#TeamNoSleep? Recharge From Three Hours of Sleep with This Amazing Routine
Because there’s more to life than sleeping
When you think about how many hours you spend sleeping, you’ll realize you lose a third of your entire life shut down. That’s 35 hours a week spent snoring and drooling that you could be using on other things instead. What if we told you that you don't need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day?
A sleeping pattern called Everyman Cycle totals only 3 to 4 hours of sleep per day. While many college students and creative professionals already sleep the same amount on a regular workday, they need several cups of cheap coffee (3-in-one anyone?) to function. But with the Everyman Cycle, you’ll feel recharged sans the coffee and like you got the full eight hours.
Here’s how the Everyman Cycle works: have one main nap that lasts 3 hours, then three supplementary 20-minute power naps spread out evenly throughout the day. In between those naps you have 5-hour sets of wakefulness and activity. You can even afford to skip one of the supplementary naps every now and then.
It works by leveraging the infamous REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle when we sleep. This is the phase of your nightly slumber where you are deepest into unconsciousness. It occurs in cycles throughout your entire sleeping process. It’s also when your body and mind recharge the most.
So how does this factor into our new super-sleeping pattern? When you do the regular, inefficient eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per day, it’s called the monophasic cycle. In that one long rest, you get all your necessary REM periods over the course of the entire night. With the Everyman Cycle however—which is a polyphasic sleep cycle—every time you take a nap during the day, you instantly trigger the REM cycle you need then wake up when it’s over.
It works because when you miss or delay an REM cycle, it’s easier for you to get to the next one the next time you sleep. If you’ve ever gone a whole night without sleep to find yourself instantly knocked out once you hit the bed, that’s your body eagerly sprinting for that dose of dozing.
Does it have any negative effects on health? So far, with all the people who have tried it—and many did, when polyphasic sleep routines were a bigger fad in the early 2000s—no ill effects have been reported. Doctors agree there should be no problem, so long as your diet isn’t compromised and you’re still managing to hit those REMs. In fact, many people who successfully pull off the Everyman Cycle only quit because they start having way too much time on their hands and no one to spend it with (families and friends are still stuck in the classic 8-hour cycle).
Other polyphasic cycles have been discovered, such as the Uberman and Dymaxion Cycles, but those are much less forgiving with no main nap and only a series of small naps to survive by. If you’ve never done something like this before, the Everyman Cycle is the easiest to adopt, though even then it can be a challenge. Expect a week of absolute mind-numbing insomnia and sleep-deprivation before your body adjusts to the rhythm you set.
Once you’re used to it however, it’s smooth sailing and you’ll have more time every day than you thought was possible without caffeine. The only challenge left is how to make use of all the free time you now have.