Is polyphasic sleep possible?

The idea that we sleep approx. 1/3 of the 24 hours that we have (thus sleeping 1/3 of our life) has lingered in my mind for a long while. Firstly, it´s a fact that I find disturbing but secondly very fascinating. So I decided to look into it.

Yes, by effectively structuring my free-time I have been able to loosen up hours that I didn’t think I had, or to put it frankly, that was used for zombie-like activities like watching TV with out a plan. I have been doing that and it has worked wonders. When you embark on a journey you want to keep on discovering and the fact that we only have about about 6 hours a day to use as free-time tickles me to try to find a way to maximize these hours (which I have done but I can get a lot better, like figuring out the minimal effective dose popularized by Tim Ferris. To read more about minimal effective dose, google it or visit Tim Ferris blog, it´s fascinating! I have ordered his book the four hour body which I am looking forward to. It actually has a chapter about polyphasic sleep which I´m looking forward to read.)

The question that I have asked myself recently is: Is there a way that you can reduce your sleeping time and thus release more time and on the same time remain healthy and mentally clear? Well, at first it seemed ludicrous to even think that it was possible but the thought seemed intriguing so I started to do some searches on the Internet on sleep and thus finding the term polyphasic sleep AKA uberman sleep.

The sleep pattern that most of us are adapted to and that seems (given sunset and sunrise) the most practical socially is named monophasic sleep. This means that we sleep as the word says MONO; usually 8 hours straight. Polyphasic sleep means that you have more than just one sleep cycle. Instead of sleeping 8 hours you sleep 2 hours total in 24 hours but sleeping only 20-30 minutes at a time spread on 6 different times.

This, to put is shortly, will give your body the same rest as 8 hours. (Well, that´s what they say). There is obviously an period of adaptation (approx. a week) for the body to get used to the new cycle and then the body is forced (because it notices that it´s only getting 20-30 minutes of rest at the time) to enter directly into the REM sleep which is paradoxically known to be the time when we receive the most rest despite the vivid dream period.

I´m not planning to try this out anytime soon but I thought is was fascinating to find out that there is actually a way to maximize your time by doing something drastic as restructuring your sleep. I have not yet found (I haven’t really looked that hard but not as far as I can see, not on the Internet anyways.) any direct research about it; how does it effect the body in the long haul? What about the psychological aspects? Even if it does work what about the social aspects (having to sleep 30 minutes every four hours; seems a bit unpractical to me 🙂 ).

I did find a quite interesting website were a man for 5 months slept polyphasic and, as far as I can tell by reading his daily blog posts, he found the experience doable (allthough the shift was hard) and very enlightening. I´m going to keep reading his saved blog posts to see the end result.

Image: winnond /

My TV experience. Can it get better?

I very seldom sit down at the TV anymore without knowing exactly what I´m going watch. I have to admit though, it´s not easy. For so many years I have done the same thing over and over. I picked up the remote flicked through the channels hoping to find something that would, momentarily, entertain me. If I didn’t find something worth watching I settled for the next best program.

Somebody once said (I can´t remember who): I find the television to be very educational; every time it´s turned on I go to the other room to read a book.  This is something that I have to get much better at. Yes, it´s great to plan my TV experience but if there´s nothing worth watching why should I settle for something less? It ´s then much better to reconsider and sit down and read or focus your time on something else that you can put value in.

Image: graur razvan ionut /

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Solution: Make a written schedule-Boost effectiveness

By Stuart

I had found the answer!

For me to get back on track and feel satisfied again I needed to get back in the driver seat, start with shifting up a gear and start to control my reality.

The answer was, for me, to make a schedule. I first started to make the schedule in my head: “Ok, so when I get home from work Im going to excerise for 30 min and then Im going to read a book for 1 hour and then….” Well, it didnt work as good as I had hoped for. I really couldnt stick to it. Things got in the way, the phone rang. So, I went on the internet and read some interesting things about goal setting etc. Then it hit me, for this to work I have to write it down. I have to write it down in detail, in advance, and fallow it like a school boy.

So, i went on the computer and fixed a neat schedule in word and printed it out. I wrote down when I was going to start something and when I was goin finish it. I ended with: “I hereby promise to fallow this schedule” and signed my name. It felt impowering. I had at that point legally bound myself to keep to the contract and it felt great!:)

One days schedule looks something like this:

5.30 pm-     Make dinner with my wife

6.30 pm –    Study Portuguese

7.40 pm –    5 K running while listening to Chinese/Mandarin language learning

8.15 pm –    Read John Grisham

9.15 pm –    Watch a movie with my wife

11.00 pm – Go to bed-lights out!

