Polyphasic Sleep

Sun, Oct 11, 2009

PoliphasicSleepSleep Secrets

Polyphasic sleep, a term coined by early 20th century psychologist J.S. Szymanski, refers to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period—usually, more than two, in contrast to biphasic sleep —and does not imply any particular schedule. See also Segmented sleep and Sleep (Optimal amount). The term polyphasic sleep is also used by an online community which experiments with ultra-short napping to achieve more time awake each day. (Wikipedia)

Polyphasc sleep is also known as Multiphasic Sleep.  Polyphasic sleep is observed in people and animals:

  • irregular sleep-wake cycles
  • circadian rhythm sleep disorder which is caused by head injury or dementia
  • infants and of many animals
  • elderly adults often have disturbed sleep, including polyphasic sleep.

In their 2006 paper “The Nature of Spontaneous Sleep Across Adulthood”, Campbell and Murphy studied sleep timing and quality in young, middle-aged and older adults. They found that, in freerunning conditions, the average duration of major nighttime sleep was significantly longer in young adults than in the other groups. The paper states further:

“Whether such patterns are simply a response to the relatively static experimental conditions, or whether they more accurately reflect the natural organization of the human sleep/wake system, compared with that which is exhibited in daily life, is open to debate. However, the comparative literature strongly suggests that shorter, polyphasically-placed sleep is the rule, rather than the exception, across the entire animal kingdom (Campbell and Tobler, 1984; Tobler, 1989). There is little reason to believe that the human sleep/wake system would evolve in a fundamentally different manner. That people often do not exhibit such sleep organization in daily life merely suggests that humans have the capacity (often with the aid of stimulants such as caffeine or increased physical activity) to overcome the propensity for sleep when it is desirable, or is required, to do so.”  (Cambell, Murphy P. The nature of spontaneous sleep across adulthood. Journal of Sleep Research [serial on the Internet]. (2007, Mar), [cited November 6, 2008]; 16(1): 24-32. Available from: Academic Search Alumni Edition.)

Comparison of sleep patterns

Several researchers contributed their study and described their opinion about poluphasic sleep asw shown below:

  • Everyman (3h + 3x 20min)
  • Uberman (6x 20min)
  • Dymaxion (4x 30min)
  • Monophasic.pngBiphasic.png


    Watch Video: Polyphasic Sleep


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