Thriving on as Little As 4 Hours of Sleep a Day with Polyphasic Sleep

Imagine you’re offered a time machine – one that gives you more time every day.

In one day, you’ll get four more hours.

In one month, that’s five whole days.

In one year, that’s two whole months.

Would you take it?

For the past month, I’ve given myself such a time machine in the form of polyphasic sleeping. What does that mean, exactly?

Polyphasic sleep is just as it sounds – sleeping in more than one phase, as most of us have done for our whole lives. Nowadays, I only sleep for about four hours daily, in three phases (known as the Dual Core 1). Perhaps it sounds crazy, but I no longer wake up with any anger or grogginess (I always “needed” my coffee first thing), but I have much more energy than I ever thought possible. All that, and I have four more hours a day than I used to.

Why switch to polyphasic sleep?

Turns out that giving up sweet, sweet sleep has its perks! Here are some of the things I’ve noted on my journey so far.

Better mood

I don’t know if it’s lost productivity or grogginess gone awry, but I am noticeably less pleasant to be around if I sleep more than 7 hours a day. Since beginning polyphasic sleep, I’ve felt more peace and energy and less irritability. Strangely, I’ve even had light euphoria after waking from naps at times.

Better dreams

I was always a vivid dreamer, but polyphasic sleep has taken it to a new level. I can have incredibly meaningful, vivid dreams in 20-minute naps now. It also seems that while I’m generally not tired throughout the day, I fall asleep as soon as I lie down and start deep dreaming almost immediately.

Have more time

This has been absolutely phenomenal for me. Not only have I become more productive, but I’ve been able to relax more and spend more time with family. More work (and more money), more relaxing, more learning, more everything. I can expect to get an extra two months every year I do this. If I get to live another fifty years, that’s eight years I’ve just reclaimed for myself. Can you imagine everything you can do with an extra eight years?!

Things to watch out for

While, yes, this schedule is amazing, you do have to go into it with proper preparation if you want to begin. It’s easy to crash and burn on this if you don’t make the adaptation period bearable!

  • This schedule is pretty unforgiving – you have to have a set sleeping schedule every day, especially in the first two weeks. NEVER let it vary by more than an hour at the latest. Use this to help you plan your sleeping times.
  • Reduce or eliminate stimulants and depressants. This might mean saying goodbye to coffee or alcohol if you notice that you’re especially sensitive to them. Trust me, it’s worth not feeling groggy for.
  • Don’t start this if you feel a cold (or worse) coming on. The first few weeks are apparently hard on your immune system, so be sure that you have a good diet and are in otherwise good health going into this. Don’t worry, you’ll bounce back to your normal, hardy self shortly after adapting.

My current schedule

Obviously, I have a huge advantage in starting this schedule. I work from home and have no kids, so my schedule is highly flexible. I’d imagine that a similar schedule arranged at different times would be fantastic for students, stay-at-home parents, and even some office workers would be highly attractive too if it could be planned correctly.

Here’s my current sleep schedule now:

  • a 2-hour nap from 4:00 to 6:00 AM
  • a 2-hour nap from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
  • a 20-minute nap from 7:00 to 7:20 PM

If you’re interested in following a sleep schedule like mine, be sure to check out here to learn more about it.

Are you polyphasic?

Would you like to be? Or does it sound insane? Be sure to let me know below or hit me up on twitter!

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