I’m planning to try Biphasic sleep.
Biphasic sleep about sleeping in two periods every 24 hours. The first period is a nap that lasts one dream cycle; I’ll set my alarm to give me 90 minutes. The second period is for four and a half hours or however long you feel like staying asleep.
The benefits are said to be really good. The main benefit is that you sleep less per 24 hours; typically 6 hours. For most people that would be a gain of 2 hours. As I rarely sleep as little as 8 hours a day, I think I would gain even more time in my day, as I’ve heard it said that people who sleep a lot tend to end up sleeping 6 hours like other people when they take up this rhythm.
There are other benefits too. I’ve heard that biphasic sleep gives you more energy, more intuition, better quality of sleep, better dream recall, and more lucid dreams. All of these benefits seem pretty sweet to me.
Unlike with the Uberman polyphasic sleep rhythm which Steve Pavlina tried once, I won’t be making my daily schedule too unmanageable. Hey, I live in Spain, where the “siesta” at midday is practically an institution. Compared to other forms of polyphasic sleep, biphasic seems very easy and convenient and with a lot of returns for the effort that goes into it. And if I don’t call it something so outlandish as “biphasic” – if I just say I have a “siesta” at midday – I may even briefly appear to be a normal person, to someone who has failed to look too carefully. That is convenient 🙂
I’ve decided to start the experiment with a rhythm of going to bed at 4:30 AM and waking up at 9 AM. Then later I will have a nap at 4:30 PM for 90 minutes.
For today I’m going to set my alarm to wake up at 9 AM so I’ll be sleepy enough to nap at 4:30. Later, though, I will only use an alarm for the nap.
I’m super psyched about this change — wish me luck!
(For convenience I am editing this article and adding in my follow-up post below).
Here’s a quick update on my biphasic sleep experiment.
It has so far been a successful learning experience. That is, I failed :p I kept it up for about a week, some days doing it right and experiencing some great benefits, and other days not getting it quite so right. However, having a different rhythm to her, I kept waking up my girlfriend when I got into bed.
She’s a very light sleeper and for some reason usually can’t back to sleep after being woken up at night. It’s insane.
One night I managed to get into bed without her waking up – I was ultra, mega, uber slick and silent, like a cat burglar sneaking into her warm and cuddly embrace. I got under the blankets and was still. Then, I looked at her to see if I’d woken her up or not. I studied her face intently; I couldn’t see very well in the dark.
And she woke up.
Apparently I’d woken her up with the intensity of my gaze.
After trying all the solutions I decided that there was just nothing doing. Unless I sleep somewhere else, I basically have to go to bed at the same time as my girlfriend and get out of bed at the same time or later. And it happens to be that I both don’t really have anywhere else to sleep, and don’t want to sleep anywhere else.
For another moment in my life in which I’m free to experiment with this, I am certain that I’ll want to return to biphasic sleep. It really isn’t that hard, for one thing. How hard can it be to take a long nap in the middle of the day?
The benefits seem to be quite clear. I found myself being a lot more productive when I maintained the sleeping pattern. I would be able to do almost twice the amount of things I would normally do. Not in a stressed out way – just because I was in this flow of being very clear headed and focused.
On the other hand, when I wake up in the morning on a normal sleeping pattern I need quite a long time to get into this flow. I also seem to need more time to rest up and disconnect.
Added to the gains in time I get from having to sleep less in a twenty four hour period, biphasic sleep is a killer productivity solution for seekers of lazy success. (I have just linked to one of my favourite books of all time). Without stopping doing what you want, you naturally achieve more.
Besides that I noticed some improvements in my dream recall and also rather more intense dreams. I enjoyed that benefit though it wasn’t as much as I’d hoped. If my intuition improved I didn’t really notice it. And that’s everything I noticed during this time.
Hey, it was a short experiment, and I didn’t really get it to work continuously. I would so like to see how well biphasic sleep works, done well, over the course of a whole month. But, I guess, that’s for later.