Biphasic Sleep Trial (May 14, 2014 – June 12, 2014)

For my first (and possibly only, who knows) 30 day challenge, I will attempt to switch from my monophasic sleep schedule to a biphasic one. I’ve been interested in polyphasic sleep for a long time, but fear too much for my health and am not confident enough in my capabilities to attempt the more complicated forms of polyphasic sleep. Biphasic sleep, on the other hand, from what I’ve read, seems more safe and doable.

Monophasic? Biphasic? Polyphasic? What are these words?

Monophasic sleep is the type of sleep majority of people follow. It is the practice of sleeping for one solid block of time each day.

Biphasic sleep, on the other hand, is the type of sleep that is cut into two blocks of time, often in the form of a nap and a longer core sleep.

Polyphasic sleep is the general term for segmented sleep, or sleep that is cut into multiple blocks of time. There are more extreme forms of it than biphasic sleep, including the Dymaxion, Uberman, and Everyman sleep schedules, that I, out of curiosity and interest, love to read about, but wouldn’t dream to actually try.

What exactly do you plan to do?

I plan to attempt, for at least 30 days, to adopt a biphasic sleep schedule. This comes in many different forms, but the one I plan to adapt to is one that makes use of a 90 minute nap during the day, and a 4.5 hour core sleep at night.

Though I may have to sort of adjust the nap and core sleep times depending on my schedule, I hope to eventually adapt to a 7:30-9:00PM nap time and 1:00-5:30AM core sleep time, following the times when I’ve observed myself to usually feel kind of drowsy.

Why try biphasic sleep?

My main motivation behind trying this sleep schedule is to have more productive waking periods. I usually sleep 7.5 hours every night (9 hours sometimes on weekends or if I’m lucky). While I do feel pretty awake when I do, there are always those few hours of consistently unproductive time everyday, usually from 7-9PM. They’re consistently unproductive not because I have time and feel like chilling, but usually because I’m slightly drowsy and my brain doesn’t feel like working too much. That time is often followed by relatively productive time, then by sleep. This biphasic schedule could allow me to be asleep at times when I’m unproductive, and give me time awake when I actually feel like doing work.

My secondary motivation is to have more time awake. While I’m mainly aiming for the quality of waking time gained, the quantity gained is still a very welcome extra benefit. Since I normally sleep 7.5 hours a night, biphasic sleep would give me an additional 1.5 hours of wakefulness. This would give me extra time to catch up on schoolwork, to blog, to do side-projects, or just have some time to myself, and is definitely something I’ll look forward to.

I have already begun my adaptation, and am currently at day 3 of 30. I will post updates here every 5 days, and will also summarize the whole experience after the 30th day.

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