Sunday, December 27, 2009

Uberman Sleep pattern

For about two years now I've been doing a sleep style called "polyphasic sleep". The two popular terms on the internet for it are Uberman and Everyman. Originally I started on Uberman and stayed on it for several months, but due to the psychological effects of being awake and alone for an extra 8 hours per day, I changed to an Everyman schedule. I sleep for 4.5 hours per night and take three 30min naps evenly spaced throughout the day.

Last week I went back to the Uberman pattern and things have been going good. Normally the transition to Uberman is truly killer, but my body is already used to taking naps and having a shortened core sleep period. It's been hard and I've fallen asleep on the couch a few times, but it's been manageable.

One of the things that has really helped me this time around is a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit. My inlaws have it and when I get up from each nap during the night I get on the Wii and run through 30min of Wii Fit routines. When I do that my mind is awake and alert for the rest of the period until my next nap.

Another factor in my transition to Uberman this time around is that I've had 2 years to adjust to a milder version of the same psychological effects. I'm now comfortable working by myself for long hours on end in a low light environment. Feeling alone in your house is one thing, feeling alone in your entire timezone is another (I'm just saying that there are no appropriate locations open at 3am).

Post a comment if you'd like to know more, either on the blog or privately.


Hunner said...

How does ├╝berman work with a wife and kid(s)? Is it flexible enough (at all) to cope?

Unknown said...

My day naps are 5hr periods to make it mesh better with work and also so that I'm not taking naps during "family time" in the evening. The 3hr night time periods also make the nights easier too.

The sleep pattern works fine for me and my family. My naps are 7am, noon, 5pm, 10pm, 1am, 4am. Lunch and Dinner are always part of the day anyways so if we are out I just take a nap anywhere and then eat quickly.

I'm not a really socialite though so the issue doesn't come up frequently. When it does I just make sure people around me understand the importance of my naps.

Tim Harper said...

That sounds like a really fun experiment :-) if I didn't have children, I would probably try it out just for the fun of it. However, children do not respect your sleep schedule, so you just have to get whatever you can :-)

Unknown said...

Tim, it has actually worked just fine for me with my daughter. She is almost 3 and I've been polyphasic her entire life. I actually took care of her during the night when she was first born, and my wife never had to wake up.

Kids really don't impact the schedule as much as you'd think. On the rare occasion that something intersects with my naps my wife just takes care of it until I wake up or I just take my nap a little late.