Ahem. I’ve long said it’s not for everybody; now, even though it’s 5 a.m. and I’ve been up chilling and writing and smiling for an hour, I shall elucidate when and whom it’s not for.
If more than one of these are true, polyphasic sleep is definitely not for you (sayeth the rhyming oracle…):
- You have dependents, such as kids or elderly people, who might need you at any time (and nobody to cover for you);
- Your job is rigid / inflexible in terms of how you spend every minute of your time;
- You are often out and about, and can’t regularly get near a place to sleep;
- You do not have very much self-control / discipline;
- You are notoriously not-punctual;
- You regularly do things that last longer than four hours and can’t be interrupted (i.e. perform surgery, engage in gun-fights, conduct interventions);
- You are not okay with most people thinking that you’re half-cracked;
- You don’t have enough to do to occupy more than 20 hours of time per day. In my experience that means full-time work, part-time serious activity (like school; or full-time school and part-time work), at least one structured activity (like my tai chi), plus at least two hobbies that you’re cool with working on every day;
- You don’t have access to a place where you can do stuff while other people are sleeping without waking them up;
- You are not willing to spend a greater percentage of your time alone than you normally do.
…Now, in all honesty, probably the majority of polyphasers violate one of those (I violate #9 myself), but even if you do and decide to go ahead anyway, it’s good to know which one of those “rules” you’re breaking, because that’s going to be the tough spot for you. If you violate #5, then getting your naps on time will be a problem, and so forth.
I was going to add “You love sleep and don’t want to sleep less” as an item too, but as many polyphasers will tell you, on a poly schedule you often feel like you’re sleeping more, not less. It seems like every time you turn around, you’re going to bed! So just because you love sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean polyphasic sleep is a bad idea. The rest of them, though, as far as I know, are pretty solid contraindications.
P.S. Drop me a line if there’s other lists or simple polyphasic info you want posted…I’m trying to clear out my cache, so to speak. ;)