The content on this page was last updated and reviewed on Saturday 03 March 2018.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: When dealing with polyphasic sleep, it is good practice to be skeptical about what you read, including everything you find on this website. Polyphasic sleep is not an exact science, because the number of scientific studies done on this subject is very limited. Consequently, while this content has been compiled with the intention that it might be helpful and useful to people, a lot of the information contained within has been collated without regard to perfect scientific accuracy (although, in many cases, published research papers have been studied to give additional background). Portions of the content on this website are a result of direct or personal observation and some information has been extrapolated based on data already available. It should also be said that I'm not perfect, and it's possible I made mistakes or I've misjudged the information. Nevertheless, hopefully you find at least some of the content within to be useful. If you feel the information given here is inaccurate, or that I am giving out bad advice, you are encouraged to discuss this with me over in the Discord chat room.

*** THIS WEBSITE IS NO LONGER MAINTAINED. SEE POLYPHASIC.NET FOR NEW CONTENT ***

Please note: This website is intended to be read in a left-to-right order. The content on this page assumes you have read and understood all previous pages. If you are finding comprehension difficult and you haven't read previous pages, you should start reading the guide from the beginning.


Introduction

What is polyphasic sleeping?

Polyphasic sleeping is the practice of sleeping multiple times per day. It is in contrast to a normal 'monophasic' sleep schedule (sleeping once per day) which is currently the default sleep pattern practiced in the western world.

You might consider this to be a rather odd concept, but polyphasic sleeping is neither new nor strange. Many animals sleep polyphasically, as do newborn human babies and young children. In fact, for most of recorded history, even adults followed a polyphasic sleeping pattern, taking a 'first sleep' early in the evening, waking during the middle of the night for several hours and then returning for a 'second sleep' in the early hours of the morning. People would use the time between these two sleeps for activities such as prayer, writing, sex and dream interpretation. The industrial revolution and the introduction of electric lighting allowed people to stay up later, which eventually led to this practice falling out of favour and eventually being forgotten by most of the population.

Why would someone want to sleep polyphasically?

Polyphasic sleeping has a number of benefits in contrast to a normal monophasic sleep pattern. The primary touted benefits include:

Many proponents of polyphasic sleep like to use these benefits to suggest that polyphasic sleep is 'better' and that 'everyone' should be polyphasic. I would personally consider this to be a flawed argument. Polyphasic sleeping also has its downsides and does not suit everyone's lifestyle. In particular the following downsides should be noted:

This is not an exhaustive list of pros or cons, but it should put across to you that polyphasic sleep is not necessarily better than monophasic sleep. As with many facets of life, the decision to sleep polyphasically should be weighed up for its advantages and disadvantages. If, after weighing everything up, you think that sleeping in a polyphasic fashion might be for you, then and ONLY then should you proceed.

I've chosen to try polyphasic sleep - what now?

Before you begin sleeping polyphasically, here are the basic steps you should follow:

In particular, gathering information is extremely important, particularly from reputable sources. Too many people try polyphasic sleep with a lack of accurate information and consequently have no idea what they are doing - this usually leads to failure. For this reason, I have put together this website is an attempt to give you the best understanding possible about polyphasic sleeping, and from here you can learn about pretty much everything you need to know to be successful with polyphasic sleep. If that doesn't serve your purposes for whatever reason, here are some other resources you can check out:

There are several other places to find information online and some are better than others. It is a real minefield out there. Consequently, you should be very critical about everything you read and hear on this subject. In particular, you should avoid places such as YouTube video blogs (many new polyphasic experimenters have a habit of making a video blog about how great it's going to be, only to fail horribly and then abandon the project). You should also avoid the website SuperMemo - the author of this website appears to hold a grudge against the polyphasic sleeping community and has taken it upon himself to try to debunk the theories behind polyphasic sleep by misconstruing facts and twisting evidence to support his claims (unfortunately managing to get his opinions spread as far as both Wikipedia and Google). Another often-mentioned information source is the blog of Steve Pavlina, who did the Uberman sleep schedule for just under 6 months in 2005-6; unfortunately, like with Puredoxyk's book, he seriously understates the adaptation timescale and his blog has led to a lot of overoptimistic experimenters over the years, so you should take what you read there with some healthy skepticism.

There is also a new website coming soon which will look at polyphasic sleep from a more scentific viewpoint, but for now that site is still under construction and isn't available.

If anyone else wants to suggest some good information sources to list here, please poke me and I'll add them.