There are hundreds of billions of ad campaigns unleashed on humanity daily across our phones, tablets, smart speakers, TVs, and radios. Almost anything imaginable can be sold or positioned through one of these mediums. Yet, despite all these ads you won’t find one that offers the one thing you want most: time.
Time is for sale. Polyphasic sleeping is the product. PS is the term used to describe a pattern of sleeping than involves more than one sleep episode in a 24 hour period. If you nap every single day then you are technically a polyphasic sleeper. Over 85% of all mammals are PS. We come into the world a PSer. Yet, our society is built around the mantra of sleeping 7 – 8 hours in a mono-phasic block. There is good science available around the harmful effects of sleep deprivation. There is great science around the benefits of sleep (check out Matt Walker’s Why We Sleep). There is very little science around the benefits (or harmful effects) of polyphasic sleeping outside of nap research. We will cover more of this in later posts.
I’ve been polyphasic sleeping for two years now while being a father, a husband, an author, a Director at a large tech company and I can tell you it is life-transforming. I have done things in the last two years I didn’t think were possible given my desire to be a good and present father & husband, maintain friendships, do well at work and still enjoy some loose time for causal reading and watching TV. In the normal schedule, I didn’t have time to take courses with MIT EduX, learn drums, practice piano, write a novel, read dozens of books on a single subject or take a daily nap. With polyphasic sleep, I have essentially created 4 extra hours a day of discretionary time. This is high quality time when I feel intellectually stimulated. It is not sleep deprived time where I don’t feel like doing anything but watching TV. What’s my schedule? The very best schedule I have found thus far is this: 8 – 9:15 PM (I sleep as I put my 8 year old son to bed), 2:00 AM – 6:30 AM (core sleep) and 2:30 PM – 2:45 PM (power nap). This gives me 18 hours of amazing energy. Many people sleep about 6 hours and in theory have as much time as I do. So what is so amazing about that? The difference is those people are sleep deprived walking through life like a zombie since they are not getting the recommended amount of sleep (science shows that if you sleep in one period you need about 7 – 9 hours of sleep). My brain, on the other hand, never has to go more than 8 hours without getting a fresh reboot. You can imagine it something like this. The brain is like an engine running with oil. Even with just a small thin layer of oil left the engine runs well. However even 20 min with no oil and the engine gets hot. Now imagine running that engine for 10 extra hours without oil! Not good for the engine, the car or the person trying to get somewhere. Even when I take my 15 min power nap (honestly many days I fall asleep and wake up within 11 or 12 minutes) I am adding some oil to the engine of my brain. There is a neurochemical called adenosine that builds up as the brain stays awake longer and longer. This power nap flushes it out and I feel better than I do with a cup of coffee and no nap. Thus, I have the same amount of hours, but they are in 4K versus SD with some buffering needed.
All this may sound too good to be true. I thought it was until I met someone who had successfully done it at the company where I work. He did it for 4 years at school and had multiple degrees to prove it. He gave me his pointers and instilled in me the confidence it could be done. I want to pass it on to you, my readers. I will begin to blog about polyphasic sleeping as a new core topic to themindhacked.com. I will share stories, tips and tricks and even peak at some of the science that exists to explain the phenomena. I hope you will find this as interesting as I do. If not, you owe it to yourself to at least learn more about a product that you won’t find anywhere else. Thanks for tuning in.