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Thread: Alternative Sleep Cycles: You Donít Really Need 6-8 Hours!

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    Default Alternative Sleep Cycles: You Donít Really Need 6-8 Hours!



    Most people only think that there is one way to sleep: Go to sleep at night for 6-8 hours, wake up in the morning, stay awake for 16-18 hours and then repeat. Actually, that is called a monophasic sleep cycle, which is only 1 of 5 major sleep cycles that have been used successfully throughout history. The other 4 are considered polyphasic sleep cycles due to the multiple number of naps they require each day. How is this possible? How is this healthy? Well the most important of every sleep cycle is the Stage 4 REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which has been shown to provide the benefits of sleep to the brain above all other stages of sleep. When changing over to a polyphasic cycle, the lack of sleep tricks the body into entering REM sleep immediately instead of 45 to 75 minutes into sleep like in the monophasic sleep. This way, you still get the benefits of 8 hours of sleep without wasting all of the time it takes to get to REM cycles, resulting in a much more efficient sleep cycle. Here are polyphasic cycles:


    Uberman Cycle:

    20 to 30 minute naps every 4 hours, resulting in 6 naps each day. The uberman cycle is highly efficient, and usually results in feeling healthy, feeling refreshed upon waking and extremely vivid dreams. Many uberman-users report increased ability to lucid dream as well. However, the rigid schedule makes it near impossible to miss naps without feeling horribly tired. Blogger Steve Pavlina tried the cycle for 5.5 months and had amazingly positive results.He only reverted to monophasic sleep so that he could be on the same cycle as his wife and children. Read his articles and updates on the cycle here.




    Everyman Cycle:

    One longer ďcoreĒ nap that is supplemented with several 20-30 minute naps. The most successful variations that I have read about are either one 3 hour nap and three 20-minute naps or one 1.5 hour nap with 4-5 20 minute naps, all of which have equal amounts of time in between each nap. This cycle is much easier to adjust to than the Uberman and allows for more flexibity in nap times and in skipping naps when necessary. It is also still extremely efficient compared to monophasic with only 3-4 hours of sleep per day. Many bloggers have tried out this cycle and reported no negative effects on their health.




    Dymaxion Cycle:

    Bucky Fuller invented the cycle based on his belief that we have two energy tanks, the first is easy to replenish whereas the second tank (second wind) is much harder to replenish. So Bucky began sleeping for 30 minutes every 6 hours. Thatís 2 hours a day of sleep! He reported feeling, ďthe most vigorous and alert condition I have ever enjoyed.Ē Doctors examined him after several years of using the cycle and pronounced him perfectly healthy. In fact, Fuller only stopped the cycle because his business associates were still stuck on monophasic cycles. This is by far the most extreme of the 4 alternate cycles, but also the most efficient.




    Biphasic/Siesta Cycle:

    Not even worthy of a diagram, the biphasic cycle is basically that of every college student in America. The biphasic cycle consists of sleeping for 4-4.5 hours at night, and then taking a 90 minute nap around noon. So not all that different, still more efficient than monophasic, but not by much.



    So which cycle is right for you?

    That completely depends on your lifestyle. Keep in mind that if you decide to switch to either the Dymaxion or Uberman cycles, you will be a zombie from day 3 to around day 10 until your body fully adjusts to the cycle. Here are some other tips I have gathered from reading other peopleís accounts:

    - Eat healthy, avoid fatty foods and the adjustment will be much easier

    - Make sure you have a project to work on during all of your new awake hours as it makes the time go by faster

    - Also make sure you have two or three weeks of freedom to adjust to the cycle so that you donít go to work or school completely dead from sleep deprivation

    - Hang in there. Each of the cycles will get exponentially easier all of the sudden after the first 2 weeks or so. Just be patient and diligent! Donít skip naps or change your nap times around or you will basically have to start your adjustment period over.

    - Use natural cues for being waking up from naps like sunlight and loud music, while using darkness and silence for sleep (obviously)

    If you are seriously considering making the switch over the a polyphasic sleep cycle, a really enjoyable and informative read is Steve Pavlinaís extremely in-depth report of his experience with the Uberman cycle, available here.

    Also be aware that it might not work for everyone.






    Original article: http://www.highexistence.com/alternate-sleep-cycles/


    so what do you guys think of this?
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    That's a fascinating and very interesting idea. I'm not sure how practical it is for people with typical 8-hr days, though.
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    yeah, the only shitty part is that the amount of time between naps isn't long enough to cover most people's work shifts. but if you work at home or freelance or whatever i think you should totally try it. i'm curious.

    i've got really bad insomnia and it can take up to 8 hours of me lying down trying to sleep for me to actually fall asleep... then i'll wake up in about 2-3 hours. but that could be due to all the chemical changes happening in my body right now. either way, it makes it difficult for me to just fall asleep for 30 minutes. the only way i was able to successfully fall asleep last night after a week of being awake was by ingesting 150mg of benadryl with sublingual ashwaganda and 5-HTP. usually i'd take xanax or smoke a lot of pot, but no more narcotics for at least a year, so. and i'd prefer to not have to take benadryl either, but like i said, it had been a whole week and i felt like death.
    maybe a saint is just a dead prick with a good publicist
    maybe tommorow's statues are insecure without their foes
    go ask the frog what the scorpion knows

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    Somehow I just don't believe it's healthy. Splitting up the REM cycles, and you get none of the lower stage sleep.

