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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 September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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