You Can Sleep When You're Dead.


| 7 Comments

Like most college students, I often find myself cursing the fact that there is only 24 hours in a day. Between class, sleeping, socializing, studying, homework and eating, one finds oneself having to sacrifice something in order to do get everything done. For students, what they usually sacrifice is sleep. Tired of going to classy groggy and grumpy from the lack of sleep I was getting, I began researching sleep cycles and came across an interesting article about The Uberman Sleep Cycle which is, suggesting that you sleep 20-30 minutes six times per day, with equally spaced naps every four hours around the clock. This means you're only sleeping 2-3 hours per day. My first thought was about the long term effects. "This can't be healthy," I thought. "The brain needs sleep to rest and work properly." So I quickly began looking more into it and became intrigued as I learned more. According to US National Library of Medicine, "possible long-term risks of polyphasic sleep include learning difficulties and changes in metabolism, due to reductions in sleep phases  which are crucial to bodily renewal, memory processing, and weight maintenance. Some polyphasic experimenters have also mentioned falling asleep at erratic times, which suggests that you may not want to drive long distances or operate machinery." 

sleeping-intern.jpgWhile there may be many incrdible upsides to this sleeping cycle, such as having 22 hour days and feeling much healthier, I'm not sure if I could have the discipline to continue that sleeping cycle forever. A man who had completely immersed himself in this lifestyle, blogged his account on this website: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/4/15/103358/720 and claimed that there are more drawbacks. "One drawback is that I hit a wall if I stay up for more than about five hours without a twenty to thirty minute nap. My concentration and energy seem to vanish in a matter of minutes and I absolutely have to go take a nap. This can create some problems in social situations, but one can somewhat shuffle the naps around to adjust for this. Another drawback is that my appetite is substantially larger and I will often crave strange things that I don't recall craving in the past. One great example of this is grape juice; I now drink this regularly, but before I switched I don't recall ever wanting it. My speculation is that my body isn't producing enough of some chemical that it would normally produce in stages 3 and 4 deep sleep." 

My conclusion on this sleeping cycle since there doesn't seem to be very much evidence proving that there are actual long term effects would be to just try it if you think you have enough things to do to fill in 22 hour days. You wouldn't want to get bored. While I do wish I more time in a day, I don't think that I will risk my health and well being by limiting my brain to 3 hours of sleep. Has anyone in the class tried this? If so, what did you think? What were your outcomes? 

7 Comments

Haha interesting article. I've tried sleeping for only three hours before starting my day. It doesn't work, trust me on this one. It made me feel sick and completely out of sync. It was hard to make through the day because all I wanted to do was sleep. I felt like i was stuck between my dreams and being awake, unless I was dying. I wish there was more time in the day as well, or maybe somehow finding a way to make it so our bodies no longer needed sleep. Or something of that nature, there's just too much going on during college to set aside a good amount of sleep. But if you ever find the time to, take naps. They definitely help granted you get past the first five minutes of not wanting to wake up.

I find myself wishing there are more hours in a day regularly. My biggest problem is that I love sleep. It seems that no matter how much work I have to do, I usually choose to sleep if I'm tired. This article is very interesting. I don't think I would be able to only sleep 3 hours, even if I do wish there could be more hours in a day.

What an interesting article! It is especially relevant to college student who find themselves getting less and less sleep as the semester gets harder.I personally couldn't maintain this crazy sleep schedule of 20 minute naps. I feel that good night's sleep of at least 8 hours dramatically effects my mood the next day. I'm happier and able to concentrate much more easily than if I stayed up too late studying. This would take much unneeded discipline!

This is so true. I never sleep at night. The average bedtime for me is about 2 am and it unfortunately always catches up to me after about a month or two of doing so. This blog is so relatable to all of us. I am sure none of us are alone in thinking the way that we dont have enough time in the day for everything we need to accomplish. The sad part is I feel better waking up after a shorter amount of sleep than I do after a large amount of sleep. Thanks for the info! This article is about kids not getting enough sleep http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20040331/kids-not-getting-enough-sleep

Hm! I have never heard of this sort of sleep pattern. I always have heard that 8 hours a night was the only way to go. More sleep was bad for you, and less sleep was bad for you too. The part that interested me the most about your blog was that the man you cited as an example craved different foods than he had before. He was right when he hypothesized that this was due to different chemicals no longer being produced that were produced during his previous sleep pattern. This article: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-some-causes-of-food-cravings.htm also says that food cravings can be caused by "nutritional deficiencies." Maybe this could be a negative effect of the "The Uberman Sleep Cycle," not getting the nutritional value of enough sleep.

Hm! I have never heard of this sort of sleep pattern. I always have heard that 8 hours a night was the only way to go. More sleep was bad for you, and less sleep was bad for you too. The part that interested me the most about your blog was that the man you cited as an example craved different foods than he had before. He was right when he hypothesized that this was due to different chemicals no longer being produced that were produced during his previous sleep pattern. This article: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-some-causes-of-food-cravings.htm also says that food cravings can be caused by "nutritional deficiencies." Maybe this could be a negative effect of the "The Uberman Sleep Cycle," not getting the nutritional value of enough sleep.

This is very interesting, and I have never heard of this before! I've heard that eight hours a night is ideal to sustain your health, along with an additional 20 minute power nap during the day. In fact, some countries have a time of day in the afternoon where everything shuts down so people can nap! Here's an articleabout it

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