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    Cooking celery makes it alot easier to digest. Same with garlic...

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    I have experienced something like these first hand, having several naps and one long nap. Was working crazy shifts at a mill, and felt tired always and get pushing through the tiredness just to stay awake untill bedtime. Eventually stopped fighting that and went to have naps. Was worried I would ruin the nighttime sleep but I noticed that I actually felt great after napping. Unfortunately my sleeping cycle is so ruin, that no matter what I seem to awake everynight for a while, then get what I call, a "second" sleep in the early morning hours. I love napping.
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    @HereticWacey : Research and reading accounts of old-time behaviours (before electricity) suggests this is the original normal sleep pattern and people visited their neighbours, talked, had sex etc in the nighttime interval.

    @Allie: I looked up this idea some years back and to my knowledge no-one has managed to stick to it for longer than a year. I recall that people tested as very sleep-deprived, just used to it. There are many testimonies of adherents who only managed a week at the most before cracking and sleeping for 12hrs, polyphasic sleep schedules are notoriously difficult to adapt to. On the other hand, someone who lived on it for a year during college seemed to manage fine, enjoy the extra study time and found that her previous sleep problems had resolved afterwards; she'd also gained the ability to go to sleep very fast most anywhere.

    This was a while ago so I don't have sources on hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post
    yeah, the only shitty part is that the amount of time between naps isn't long enough to cover most people's work shifts. but if you work at home or freelance or whatever i think you should totally try it. i'm curious.

    i've got really bad insomnia and it can take up to 8 hours of me lying down trying to sleep for me to actually fall asleep... then i'll wake up in about 2-3 hours. but that could be due to all the chemical changes happening in my body right now. either way, it makes it difficult for me to just fall asleep for 30 minutes. the only way i was able to successfully fall asleep last night after a week of being awake was by ingesting 150mg of benadryl with sublingual ashwaganda and 5-HTP. usually i'd take xanax or smoke a lot of pot, but no more narcotics for at least a year, so. and i'd prefer to not have to take benadryl either, but like i said, it had been a whole week and i felt like death.
    I used to keep a really boring book on an uninteresting subject on my nightstand to read when I couldn't sleep. It was an old book from the 1950's (about 5 inches think) about composting. I usually got sleepy reading it. The only problem was that it was so heavy that it would wake me up if I dropped it on myself while falling asleep. Hang in there!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rat1 View Post
    Somehow I just don't believe it's healthy. Splitting up the REM cycles, and you get none of the lower stage sleep.
    Completely agree.
    That's exactly what I was going to say, actually.

    Though REM sleep is important, the other stages of sleep are just as important. Furthermore, an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep has progressively shorter and shorter deep sleep cycles, and progressively longer REM sleep cycles. The two work together to produce the full restoration that sleep will provide. (and the exact mechanisms of sleep are still not fully known).

    p.s. wasn't there a Seinfeld episode about these wacky sleep patterns?
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    i already sleep all day. what the hell am i going to do with 20 hours of free time.. get a job?
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    i've done a few variations..

    uberman is damn hard. it's like you have to constantly watch time. but that put my time awareness up, but it meant if you wanted to do something that'd strech over a boundary you had to be careful when you did it. it also doesn't really work with alcohol at all. and you run into a few issues.

    ther's something weird about being up "all the time" it's like life feels more intense but at the same time things like other people waking up slowly and so on can feel kind of strange when you're "wide awake". there's something about regular naps where it's like you wake up a lot quicker.

    the other thing is 20 hours is a lot of time. what are you going to do with it? i found it useful that i had internet, and could talk to people on the other side of the world at 5 am.

    in the end i shifted to something like 4 hours sleep, 60 minute naps and some short naps? or something, i can't see it on the list. but basically i went to sleep late, got up early, slept during the middle of the day, and i think i must have napped as well?

    it does make me think about doing something similar again at some point. for me around 2 am to 6 am seems to be the best time to sleep, but i oftren end up shifting it around to 3 am to 7 am in winter, as it's annoying getting up early when it cold.

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    i was just with a couple who i had a hunch are LIE-ESI and they were talking about this and it was funny because i remembered how ashton made a thread about it on socionix and allie made a thread about it here.

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