Biphasic Sleep

I have started my biphasic sleep experimenton May 22, 2008. I plan on trying out biphasic sleep for 30 days.

Introducing Biphasic Sleep

Biphasic Sleep is sleeping twice in a 24-hour period. There are different variations of it. A very common biphasic sleep schedule is sleeping 4.5 hours at night and then taking another 1.5 hour nap sometime during the day. While biphasic sleep isn’t very common in America, it is practiced in many countries around the world.

My Biphasic Sleep Schedule

I will be taking two 3 hour naps each day. I will be going to sleep from 3 AM – 6 AM and from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. This schedule works great with my current day job and my other daily activities. I will be trying my best to follow the sleeping schedule. One of theadvantages of biphasic sleep is flexibility. Biphasic sleep is much more flexible than polyphasic sleep. Going to bed half an hour, or an hour late shouldn’t be a big deal.  Occasionally skipping a nap is also fine.  I will focus on waking up the same time everyday. If I’m late taking one of my naps, I will still wake up at the same time, and take the following nap a bit earlier. I will also make sure that the length of each nap is an increment of 90 minutes

Advantages of Biphasic Sleep

From reading about biphasic sleep I have discovered the following potential advantages. I will certainly report on the accurateness of these advantages throughout my experiment.

  • A More Stable Energy Level Throughout the Day.  On a regular sleeping schedule you usually get tired towards the end of the day, and aren’t very productive.  Biphasic sleep eliminates that since your sleeping twice a day.  As a result you should experience a more stable energy level throughout the day.
  • More Free Time. Many who have tried biphasic sleeping have reported that they feel as much energy sleeping 6 hours per day (or less) as they did when they slept 7-8 hours a night. This creates a potential 7-14 hours of free time every week, or 30-60 hours of free time per month. What will I do with all the free time ;)
  • Schedule Flexibility. With biphasic sleep, you get a lot of flexibility on the kinds of activities you can do during the day. For example I have a day job, however my biphasic sleep schedule will allow me to be out late on weeknights (since I don’t have to sleep until 3 AM) and still make it to work energized the next morning (waking up at 6 AM).

Disadvantages of Biphasic Sleep

The following are potential disadvantages of biphasic sleep reported by others. I will asses the accuracy of these disadvantages as I provide status updates on this site.

  • First 7-10 Days are tough on your body. Whenever you are switching your sleeping patters, you will usually be a bit tired and experience some fatigue the first 7-10 days. You also might have to juggle some things around in your schedule to accommodate the new sleeping times.
  • Social Life Impact. In order to maintain a somewhat steady sleep schedule, you might have to skip certain events, show up late, leave early etc. Biphasic sleep is flexible and allows for such small changes, however some who have tried it have reported a negative impact on their social life. This is one of those factors that might vary greatly from one person to the next depending on an individual’s responsibilities and commitments.

Variables I Will Monitor

I will be monitoring and reporting on the following variables during my 30 day experiment:

  • Mental Alertness. Hopefully biphasic sleeping wont decrease my IQ smarts ;)
  • Physical Energy. Overall physical energy and abilities. It will be interesting to see how biphasic sleep impacts to my cardiovascular exercise or weightlifting workouts.
  • Emotional State. It will be interesting to see if the change in my sleeping habits will increase my anxiousness, or impact my temper or mood in general. Be on the watch out for some cranky posts in the next 30 days :)
  • Productivity. Will I be able to get more done with the extra 1-2 hours per day? or will the change in my sleeping habits get the best of me?
  • Hunger. How is biphasic sleep going to affect my appetite?
  • Water Intake. How is biphasic sleep going to affect my water intake level?
  • Eye Redness/Irritation. In the past when I don’t get my usual 7 hours of sleep I’ve often had some eye redness and irritation in the morning. If there was a night where I got only 4 hours of sleep, I had a hard time putting on my contact lenses the following morning. This is usually because of two reasons: contacts weren’t in their cleaning solution long enough to disinfect, and my eyes were red and a bit irritated because of the lack of sleep. This is why I got my eye glasses ready on hand.  I’m also working on my smart cool nerdy look :)
  • Social Life Impact. I’m Curious to see how biphasic sleep will impact my social life.  Will I have to skip certain events that occur during my sleeping times?  Or will it be okay to skip a nap once in a while?  How will my friends and family take it?

Possible Future Biphasic Sleep Plans

If I have success with the two 3 hour naps per day schedule, I might attempt a more extreme biphasic sleep schedule. A schedule where I’m taking a 3 hour nap at night and a 1.5 hour nap sometime during the day.