All our lives, we’ve been raised to believe that 7-8 hours of sleep at night is the best way to get the energy to slay the day. Cultivating this habit in spite of crazy deadlines, rush projects, parent duties, dating challenges and life in general, has been a relentless quest for most of us. It’s no wonder that majority of people, especially working professionals, are losing sleep over losing sleep.However, while most sleep researchers are quite reluctant to admit, a 7-8 hour sleep cycle, is actually not the only one that can be beneficial in getting enough energy to charge through the day. Called as the monophasic sleep cycle, this pattern is observed by 85% of mammals; thus accounting for its strong hold on popular belief. If you’re one of those who has just never been able to fully embrace it (or simply just curious to know what options are on the table – rather, the bed), then read on to discover different polyphasic cycles that might just give you the best zzzss ever.
MYTH #1: Biphasic Cycle.
As the term implies, this is a split-sleeping pattern wherein you can get 5-6 hours of sleep and fit in a nap at midday. This is also called a siesta cycle. This cycle might not be for everyone given that most professions don’t offer ‘nap time’, but some people circumvent through the loophole by using lunch hour as siesta time.These short snaps can help boost cardiovascular health as well as leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of the day. This will work best for those who do not have trouble sleeping at night even when they had a midday snooze.
2. Everyman Cycle
This sleep patterns requires to have 3.5 hours of sleep at night and four 20-minute naps throughout the day. This can work best for those whose professions allow them to work from home, giving them easy access to the comforts of their rooms or their couches. It also works for those who can be on-call at any time of the day, giving them room to feel refreshed and energized despite erratic work hours. This is by far the one that offers the most flexibility in napping.
3. Uberman Cycle
If you’re working in a profession that doesn’t require you to be in an activity lasting over 3 or 4 hours, then the Uberman can be for you. It is a pattern that requires you to maintain 6 to 8 20-minute naps throughout the day, giving you a total of at least 2 hours of sleep each night. If you’re juggling 2 jobs and maybe night school, you might want to look into this sleep pattern. It is best recommended for those maintaining strict schedules, allowing them to stick to nap times as well. It can be a challenge to train your body to adapt, but once you’ve fully indulged in the cycle, you’ll be able to find yourself snoozing anywhere, no problem.
4. Dymaxion Cycle
This is considered by far to be the most extreme of the alternative sleep cycles. Think you can run a 2-hour sleep fuel for the whole day? If you’re up to the challenge, then this pattern is for you. It requires you to get 4 30-minute naps throughout the day, helping you make the most out of your day, humanly possible. If you’re a short sleeper and can live on 6-hour waking periods, then try and give this a go. Sleep patterns, like most things in life, are susceptible to change. Nothing is set in stone and the status quo is not always the way to go. Remember Robert Frost and his ‘road less travelled’? Well, maybe now’s the time for you to embark on that journey with the most precious thing you can enjoy — a good night’s sleep.