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5 Reasons Why the Uberman Sleep Cycle Could Be Your Weapon to a More Productive Life!

5 Reasons Why the Uberman Sleep Cycle Could Be Your Weapon to a More Productive Life!

Clocking an average of 6 to 8 hours of sleep ensures that you are well rested, ready to tackle the challenges the next day brings—usually, another 8 hours at work. Whether you are a student, working adult or even a stay-at-home mom, the truth is that we spend a third of our lives in bed, sleeping.

The majority of the world functions on a monophasic sleep cycle, where an estimated 30 percent of your day is dedicated to your bed and another third to work or school; it essentially leaves you with slightly less than 8 hours for everything else—travel, play, food, errands.

As you look into various ways of optimizing your time, the Uberman Sleep Cycle might be one to consider. Plus, it might just be the secret you need to a more productive life! While some may say that it is impractical and the toughest sleep pattern to adopt, it’s still worth looking into. Here are 5 reasons why the Uberman sleep cycle can make your life more efficient.

1. 3 Hours of Sleep

Being a polyphasic schedule, the Uberman sleep cycle offers you a chance to not only gain better quality sleep, but also to significantly increase the amount of time you have in a day.

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Essentially, with six to eight 20 minute naps each day that amounts to a total of about 3 hours of sleep, this sleep pattern leaves you with a lot more time on your hands to pursue the things you’ve always had no time for. Just like having 5 small meals per day, having multiple short naps a day when properly executed, leaves you feeling alert and sharp when you’re awake.

2. Increased Creativity 

Scientific studies have concluded that a person’s creativity is directly related to the amount and quality of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep they have. In a normal course of monophasic sleep, a person can have anywhere between 3 to 5, sometimes 6 REM cycles.

With a polyphasic sleep schedule, you are guaranteed 6 to 8 REM cycles, which will in turn stimulate your creativity to a larger extent.

3. Mental Clarity

REM sleep is highly linked to mental clarity. Sleep studies have shown that even if you obtain 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, if you are unable to enter REM cycles in your sleep, you will wake up feeling tired and exhausted; unable to focus or concentrate on anything. This is against the benefits of productivity that a good night of monophasic sleep can provide

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In today’s world, it is often common that people go through this. Between stress, traffic noise, light pollution, technological gadgets such as your mobile and computer and more, a person’s sleep cycle can be easily interrupted, and they may not be able to obtain the required number of REM cycles needed for their body to recuperate and recover.

Just a thought—when was the last time you were awoken from sleep in the middle of the night? With the guaranteed REM cycles from the Uberman sleep schedule, you’ll be sure that you will have all your mental acuities ready to call on.

4. Energy

Of course, if we don’t sleep, we feel tired. If we continue to go about our day without sleeping at all, it might not even be our choice anymore when our body shuts down and we lose consciousness.

Energy is another factor that is closely linked to REM cycles. Essentially, the more REM cycles, the more energy you have, and in today’s context, you can always use more energy.

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The Uberman sleep schedule ensures that you are refreshed and recharged after each power nap. And just when you’re feeling tired after that nap, it’s probably time for the next one. This allows for constant and timely rests throughout the day, keeping you going without the risk of exhaustion.

5. Alone Time

Throughout this whole article, we’ve been talking about the benefits of polyphasic sleep—how to get more time, more creativity, more energy and to have a sharper mind. However, there’s one more reason why you should strongly consider polyphasic sleep.

In today’s world, we owe our time to a lot of people—our parents, our spouses, our children, our bosses, the community, our friends, and so many more people and things that demand our attention and time. It’s easy to lose track of yourself in this busy world and we need our own alone time to be able to relax, meditate, and reflect.

Polyphasic sleep gives you exactly that. With the amount of time you’ll be awake when everyone is sleeping, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of yourself. Some polyphasic sleepers have reported suddenly taking on a hobby they’ve always wanted to do but never had time for, like painting, and not just painting one or two canvases, but over a hundred canvases in a matter of months. This is simply because they were now able to dedicate a good few hours every day to their craft.

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In summary, polyphasic sleep has very clear benefits; however, it is also very important to mention the fact that taking it on is not for everyone. The initial adaptation cycle is tough, but if you are determined and persistent, the rewards can be very huge.

Featured photo credit: Sad man holding pillow/Vic via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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