We’ve all been there before. You have a late night or miss a few hours sleep and suddenly you’re out of whack for the next week. But did you know that you can actually survive on less than three hours of sleep a night? That equates to about five extra hours in your day to get things done!
The key to making it possible is to understand sleep patterns. You can actually create your own sleep cycles outside of the regular day and night cues, though alternative sleep patterns don’t necessarily always mesh well with society! Let’s take a look at the most basic types of sleep patterns.
This is the most common sleep cycle, and what many of us are used to. It consists of one sleep cycle of about eight hours every night.
Not too uncommon, this sleep cycle consists of a slightly shorter sleep at night paired with a nap during the day. Our Latin friends have been taking siestas for centuries, and know that a short sleep after lunch can leave you feeling as refreshed as having had a few hours slumber.
This is a more unusual pattern, which consists of multiple periods of sleep each day. The most well known combinations are:
- Everyman – 4 hours total (a core sleep of 3 hours and 3 additional 20 minute naps)
- Uberman – 2 hours total (a 20 minute nap every 4 hours)
- Dymaxion – 2 hours total (a 30 minute nap every 6 hours)
There can be many advantages to adopting a Polyphasic sleep cycle; namely more hours in the day, increased quality of sleep, more energy, and even improved dream recall. However, it takes immense self-discipline, lots of planning and extreme sleep deprivation while you adjust.
But a Biphasic sleep pattern can be much more achievable. It still allows you to gain time in your day, and can also provide you with a more stable energy level.
Whatever routine you chose, just make sure you stick to it. Knowing how much sleep you need, and making sure that you get just that, is the real key to eliminating sleepiness and improving productivity. A good night’s sleep can go a long way to helping you remain energetic throughout the day.
Have you experimented with different sleep patterns? Let us know about your experience below.