T Nation

Sleeping splits

Due to school and work, I’m presently having to split my sleep between a 6h night time session and a 3h or so, late morning/mid afternoon nap. I realize that this really isn’t the optimum regimen for recovery but am curious of how great of an effect it has?

I have somewhat of a similar situation. The bad thing is that you’re probably missing out on REM sleep which is important but the good thing is you’re diminishing the catabolic state you fall into while sleeping for eight hours. I eat every two hours…all the time, even when I’m sleeping. My body is thus never in a catabolic state (except for after training off course)My results have been terrific without any plateau’s, despite lack of REM sleep. We are all different though, listen to your body. It will tell you when things are not right.

The 6 hours at night is long enough to get one REM cycle in but the 3 hours in the afternoon most likely isn’t. You can get by pretty well with one REM cycle and if you feel pretty good after the longer nap in the afternoon it’s probably going to work out fine.

Long term deprivation of REM sleep isn’t really a very good thing. I went for months at a time on 2 hours of sleep a day when the Navy had me running around on submarines for a while. It’s tough on your personality, it tends to increase any violent or aggressive tendancies you have. This is a well studied phenomena and I’m certain that the military uses it to their advantage.