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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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