Are there Alternative Sleep Cycles?

The average individual requires 7 -10 hours of sleep per night based on the National Sleep Foundation. But is it possible that utilizing different rest cycles? Can we sleep less? A lot less? Most of us are familiar with what is called a monophasic sleep cycle. This cycle is used by most people but for some, this cycle is practical although inefficient. The reality is, there are other sleep cycles that will provide all of the rewards of sleep, but sleeping a lot less. For me, this can be great news as I am not a large fan of sleeping for long periods of time. Why? Because i have better things to do! Not just that but sleeping has usually been some thing I wish I could when I felt like it and not because I’m ‘supposed to.’ if I could spend less time lying awake at night trying to sleep, then great. So let’s learn about polyphasic sleep cycles! As opposed to monophasic, when you sleep once a day, polyphasic cycles utilize several naps.


Monophasic
The Monophasic cycle consists of various stages of rest with REM (rapid eye movement) being the most important. Somebody using a monophasic cycle may possibly go to bed at night (around 11PM), sleep for 7 – 10 hours and then wake up during the morning. Of course if you work a night shift, timing would be swapped. Generally, it takes the body about 45 – 75 minutes to have into REM rest which is the cycle responsible for many brain and bodily functions which are beneficial to health. Whilst scientists don’t realize exactly why we need sleep, it has been recognized, by observing animals, that sleep is needed for survival.
 
Byphasic
The Byphasic cycle, also called as Siesta, stands out as the most popular of polyphasic cycles since it can be viewed as the most practical for people. This cycle consists of one 5 – 6 hour rest and a single 20, 60 or 90 minute nap per day. Total sleep time is close to 5.3 – 10 hours per day. In regards to health, compared for the monophasic cycle, there is now more than enough scientific research to show that this cycle isn't only much better for your health but can also result in much better moods, a decrease in stress, and improve your potential to become altert in addition to overall productivity. Some even states this cycle can make you smarter!
 
Everyman
The Everyman cycle, first referred to as by Puredoxyk, is really a sleep schedule consisting of a single 3.5 hour core rest and 3 x 20 minute naps spread out throughout the day. The cycle is produced to counteract the natural drops in our alertness as dictated by our Circadian and Ultradian rhythms. A schedule normally applied with this cycle is sleeping 9 – 12:30am, a 4:10am nap, an 8:10am nap, and also a 2:40pm nap. Avoid having a morning core sleep (3am – 6:30am) as during these times it is unlikely you'll get top quality slow wave sleep due to the fact your temporary circadian REM pressure is high.
 
Dymaxion
The Dymaxion cycle is mentioned being one of the most tough because it can only be efficiently used by particular people. Those of the DEC2 gene, also called ‘short sleepers,’ generally only require about 4 hours of monophasic sleep, which creates this cycle possible for them. This isn’t to say others can’t use it, it's simply unlikely it's going to work. There's not sufficient time spent in REM for most men and women so the cycle is difficult to adapt to. The cycle consists of 4 x 30 minute naps throughout the day which totals only 2 hours of sleep! Some have adjusted the cycle to reflect a pattern of a single 1.5 hour rest with Two x 30 minute naps and a 20 minute nap.
 
Uberman
The Uberman cycle, once again name by Puredoxyk, is a rest schedule consisting completely of 20 minute naps totalling Two hours of sleep per day. Each nap is spaced equidistantly throughout the day. The classic program is to take in 6 x 20 minute equidistant naps per day. Alternatively, individuals can do 8 x 20 minute naps, also spaced equidistantly throughout the day, as the additional 40 minutes every day can make a big difference. Some report that missing naps on this schedule can bring about feeling incredibly drained and tired, so keeping on the schedule is important. This of course could possibly be tough depending on your schedule, so take that into consideration if you decide to give this a try. An interesting note for this cycle is that numerous Uberman sleepers report experiencing extremely vivid lucid dreams. This cycle might be worth a try for people experimenting with lucid dreaming.
 
How will you sleep?
When I first heard of the possibility of different sleep cycles I got excited. So for me, I am genuinely going to give 1 of these a try. As of now I will probably begin experimenting from the Everyman cycle. Either way you go when it comes to swapping sleep cycles, it appears the easiest to adjust the body to will be the Byphasic. Most people will likely need a 2 week period of integration to fully recognize the nature of the cycle. So if you decide to give it a try, don’t be hasty in giving up! You probably feel like a zombie in the first few days!
Keep your way of life in mind prior to choosing a cycle. Is it going to become possible for you personally to get naps throughout the day? Don’t be afraid to push your boundaries, but remember practicality. It has been stated that consuming healthy/clean foods helps from the adjustment process. It’s also advised that you get a good alarm clock and make it your friend. When you first start changing your cycle, you'll need it to stay disciplined, so do your best to keep on track of your rest and wake up times. When you do sleep, try to be in a dark setting. When you awaken, try to expose yourself to sunlight to your few minutes. Remember, don’t give up right away!
 
Sources:
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm#dreaming
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/179882.php
http://www.polyphasicsociety.com/

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