I never have to go more than 3.5 hours without feeling the warm caress of the sleep fairy.
Now, there are a lot of other reasons that polyphasic sleeping (and, incidentally, those who practice it) is far superior to the alternative. I could go on and on, but this one point is one that really bugs me. And now... I'm off to enjoy my polyphasic day. And by that I mean slave over this keyboard to entertain people like you.
Tynan, you've succeeded in throwing me deep into the archives of your blog. I don't think I'll leave until I've read everything you've ever written. Recently read Life Nomadic and MHCY. Changed my life. Got the girl of my dreams, became a minimalist nomad, and not looking back.
Set to try polyphasic sleeping on December 9th.
Well, back in the day we called this ultradian sleep patterns (as opposed to circadian). I adopted this in 1985 and maintained it for a decade until my work hours demanded that I go back to traditional sleep patterns. Good for you if you have the luxury of being able to maintain it.
Well written, dude.
I'm probably going to write a similar article on my answers to this annoying question, but it's similar to what you said.
It's not like they remember sleeping at 1am
I think you have to have a certain kind of job to allow this to work. I'm currently in school again and I still can't quite swing it, but I have found definite benefits to just splitting up my night into two roughly equidistant naps... ala http://palantar.blogspot.com/2006/01/sleep-hack.html
I definitely believe it makes a difference. My previous two attempts were done while I ate really crappy food. This time has been much more pleasant, and I eat very healthy food. I actually wrote a diet book based on what I eat. It's at www.theskinnysnob.com.
Soon I am going to go completely raw and eat no processed or cooked foods whatsoever.
Sounds drastic, right? I've decided that I'm going to take a break from polyphasic sleep - probably 3-4 weeks. As of today I've been doing it for about 4.5 months, and I feel like I have a good feel for what it's like.
The truth is that napping during the day isn't hard to do, but it is definitely disruptive - especially to other people. For example, last week a friend from San Francisco was in town for South by Southwest. I was hanging out with him and his friends, when all of a sudden it was nap time. They basically had to sit around and wait for me to take my nap, or lose my company. If I was deriving great benefit from the schedule, it would be worth such social impositions, but I'm not really getting that much from it.
I don't really need the extra time right now. I thought I would make good use of it, but I honestly don't. If I was super busy, then I would be more motivated to stay on polyphasic sleep. Also, no one else is doing it with me anymore, so my options for what to do during the night are fairly limited. Because I don't really need the sleep, and usually don't have too much to do at night, I end up slightly oversleeping. This means that I probably sleep 4-4.5 hours per day on average.
I love to sleep. I've slept easily 10 hours on average my life so far. Even though I love sleep I realize one thing:
Needless sleep has easily been the most unproductive thing I’ve done in my life.
Oversleeping is horrible. For one I find sleeping more than 9 hours a day usually begets more sleep, making you actually feel drowsier the majority of the day even though you technically slept more than enough. Furthermore sleeping extra just takes up time. sleeping 10 hours a day as opposed to 6 or 7 means I’m not awake for a whopping 90-110 hours a month. This adds up really quickly. Those extra 3 hours could be used to learn a language, programming, watch a good movie or documentary, exercise etc. Imagine everyday you had 1 more hour to spend learning vocabulary or studying? Imagine everyday you had 1 more hour to come up with a strategy for your business?