Secrets of polyphasic sleep: Can I make a day longer?

polyphasic sleep

The daily running around the circle “work – home – hour for learning a language and self-development – a dream” can last for years. Meanwhile, career peaks and dreams of own business remain far beyond the horizon line. As I understand you. In recent months, I’m constantly looking for the answer to the question: where can I get another 2-3 bonus hours in a day? The only option is to steal this time at a dream.

The other day I learned about the polyphasic sleep system and in the very near future I’m going to try it in practice. And in this article I will talk about the theoretical and practical aspects of this system, I will share my own impressions and expectations.

Sleep less, but faster

It can not be said that the theory of polyphasic sleep is completely “fresh”: it was first talked about in the 1940s. Plus, on the Internet, the myth rides that the breaking of sleep into several “sessions” was practiced by Leonardo da Vinci. One way or another, polyphasic sleep has gained real popularity in the past 10-15 years: the number of variations and their followers grows with a geometric progression.

What part of the dream will we “cut”?

During sleep, we go through the phases of slow and fast sleep – it’s no secret. A quick dream lasts only 20-25 minutes, but during it our brain rests. But the phase of slow sleep lasts about 90 minutes during sleep and about an hour in subsequent phases. In fact, this is a kind of “prelude” to a quick sleep. It is her supporters of polyphasic sleep that are suggested to be reduced, and ideally – completely eliminated. How? Having adjusted the organism to a new rhythm of work, where there is only one basic sleep and several 20-30 minute breaks, we put it before the fact: there is no time for preparation, one must immediately dive into a deep and fast sleep. After a few weeks, the body let not willingly, but accept the conditions of the game.

Variations of polyphasic sleep


  • Siesta is the easiest version of polyphase for beginners: 5 hours of night sleep + 1-1.5 hours in the afternoon, in the afternoon. A good way to get bonus 2 hours a day and not feel squeezed out by the end of the day;
  • An employee worker is my name for a system written by bloggers and practiced by my acquaintances: 5 hours a night’s sleep + 1.5-2 hours in the evening, after returning from work. As it is easy to guess, the gain in time is small. But evening sleep helps to refresh the brain after a day’s work and reconfigure to implement their own projects or freelancing.


  • Everyman is one of the most popular variations of polyphasic sleep: a night sleep lasting 2-3 hours and 3 sessions of daytime sleep of 20 minutes each;
  • Tesla is not the simplest version, but not yet hardcore (can act as a transition stage): 2 hours of night sleep and 20-30 minutes of daytime.


  • Uberman – perhaps the most difficult option, but very popular among polyphages: 6 sessions of sleep for 20 minutes each (every 4 hours). Forget about the long night dream – it is not provided;
  • Dymaxion is another hardcore option: 4 hours of sleep for 30 minutes every 6 hours.
polyphasic sleep
Image Source: Google Image

Reconfiguration and adaptation to polyphasic sleep

Do you think that additional hours of time will appear, it is only necessary to have 3-4 alarm clocks and break sleep into micro-phases? Unfortunately, it is not. The period of adaptation to the polyphasic sleep mode will take at least 2 weeks: the organism, which has always functioned in the 7-8 hour sleep mode, will be shocked by the innovations. It will be difficult for you to fall asleep during the day and wake up on an alarm clock at night.

How do you understand that the period of adaptation is coming to an end and that a second wind is about to open? The key to success is easy immersion in the phase of fast sleep. If during a daytime sleep of 20-30 minutes you have time to “fall through” into a dream, you will soon be relieved. Another sign that everything is going right – during short phases of rest you have bright dreams. This is the first signs of successful adaptation: soon there will come a relief, and life will acquire colors. And 3-4 hours of time as a nice bonus.

You may also like to read: 8 symptoms of visual stress

Reviews of those who had time to try


  • Those who coped with the difficulties of the adaptation period and used the time with advantage, achieved certain results: they launched their own application for smartphones, opened their own business or launched a successful blog. In a word – motivates.


