T Nation

Anyone Tried Polyphasic Sleeping?

I heard someone talking about this on the radio and it got me interested enough to do some google searching.

Polyphasic sleeping is basically napping through the day and evening thereby reducing your total sleep time (down to as low as 2 hours per day!). Check out this guy’s pretty extensive journal of his experience.

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/10/polyphasic-sleep/

Has anyone here ever given something like this a try? I was initially almost interested enough to give it a go but I think it would probably be pretty detrimental to my training goals.

Thoughts?

[quote]GCF wrote:
I was initially almost interested enough to give it a go but I think it would probably be pretty detrimental to my training goals. [/quote]

You must be some kind of genius.

Hmm… Well I don’t think that this would be good for you. 20 minutes of sleep is nothing. It doesn’t matter if you do it 5 times a day. There’s no way your body will get into a deep resting state.

“REM is the most important phase of sleep, the one in which you experience dreams”

You also dream during the 4th stage of sleep (the one before REM), but you rarely remember it.

“Polyphasic sleep conditions your body to learn to enter REM sleep immediately when you begin sleeping instead of much later in the sleep cycle.”

I call bullshit on that one. Your body doesn’t immediately go into REM sleep. Forcing it to isn’t going to help.

Just my thoughts. I could be completely wrong, though. I’ll just stick to 10 hours a day.

I think there was a Seinfeld episode where Kramer tried this.

Supposedly out of all the alternative sleeping cycles this is the one that produces the closest results to a normal 8 hours of sleep.

Who has time to nap throughout the day?

If i can manage to get a quick 20-30 minute nap, then i’m good, but anymore than that isn’t going to happen.

Maybe the reason they’re saying that people go right into the REM sleep when they nap, is due to the fact that they’re so fucking exausted from being sleep deprived.

Plus, our bodies go by the cicadian rhythms of the sun, and as the sun sets, we start producing melotonin, and that prepares our bodies to want to sleep.

I could be wrong, though.

[quote]imhungry wrote:
Who has time to nap throughout the day?

If i can manage to get a quick 20-30 minute nap, then i’m good, but anymore than that isn’t going to happen.

Maybe the reason they’re saying that people go right into the REM sleep when they nap, is due to the fact that they’re so fucking exausted from being sleep deprived.

Plus, our bodies go by the cicadian rhythms of the sun, and as the sun sets, we start producing melotonin, and that prepares our bodies to want to sleep.

I could be wrong, though.[/quote]

Very good hypothesis though.

What qualifies as a nap? It takes me hours to fall asleep at night, so the whole time I have my eyes closed before I go to sleep is that a nap?

I did it my freshman year in college. It was… interesting.

Pavlina’s is a really great log. I think, though, he makes it look too easy. The adjustment period took me over a month (which is to say, 5 weeks to accumulate two consecutive weeks of sleeping according to the cycle). And when I got there… I found myself somewhat bored most of the time, and still tired (although no where NEAR as tired as I should have been). I experienced it, and then got off.

If your goal is size, yeah, polyphasic sleep is not for you. I think it may work better for strength athletes, because you’d theoretically be able to lift less and more frequently. Just a theory though- I wasn’t lifting when I did my stint, and I was vegetarian (don’t think it gave me the advantage it gave pavlina).

Thanks OTEP. So how long did you stay on it after the adjustment period?

I was intersted in it just because I’m a terrible sleeper. I’ve always had a feeling that the ‘normal’ way of sleeping didn’t really suit me but didn’t even consider the possibility of an alternate pattern.

I might just have to keep the idea in the back of my head. Although I could easily work this into my schedule right now my training is just too important to me at the moment.

I might give it a try someday… will let you know how I go.

[quote]GCF wrote:
Thanks OTEP. So how long did you stay on it after the adjustment period?

I was intersted in it just because I’m a terrible sleeper. [/quote]

ZMA

I often dream when I nap.

Honestly… It took me five weeks to get through the consecutive two-week adaptation phase, I spent a week on the sleep schedule, and then decided to switch back.

Many things have occurred in my life where I bust my ass desperately to acheive a goal, and then as soon as I’ve acheived it, realized I don’t really care about it.

So a week.

If you’ve got sleep problems, it could be any number of things, from poor diet and excess alcohol to rapidly changing sleep patterns to stress. I wouldn’t go with ZMA, but Z-12, because I hear good things about it, and ZMA didn’t do a whole lot for me (I didn’t exactly have a zinc deficiency, I believe).

If you do try it… good luck. It is simple, but not easy. I recommend investing in a subscription to the World Of Warcraft, and an egg-timer. Alarm clocks WILL fail you if you set them six times a day.

I remember awhile back, TC wrote something about historically, people used to sleep in increments, like four hours at a time, or something like that. Does anyone else remember him writing about that?

Steve no longer is on the polyphasic sleep schedule. You might want to try asking current polyphasic bloggers for some info.

Here’s a list of some:
http://polyphasic.dyndns.org

[quote]IronAbrams wrote:
I think there was a Seinfeld episode where Kramer tried this.

Supposedly out of all the alternative sleeping cycles this is the one that produces the closest results to a normal 8 hours of sleep.[/quote]

haha, saw that episode just the other day!

Edison practiced a similar sleeping habit. It seemed to work just fine for his creative, analytical and industrious lifestyle.

many people have different sleep patterns… many tribes in the amazon/jungles sleep a lot during the day just because its hot or there is nothing to do and talk all night.

Read about it, but probably won’t be trying it… I’d rather sleep in a regular pattern and give lucid dreaming a shot.

It’s easier to fit in for most peoples lifes, lets you keep your 8 hrs of regeneration time - and you can practice all kinds of stuff in you lucid dreaming time (martial arts training, the o-lifts …whatever) without straining your body.