Polyphasic sleep is a method of training your body to requiring much less sleep by taking multiple short naps throughout the day instead of one long sleeping time at night. Over at Quartz, science-trained journalist Akshat Rathi reports on his year-long experiment attempting to "cheat sleep."
Sleep expert Claudio Stampi explained in his 1992 book Why We Nap: Evolution, Chronobiology, and Functions of Polyphasic and Ultrashort Sleep that humans shouldn’t find it hard to adjust to a polyphasic schedule.
Many animals are known to be polyphasic sleepers, and our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have been too. But we don’t even need to go so far back in time to find examples of polyphasic humans.
As Roger Ekirch notes in At Day’s Close: A History of Nighttime, a segmented sleep pattern was common as recently as the 18th century.
Back then people often slept for four hours, then woke up for an hour or two before going back to bed for another four hours. In the period they were awake at night, people smoked, had sex, and even visited neighbors. It was the advent of night-time lighting that allowed us to squeeze in more awake time doing things and made people adapt to what is today’s monophasic sleep.
"I once tried to cheat sleep, and for a year I succeeded"
New research reveals that sleep patterns of zebrafish are similar to the slow-wave and REM sleep of humans and other mammals, birds, and lizards. Furthermore, the study suggests that these sleep signatures emerged in the brain of our common ancestor more than 450 million years ago. According to the scientists, a better understanding of how […]
Yesterday, 12 adults in Cologne, Germany climbed into special beds where they will remain for 60 days to help scientists better understand the impact of longterm space flights on the human body.
Sleeping late on weekends not only won’t help much when it comes to your sleep debt from the week, it can also lead to weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and nighttime hunger. University of Colorado Boulder sleep physiologist Christopher Depner ran a study involving young adults who were assigned different sleep regimens over a two week […]
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We can’t all go through life with just a pair of sneakers and flip-flops. Sometimes, you have to invest in a pair of high-quality dress shoes. However, you’ve probably discovered that high-end footwear almost always comes with eye-popping price tags. You’ve got to compromise on second-hand or just suck it up and take out a […]
We have a theory about those throw blankets that are barely big enough to cover your legs. The only people who seem to make them or use them are grandmothers, and the blankets are only that small because Nana got bored halfway through the sewing job. Look, we’re sure she means well. But if you […]