If there is somehow a need to change plans I reschedule it! NO SKIPPING.

(I schedule one week at a time and keep it down to earth and realistic.)

Guess if my free-time productivity sky rocketed!

Image: Stuart Miles /

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I was ready for a change

After a long day at work I was sometimes exhausted. I arrived home, kicked off my shoes and felt relieved that I had finally reached my free-time zone. Now it was time to relax and just take it easy. “I´m worth it because I have done my 8-10 hours at my job.” I said to myself.

Me and my wife (a great cook by the way) made some food which we usually enjoyed in front of the TV where we usually watched a show, documentary or a movie.  After a while I usually got tired (I will get to the tiredness later); I fell asleep on the couch.  After waking up we usually took a walk together  and talked about the day.

The evening ended around 11 pm when we went to bed. Before going to sleep I read a book or a magazine until I started to drift off into dreamland. I usually woke up a bit later by my Iphone making a sound. Someone had placed a new word in word feud. I couldn’t wait until tomorrow so I picked up my phone and placed a new word. I then tried to go to sleep again.

There is really nothing wrong with this evening scenario and there is absolutely nothing wrong with “taking it easy”. We all need to take it easy and kick our feet back and whistle with the wind; There is no crime in that. But I had all this things that I wanted to do. I wanted to get in bodily shape, I wanted to write etc.

Overall, my free time didn’t satisfy me. How was this possible? I had free-time for my disposal! FREE TIME. I could do anything I wanted with the time because I was OFF duty, off work.  Still, when sitting back and thinking about what made me happy I came to the conclusion that I was way OFF. Why? Because I wasn’t in control of my reality. I was not in control, in fact, most of the time the control was in control or the Iphone was in control and I just passively fallowed like a dog fallows his master.

I was ready for a change and I was ready to get back into the driver seat!

What did I do? More about that in my next post. Until then, Smile!

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Why a map is important-Know your A to B

We’re all pilgrims on the same journey – but some pilgrims have better road maps.
Nelson DeMille

The best memories I have from when I was a little kid was all the trips we took with the family. My dad Lars was the “captain of the ship” and he made sure we understood, before “leaving the shore”, where we were headed and how long it  would take to get there.

He, like the true captain he his, spread the map across the kitchen table and said: “Ok kids, where are we?” Me and my brother raised to put our fingers on the right spot on the map. We didn’t always get it right but at least we were enthusiastic about it. “Ok great, and were are we going?” This was a little bit trickier but we made our best guess and pointed proudly on a spot on the map. “yes, almost but we are going here” our father said as he gently pulled one of our fingers to the right place on the map.

He further told us how long it would take to get there. He also pointed out approximately were we would make stops to eat our lunch etc. So, when our journey started we knew fairly well how long it would take, when we could eat our lunch and take a bathroom break. Of course, bathroom breaks were always more frequent then infrequent, but hey, we were kids with a deep love for juice:)

Yes, I think you know were I’m going with this. Just like my dad planned our journeys when I was a kid showing us the map before driving towards our destination, it can be a great help for us to look at the map before each day and see were we are going. Yes, the work day is usually already planned out as 9-5 so there is little we can do about that but how are we planning our free time? Do we have a map for the hours from 5-11?

Let us discover how we can optimize these hours!

This and more in tomorrows post. For now, start thinking around the concept of having a map. See what comes to mind and smile!

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Plan your journey-plan your day!

I´m going to start this blog with telling you something amazing. Its something that will revolutionize your way of thinking about planning your life. It will alternate your view on your journey in general and shift your awareness and rock you to the core. I hope you are sitting down because this will blow your mind. It blew mine, Are you ready? Here we go. 1, 2, 3…

You have 24 hours per day! Yes, you read me correctly, you HAVE 24 hours per day!

Ok, I admit it, I was trying to draw you in by opening up with an amazing claim but I did that purposefully to make a point. We all know that we have 24 hours a day to plan with and we all know that those 24 hours are gone when the clock hits twelve. The question is, are we planning with them? Do we see them as the pot of gold that they are?

Every night at the same time you are given a new set of hours to plan with and with them a new opportunity to plan them as well as you can. The question is: Are we?

This will be the red thread of this blog. I will share how to optimize our free time, work-outs and how planning your day is the most important task of your day.

I will share ideas that I have come up with and I will also share ideas that I have read or heard other people put forth that I find highly inspiring. Together we can plan your journey, become more effective and use every hour to our advantage!

I wish you all a successful 2012!

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