  • It is difficult to combine office work with a real polyphasic sleep. The pillow, earplugs and surprised looks of colleagues will become your constant companions;
  • Negative impact on health. In the period of adaptation, our body experiences serious overloads – this is a fact. And if you have abnormalities in the work of the heart, nervous system, or you “start” under stress, prepare for a rapid heart rate, increased pressure, pain in the heart. I managed to meet the blogger’s story: “I sat in the armchair 90 minutes, looking at the wall. Complete apathy and severe dizziness “, etc. In other words, the transition to polyphasic sleep should be prepared morally and physically;
  • Restrictions in use. All the benefits can be felt only after 15-20 days. At the same time, studies that test the effect on the health of polyphasic sleep for more than 6 months simply do not exist. In other words: for a period of up to a month polyphasic sleep is not effective, and when the marathon is longer than 6 months – no one guarantees the absence of serious problems.
  • Another interesting point that I saw in the reports of several bloggers. Sooner or later, every polyphase supporter “breaks” and, not having heard the alarm, sleeps all 7-8 hours. In addition to remorse, their posts include another interesting comment: “It seems that it only seemed to me that I was getting enough sleep and feeling great. Apparently, my body likes to sleep: today I am full of energy and in a good mood. “

I’m not a fan of polyphasic sleep but I will give one more chance

When I first tried to break sleep into parts and limit it to 5 hours a day, the concept of “polyphase” was not unknown to me at all. I called this a “sleep in snatches.” Combining my senior years of study and work, I spent about 1.5 years in the “4 hours of night sleep + 2 half-hour sessions during the day.” In practice, it all coincided: during the day I fell into a dream so quickly that I did not even remember how I went to bed. Waking up after 30 minutes, I really felt that the length of my sleep is at least an hour.

And now I will tell you what I did not like in polyphasic sleep. At night, I was covered with a heavy sleep, reminiscent of a deep-water dive: it was almost impossible to throw it off from under the ringing of the alarm clock. In a break between the sessions of daytime sleep, I desperately fell asleep in pairs. And yes: I always wanted to sleep. And not because of physical fatigue. But just like all normal people, lie down in a comfortable bed, leave the past day’s affairs behind and plunge into a peaceful sleep. And to know that at 4 o’clock I will not be raised by an alarm bell of the alarm clock. Add to this periodically heart palpitations and night auditory hallucinations. You have the right picture: I remember this period as one of the most depressing in my life.

Why am I ready to give a polyphasic sleep a second chance? After reading a dozen articles on this topic, I experienced a hope: can we optimally build a regime? But the main thing that I want to pay attention to. If you take 3 hours a day from sleep, you should spend it on something that pleases you: an ingenious idea that you need to realize or a favorite job that you can not tear yourself away from. You should enjoy both the process and the result. If this time you throw on the altar of bored work in favor of the boss, all that awaits you – a long depression and a sense of despair.

I summarize: mandatory conditions for polyphasic sleep

  • Accurate compliance with the regime. Transfer of sessions of a day dream, their reduction or removal from the schedule is impermissible – you risk to lose working capacity and to bring down a mode for some days;
  • Polyphasic sleep is not compatible with high levels of stress and monotonous work. You must use the clock you won to fill your life with positive events, self-development and promising ideas. In the opposite case – you are expected to have depression and a subscription to a psychologist;
  • Go to polyphase sleep should be soft, not choosing to start the most hardcore mode;
  • With a capacity with work and personal life. About this very few people think, but the transition to polyphasic sleep – this is a series of cuts. Do everyone have a Saturday and you can sleep? You have a rise at 4 am. Friends are going to sit in a pub in the evening? Alas, you need to take a nap, and at 12 prepare for a night’s sleep. I do not dissuade you, you just need to understand the costs of this regime on the shore;
  • Constancy. Polyphase sleep is a system. And if you allow in it systematic violations, it works to the detriment. It is important to remember that we are experimenting with our body and resetting it. Do you want to use polyphasic sleep 3-4 times a week, and sleep the rest of the time? This will lead to the same consequences as fried potatoes with pork after a month of vegan diet: extremely difficult and dangerous for health.

Since my work now completely suits me and brings satisfaction, there are a couple of ideas in my head awaiting realization, I will still give polyphasic sleep another chance. And I ask you: set priorities, and take away from sleep time, only if you are sure that it will do you good.

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