Sleeping and Napping: Day 1

Polyphasing means sleeping in multiple phases or times a day instead of just one big chunk. For example instead of 8 hours, 3 hours plus three naps of 20 mins each.

Sleeping 4 hours a day leaves so much more time to do anything! At least that’s my goal. From chores to creative work such as blogging (we’ll see how the novelty factor plays out), coding, researching, etc. With 3 undergoing startupy projects at the same time, there’s always room for more hours in a day and being more productive while balancing time with family, leisure and friends. Also the fact of not having a 9–5 job helps having a flexible schedule.

Today is my first day (or night, depending what you think it’s 3 am) where I’ll be adjusting to sleeping like this.

Quick intro on my daily schedule as it was for the last month:

  1. Go to bed between midnight-1am
  2. Wake up between 9–10am
  3. Stretch for 10/15 mins
  4. Headspace for 15 mins
  5. Breakfast at 9.30/10.30 am
  6. Plan the day and work until 7 pm

Add eating, drinking, grocery shopping, running a couple of times a week and a random squash game.

Yesterday, Sunday 16th, was already a little bit peculiar day since I woke up at 2.30 am (4.30 am Finish time) to go to the airport and return from my holidays in Helsinki. I didn’t sleep until I took a 35min nap at around 2.30pm back in Dublin. After more research and finding what I would be doing the coming week in term of meetings, etc, I took another nap at 7 pm, which will later around 4pm, as I usually go to city center between 5 and 6pm.

I then woke up, cooked, ate and at 10.15 pm went to sleep. I should have gone to sleep 30/45 mins earlier, but I started watching a TV show that was just too good to stop.

A useful resource I found to calculate nap times based on when you want to them and not kill your social and business relationships is:

Before diving into how long should naps be, how often, etc, when doing this so called “Everyman polyphasing”, there is an adjusting period from a monophasing sleep. Blogs and other resources recommend breaking the sleeping pattern into 2 phases and then adding short naps and reducing the core nap.

I’m going to try a longer core nap of 6 hours for 2 days with 2x20 min naps and then reducing the core nap from 6 hours to 4.5 hours for 2 days with 3x20 min nap. And the finally to 3-hour core nap. Why 6, 4.5 and then 3 hours you ask? Why not going from 5 to 4 and then to 3? That’s because sleep cycles last around 90 minutes. In fact, there should a device that could be worn and it would help you figure out how to adjust to a polyphasing sleep, choose the pattern more suited to your social schedule and finally monitor your sleep patterns in a more precise way than just telling you much deep and light sleep you got last night.

I’ve used many devices and apps for the last couple of years to monitor my sleep and wake me up when I’m not deep in my sleep.

I’ll continue to blog this “experiment” and talk about sleep monitoring, alarms and productivity in general for the foreseeable future (and it’s quite foggy future at the moment and I’m just starting this new journey) and see how thing progress.

Good night, Good fight.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Gianfranco Palumbo’s story.