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The Uberman Sleep Schedule - Can You Increase Productivity by Sleeping Less?

By Edited Oct 13, 2015 1 2

The average person spends about eight hours of the day sleeping. That equals out to 33% percent of the day. The rest of the day is split between family, friends, and work. Don't you wish you could just have some time to yourself? Maybe you wish there were more hours in a day so you could play video games, read a book, or maybe work on all those article ideas you have been meaning to write? What if I told you that with the uberman sleep schedule you could reduce that 33% of sleep time to 8% and still feel alert?

The uberman sleep schedule is a version of polyphasic sleep that cuts down sleeping once a day for a long while into sleeping several different times a day in smaller nap versions. There are many different phases of polyphasic sleep including biphasic (twice a day), triphasic (three times a day), tetraphasic ( four times a day), and pentaphasic (five times a day). Those might be some easier alternatives before tackling the uberman sleep schedule which is a hexaphasic (six times a day) sleep schedule. However, the uberman sleep schedule does allow for the most awake time.

uberman sleep schedule

So What Is The Uberman Sleep Schedule Anyway?

The uberman, as mentioned above is a sleeping schedule in which you do not sleep for one long block of the day, but instead break your sleeping into six different naps throughout the day.

The traditional sleep schedule is to take six 20-minute naps every 4 hours. This results in only 2 hours of sleep compared to the average 8 hour sleeps normal people have. Some choose to take four 30-minute naps every 6 hours, but that is not a true uberman schedule, though it also results in 2 hours of sleep per day.

The first three or so weeks of this new sleep schedule will be absolute hell for those that try it. You will be groggy and feel like a walking zombie until your body adapts to it. This is something you have to have an adaptable work schedule in order to let your body get used to only sleeping for short periods of time. When changing from monophasic to polyphasic your body does not have enough time to go through the stages of sleep. Your naps will not be long enough to let your body reach REM sleep and without REM sleep your mind tends to lag quite a bit.

person working

Benefits of the Uberman Sleep Schedule

Once you can get past the adaption period where you feel like the living dead sans the urge to eat flesh. Your mind will adapt itself and every time you take a nap you will enter REM sleep almost immediately.

Since you enter REM so quickly, many believe that there is a large potential for extremely vivid dreams and even lucid dreams. Lucid dreams are vivid dreams where you can control your actions, what happens in the dream, and even what the dream is about. Those who chase lucid dreaming often attempt some form of multiphase sleep pattern to trigger them.

The biggest benefit of this sleep pattern is the new amount of free time you have. Now you can have the day for your family, friends, and work. The night is now for you and your own projects. Though many people with 9-to-5 jobs find it hard to have a multiphase sleep pattern because they cannot find the time for their naps. It works well for freelancers though. The more hours in your day means more time you can work, thus the more money you can make.

Many people who swear that sleeping this way can solve sleep problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Personally, I can see why it can help sleep apnea as you are not asleep long enough for it to be a problem, however I would think insomnia would make it harder to adapt to this schedule.

sleep deprived

Disadvantages of the Uberman Sleep Schedule

There have, to date, been no studies of long term polyphasic sleep. Many people end up quitting after a couple of months because they miss people or miss sleeping next to their loved one. Being up 22 hours a day can get lonely at times. Introverts tend to have more success with this kind of sleeping as they like to be by themselves and do not often crave times with people. Their need for human company can be fulfilled simply be being around them in the day time when everyone is awake. Extroverts have a much harder time sticking to this pattern of sleeping. They are fulfilled during the day, but often miss human company during the night time hours.

Some have also quit because medical problems started showing up, this suggests that this might not be the healthiest sleep schedule. Though most of the time it is because they are extroverted and get lonely at night, in a lot of the journals I have read anyway.

Many theorize that health problems start showing up because they are going through the improper stages of sleep. We need REM sleep for our body to essentially do repair work on the body and mind. However, people believe that we also need the stages leading up to sleep to help regulate our breathing, blood pressure, and circulation. By skipping these stages of sleep and entering immediately into REM, it gets the repair time we need, but it also stresses our body to wind down faster.

However, probably the biggest disadvantage, as you many have guessed, is the adaption period. I have read a blog of a man who did it for a couple months and it was exhausting just reading it. Many people fail during the first month because they just do not have the will power. Whether it be simply sleeping through their alarm for literal hours or not being able to ignore the allure of the bed. What ever it is, the uberman is no simple thing to get started. To get adapted you have to commit and determine whether the suffering of a few weeks is really something you want to do.

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Comments

Jun 20, 2013 5:03pm
Alex-Gopson
Seems like you would need a solid 3 weeks vacation in order to get used to this schedule.
Jun 21, 2013 11:43am
lek3
I'd never heard of the Uberman Sleep Schedule before - very interesting. Not sure I could ever do it myself!
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