When wondering on how to sleep successfully, people come up with the conclusion that their body is incompatible with the earthly sleep timings. Some people have a sleep-wake cycle that last for around 28 hours, and not 24 hours. This means that each day they may be waking up sometime in the night, and going back to sleep the next day, early in the afternoon. Such people always stay tired throughout the day. For such people it is always a good idea to stick to normal sleep schedules. However, there is one interesting way to hack the “how to sleep” part of the brain. It’s called polyphasic sleep.
Most people believe that sleep repairs the body and brain cells, but this is not so true. No one really knows much about sleep. There is no biological reason that clearly defines it. Late in the 1930’s, an proletarian scientist called Alfred Lee Loomis monitored the electrical activities of the brain when at sleep, and made a remarkable discovery – there are five parts to each of the many phases of sleep. These occur during normal sleep at night. One of the stages is called rapid eye movement (REM). This is the phase in which dreams occur.
REM is just a small portion of sleep at night, in which people only spend one to two hours, and the rest of the sleep is spent in other phases of sleep. This is when the brain presents an opportunity to get hacked. What if it was possible to find a way of cutting out of the other phases of sleep and gaining around four to five more hours of a wakeful time? Polyphasic sleep makes that possible.
Polyphasic sleep is one way in which people can force the brain to skip other sleep phases and slip into REM sleep. This can be done by making the brain feel very exhausted. It is easier to drift into a dreamy sleep by staying awake for 24 hours at a stretch. This is because the body goes into a protection mechanism by going straight into REM sleep. The way to hack the brain to enter REM sleep without being exhausted is to trick the body into thinking that it is going to get a tiny amount of sleep. It can be trained to slip into REM sleep in short 20 minute naps. That’s how polyphasic sleep works.
There are six good methods. The first is monophasic sleep. The other five methods come under polyphasic sleep, and are a bit more interesting.
Monophasic Sleep– In this phase, the person sleeps for eight hours, out of which about 2 hours are of REM sleep. The remaining 5 hours are spent in unnecessary unconsciousness. This is a normal sleep schedule most people follow.
Polyphasic Sleep – There are five methods of polyphasic sleep, all of which focus on 20 minute naps throughout the day, and maybe a couple of core sleep hours at night.
- Siesta Method – This involves only one nap in the day and bigger chunks of sleep at night. This method remarkably takes off only one hour and forty minutes off the normal sleep requirement of the body, adding only one nap during the day.
- Everyman Method – In this method, the total amount of sleep per day is drastically reduced for every extra nap during the day. This method is split into three sub methods:
- 2-nap: this involves two 20 minute naps and four and a half hours of core sleep.
- 3-nap: this involves three 20 minute naps and three core hours of sleep.
- 4-nap: this involves four or five 20 minute naps and one and a half hours of core sleep.
- Uberman Method – This method involves six 20 minute naps and no core sleep. Amazingly enough, the body functions with only two hours of total sleep in this method.
The Catch on How to Sleep With These Methods
How awesome could it be if people could sleep for two hours a day and still feel refreshed and rested? Very awesome indeed! But there’s a catch to this. The more the naps, the more rigorous the naps and this means the lesser the total sleep hours. In the case of the 2 and 3 Everyman methods, the naps should not be missed by more than a couple of hours. For the Uberman method, the naps must be taken within 30 minutes of the scheduled times. Missing even one nap will mean throwing off the whole schedule, and thus feeling extremely tired and exhausted for quite a number of days.
Most of these methods may not seem realistic. If people have flexible schedules and can manage to stick to a method for several months at a stretch, they will feel amazingly energetic during the day.