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with Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sleep Hacker Backs Off

I was interested to recently learn that the official Polyphasic Sleep Experiment had finally come to a halt.

Steven said, “After doing polyphasic sleep for about 5-1/2 months, I finally decided to switch back to monophasic. I sleep about 6.5 hours a night and wake up with an alarm at 5 a.m. every morning.”

What was so fascinating about his eventual return was that it was more for what I would deem as psychological reasons than physical ones. He realized that the rest of the world was monophasic (I suspect he realized this earlier) but that this new schedule, while it did give him more time alone, took time away from family and friends.

Since he was in Vegas, he said it was not too bad at first, but after a while it started to grate on him. He felt as though he spent enough time on the Internet, and those who are a big portion of his life (e.g., wife) were not around when he was up at night so it sounds like it got pretty lonely. Also he felt as though he could not constantly work. This, too, is very interesting since many would think that would be a good goal, increased alone time = increased productivity.

He also missed the Sun. It was not that he never saw it, as he was awake during the day, but he seemed to have missed it. Also his napping schedule got in the way of life. If you need to nap every 4 hours, what can you really get done? How many errands can you run? Get up, get dressed, out of the house (about 1 hour) then try going to the bank, grocery, and the dry cleaners, and be done in less than 2.5 hours to get back to your bed and sleep! Socially this could also be quite a nuisance. How do you have dinner and a movie in under 3.5 hours? Netflix, I guess.

He also said that his spontaneity was less than what he liked. Everything had to be planned. It seemed to “cramp his style.”

Finally, he said, “It gave me a whole new perspective on the passage of time. I saw time as passing continuously rather than being chunked into individual days.” Now, we all know that time is a continuum, but we do have a break of conscious time with unconscious time. This break allows us to have an anchor and not feel as though we are floating freely in the cosmos, which may be a good thing.

Could this be one of the reasons for sleep? It is possible.

Related Topics: Better Sleep Naturally HealthZone, What’s Your Sleep Personality? (WebMD Video)

Related Blog Posts: Sleep Hacking I, Sleep Hacking II

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Posted by: Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM at 11:52 am

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