Polyphasic sleep isn’t for everyone. It can be difficult to create a polyphasic sleep schedule when you have family, work and other commitments that expect you to maintain normal sleep habits. However, some of the most successful entrepreneurs in history have utilized the power of polyphasic sleep to get more done and sleep on a schedule that fits their natural predispositions.
How Polyphasic Sleep Works?
Polyphasic sleep requires individuals to sleep multiple times per day instead of in one single block of time. Usually, people will break up their sleep schedule into three or more smaller segments. The U.S. Military recommends that people on a polyphasic sleep schedule get at least 45 minutes with each nap. Although, the ideal number is two hours, and total sleep per day should equal eight total hours.
The fashion designer Tom Ford was said to sleep only about three hours per night. While it hasn’t been confirmed that he used polyphasic sleep, most people that only sleep for a few hours per day stretch their naps out throughout the day. Without naps, you tend to lose focus and get distracted. Generally, people who sleep an average of three hours per day divide their time into 45-minute segments.
Buckminster Fuller: Inventor and Visionary
Buckminster Fuller was an architect, inventor and philosopher that detailed his sleep schedule in great detail. He experimented with the concept of polyphasic sleep throughout the mid-1900s and coined the term “The Dymaxion Sleep Schedule.” His schedule required only two hours of sleep per day that consisted of 30-minute naps every six hours. Of course, when you can fall asleep in less than 30 seconds, maintaining this kind of strict sleeping schedule is made a little bit easier.
Claudio Stampi began looking into polyphasic sleep schedules in the mid-80s. He developed the idea of ultrashort napping techniques to sustain alertness and high levels of performance throughout the day. The goal was to make soldiers more productive and alert during operations that required sustained alertness for several days. He also applies the techniques learned in his work with top British athletes.
Francesco Jost: Swiss Artist
Francesco Jost practiced polyphasic sleep for 49 days in his home. At first, the schedule was shocking to his body. Once he became accustomed to the new sleep schedule, he reported a relatively consistent mood and level of concentration.
As sleep studies continue, commercial products to increase alertness like Modafinil should become more prevalent. Soldiers, truckers, students and anyone pulling an all-nighter has benefited from the latest developments in pharmaceutical technology. It’s one of the few stimulants on the market that doesn’t show any indications of a significant potential for abuse.