Monday, October 08, 2007

Polyphasic Sleep

My sleep cycle has been so abberant for so long that I no longer believe it is necessary to sleep through the night. I am often at most creative late at night and I resent the tyranny of a society that thinks it knows when I should sleep and when I shouldn't.

Turns out that I'm a polyphasic sleeper.

Polyphasic sleep is a term used to describe several alternative sleep patterns intended to reduce sleep time to 2–6 hours daily in order to achieve a better quality of sleep. This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short naps of around 15–30 minutes throughout the day, and in some variants, a core sleep period of a few hours at night. The term "polyphasic sleep" itself refers only to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period....

Claudio Stampi advocates polyphasic sleep as a means of ensuring optimal performance in situations where extreme sleep deprivation is inevitable (e.g. to improve performance in solo sailboat racers), but Stampi does not advocate the polyphasic sleep as a lifestyle....

Buckminster Fuller advocated Dymaxion Sleep, a regimen consisting of 30 minute naps every six hours... he followed this schedule for two years, but after that had to quit because "his schedule conflicted with that of his business associates, who insisted on sleeping like other men."...

Experiments performed at Loughborough University in the UK showed that the sleep-deprived need only a cup of coffee and 15 minutes of shut-eye to feel amazingly refreshed.

1. Right before you crash, down a cup of java. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in.

2. Close your eyes and relax. Even if you only doze, you’ll get what’s known as effective microsleep, or momentary lapses of wakefulness.

3. Limit your nap to 15 minutes. A half hour can lead to sleep inertia, or the spinning down of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles functions like judgment. This gray matter can take 30 minutes to reboot. |Cheat on the Need to Sleep - Wired How To Wiki|
While at UCLA I often had multiple, overlapping deadlines every week and end of term projects (on a 10 week quarter system) so I basically was constantly scrambling to conduct research for short-term and long-term deadlines, this combined with a position as an evening librarian (on call until midnight and then biking home) this led to me frequently working at night.

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