Polyphasic Sleep Information Portal
Welcome! I've been polyphasic for most of the last seven years at this point, and being naturally a bit of a word-spewer, I've collected quite a bit of information on it over that time. I've written articles, a book, and given talks and interviews — all fun experiences, and ones I certainly didn't expect when I set off to improve my sleep and time-management skills! But being polyphasic has done a *lot* more for me, and plenty of others, than that.
For all of the information you could possibly desire about Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules and the Polyphasic Lifestyle (currently in its Second Edition, and still the only book specifically about the practical application of polyphasic sleeping, how to adjust to it and make it work in the long term) — click here!
(Scroll down for a comprehensive list of links to major Polyphasic-related posts. You can also click on the Polyphasic Sleep Category to see all the posts on puredoxyk.com about polyphasic sleep, many of which are just minor updates and thoughts on my part.)
I'm one of the intrepid, or possibly insane, pair of college girls who lived on the Uberman Sleep Schedule (and gave it its name) back in The Distant Future, The Year 2000. I wrote a node on Everything2 about it, not knowing then that the last person to publicly live on the schedule was the awesome scientist Buckminster Fuller, now deceased. (There are a ton of rumors and stories about famous people who lived polyphasically — Leonardo DaVinci, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, you name it — but in all my research I've never found actual data to back those claims up. Bucky Fuller, on the other hand, is a sure thing; he called his schedule "Dymaxion".) My friend and I stayed on Uberman for six months, because it worked really well, surprising the heck out of everyone, not least of all us. We both loved it and only quit because we had to take full-time jobs that wouldn't let us take our naps.
Years later, I decided to try the schedule again, and discovered firsthand that Uberman requires a certain kind of lifestyle, and 9-5 with a family (especially kids) isn't it. With the help of a by-then-pretty-sizable Internetful of other polyphasic enthusiasts, I decided to experiment with an alternate type of schedule, which picked up the amusing sobriquet "the Everyman Schedule". It involves taking a little more sleep, in the form of a longer daily nap (called a "core nap"), for more flexibility when it comes to nap placement. It worked really well too, though it lacks the euphoric effects and simplicity of the Uberman schedule. (See a full comparison of Uberman & Everyman here.)
I'll have been on the Everyman schedule for three years as of June 2009. (Except for a couple-month-long break, I've been on some form of Everyman through to October 2013, now.) While I would still go back to Uberman if my lifestyle would support it (and who knows, maybe someday it will), Everyman has been miles better for me than monophasic (one-chunk-at-night) sleep ever was, and I'd go a long distance to keep it.
So far, polyphasic sleep has been written about in Wired Magazine, Slashdot, Lifehacker, and Men's Health Magazine (at least those are the ones I'm aware of). Unfortunately all these articles were short and, overall, pretty dismissive — I'm hoping over time to convince people to explore the subject in more detail. I also did a radio interview with a college station in Canada, which was very fun! And polyphasic sleep now has a very nice entry in Wikipedia (which I had nothing to do with writing, so thank you to its authors!). Plus, the company that makes the Zeo sleep-tracking device ran a whole polyphasic-adaptation experiment, complete with data from their awesomely clever little portable EEGs.
LINKS TO MAJOR POLYPHASIC POSTS
All that said, here are the droids polyphasic links you're probably looking for:
Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules & the Polyphasic Lifestyle is the book I wrote compiling all the information I could gather, from myself, other polyphasers, and Science!, about polyphasic sleep and how to adjust to and maintain your own polyphasic schedule. If you're interested in learning a lot about polyphasic sleep and/or trying it out, this is probably your best bet. You can read about it, see the cover & table of contents here; or just hop straight to here to buy it (as a softcover book or nice cheap PDF). (It's also on Amazon for Kindle.)
Here's my Overview on polyphasic sleep, what it is and my history with it.
Charts of Types of Polyphasic Schedules will teach you the difference between the different known-to-work schedules, as well as some theoretical schedules that seem like they ought to work.
If you're under 18 (or the legal age of majority in your jurisdiction), then please read Polyphasic Sleep & The Age of Majority before deciding whether to try it yet.
Polyphasic Sleep and Sex - because you know you were wondering. ;)
Here's an answer to the popular question "Does adapting to polyphasic sleep hurt your performance?"
Read the Six Month & One Year on Everyman posts here — the Six Month one has a really good breakdown of what's different between polyphasic & monophasic lifestyles, as well as the differences from when I did Uberman for the same length of time.
Hibernation: The Agony & The Ecstasy is a post about what it's like to sleep "all night" from a polyphasic perspective; there's also My Week of Monophasic Hell, which is the report of my attempt to "switch back" to regular sleeping. I went monophasic one more time recently (September 2011) and decided that YOU ALL MUST NEVER LET ME DO THAT AGAIN — see the post titled POLYPHASIC UBER ALLES for that.
If you're adjusting to a polyphasic schedule, you definitely want to read Things you can do to Avoid Oversleeping and Tricks to Avoid Oversleeping. Also my PSA: These Are NOT Good Ideas While Sleep-Deprived!; and if you're having trouble, read Fantastic Advice for Troubled Polyphasers.
There was once a serious attempt to attack the viability of polyphasic sleep — read about it, and my response to it, in "an attack on polyphasic sleep". There have been many follow-ups, but this discussion is one of the best, IMO. (There has been speculation that "a reader" who started this discussion may have actually been Dr. Wozniak, but as there's no proof either way you'll have to judge for yourself.)
The unbearable lightness of falling asleep is a post about napping, which involves a learning curve for most people — if you're in that curve, this post may help you as well: Can’t Fall Asleep for a nap? Try This.
Some more miscellaneous posts of interest: Some new Polyphasic Questions, answered; The How and the When (good stuff for polyphasers); Schedule Hacks – The Five-Hour Swap; Sleep Drugs?; Is “Crazyphasic” the same as “Free-Running Sleep”?
See a regularly-updated List of Awesome (External) Polyphasic Links here, for all the great stuff that's out there besides my site.