How Not To Sleep Effectively
Yes, Yes I can hear the comments now… “Kyle I was looking forward to the ‘How Not To Approach a Goose’ article what is this?” Well avid fan that was my plan too but my goal for these blog posts is to have a resolution at the end where I say something like, “After my experiences here is what I’ve learned.” Unfortunately, I have yet to approach a goose successfully as you can see by the photos to the left. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Read my previous post here.
Okay back to sleeping. So if you don’t know this about me already I am an AWFUL sleeper. Not awful in that I don’t sleep well, but more that it is hard for me to get to sleep. Between Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and my PlayStation it’s no wonder I stay up so late. A “few” years ago I went to college at Winona State University in Winona and the sleeping got really bad to the point it started to affect my grades. So I decided to do some experiments. Here are the things I tried and how they worked:
1. Monophasic – Traditional
This is a traditional sleep schedule where the sleeper goes to bed and remains asleep for 7-8 hours. I did this test when I was taking an 8:00am course so I had to go to sleep around 11pm to midnight. This is where the Monophasic sleep schedule traditionally always went wrong for me. I’m what others describe as a “Night Owl.” It’s like as soon as the sun sets my energy and creativity levels spike. I found it nearly impossible to stick to the strict sleep time. Things that helped during this experiment were turning off all electronics an hour before I planned going to bed. But again at this point I feel like I’m torturing myself so I decided to find a different way!
2. Monophasic – Nontraditional
So again during this experiment my goal was to sleep 7-8 hours continuously. I did, however, decide to change the time this happened. I downloaded an App and I could tell it whenever I was about to go to sleep and it would wake me up in exactly 7 hours. I tended to fall asleep right after class so around 2pm and wake up around 9pm. This actually worked very well. I was productive when I woke up and I had no issues being up during the sunrise. I did miss a few 11:59pm deadlines without realizing it but that wasn’t a big deal with my professors. One major problem is that other people aren’t up at these times. So the times I didn’t have a big project or homework to do I was up alone. 🙁
A biphasic sleep schedule is like having the best of both worlds. I would go to sleep around 2-3am in the morning and wake up around 6-7am. Then after classes I would sleep from 2-3pm and wake up around 6-7pm. If you are anything like me your body may have naturally fallen into this sleep schedule before. Once I discovered this type of sleeping I never went back to Monophasic sleeping until after graduation. For me there were no cons except missing dinner in the cafeteria a few times. If you don’t work a job that has you working during these times I recommend you try this out!
If you are a mathematics or linguistic person you know where this is going. Polyphasic sleep is where you sleep 3 or more times during the day. People who do this typically are doing it to get the MOST time out of their day. So they will sleep 4 times a day for an hour each time. I did try this for 2 weeks and had to stop. I was tired all the time and physically became exhausted and in the end my immune system was so stressed I got sick. I do not recommend you do this for any extended period of time. It might work for 1-2 days if you have a big project you are working on but it isn’t sustainable.
In the end what I found worked best for me was having at least 2 but preferably 3-4 REM cycles a day. REM sleep is a deep sleep where you have Rapid Eye Movements (REM). You can track this by downloading an App like Sleep Cycle or if you have an activity tracker that also tracks sleep it will tell you when and how many times you hit REM sleep during the night.
Until next time sleep tight RCTC