about

This is a site exploring the polyphasic sleeping schedule known as überman.  This means sleeping 2h a day!  and I’ll be doing it for 6 months.

Polyphasic sleeping simply means that you sleep many times a day (vs. monophasic sleeping where you sleep once at night).  The most common sleeping pattern is 2/3 of the day awake, 1/3 of the day asleep. Like so:
monophasic sleep diagram
But I’m sure you’ve all heard of bi-phasic sleep (or the famous Siesta) which looks something like this:

biphasic sleep

 

and is sometimes used in certain latin countries.  But perhaps a less well known is triphasic sleep (also known as Everyman sleep):  A 4.5 hours major sleep episode and two 20-minute power naps.

triphasic sleep diagram

Yet some people chose to go further. The first recorded attempt to change dramatically our sleeping patterns was performed by architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller.  He coined the Dymaxion sleep schedule (Four 30-minute naps a day — one nap every 6 hours) … which meant sleeping a total of 2 hours per day.  Multiple variations around this schedule have been tested by people around the world.   However there is little actual data describing these experiments.  My goal is to share the first 6-month long set of polyphasic sleeping data for this schedule:

uberman sleep schedule

about the author:

I’m a 33 year old scientist, programmer and entrepreneur.

At age 12 I was reading astrophysics books about the universe (La mélodie secrète, Trinh Xuan Than) and two years later I discovered Quantum Mechanics (Le cantique des quantiques, S. Ortoli). Obviously I did not understand even the principles of it but was fascinated by the unsolved mysteries of the universe.  I did an MSc in Theoretical Physics (with some neuro-physiology in my final project) and after a gap year went on to do a PhD in Quantum Information at Imperial College, London.  In paralel I also collaborated with Engineers Without Borders and explored small scale renewables.

After completing my PhD I went on to work in the renewable energy industry.  With my engineering and modelling experience and my self taught programming skills I have now started my own company to help spread renewables around the world.

On this journey, my fascination with the great questions of the universe and the mind have not withered, and I’m always eager to explore new fascinating projects like polyphasic sleep. Here’s a talk I gave recently to a group of GPs about the experiment:

 

about the site:  This is a wordpress blog (a free and open source PHP-based blogging platform).   The contents and pictures of this site are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. (or CC-BY-NC).
Creative Commons Licence and is hosted at Webfaction using green energy powered servers.

17 Comments

  1. Hi. Could you contact by on email? I’d like to share everyday experience 🙂

  2. Hi, I am on day 4 into a polyphasic schedule. It’s very encouraging to see you are so successful.

    I’m also a database analyst, so I am very excited to analyze you’re recording data! Congrats!

    • You’re awesome Chris. You sholud write a book about Polyphasic Sleeping and sell it. Better yet become some type of Sleep Doctor and make billions ok maybe millions. I would buy a book.

  3. Hi Oli, Good to hear from you. I look forward to your results and experience. Right now my biggest problem is accessing the raw data due to the zeo limitations (see this post and this one). But as soon as I get the raw data you’re welcome to import it and process it. (for now you can see all my naps on an Evernote notebook here, https://www.evernote.com/pub/alphydan/sleep) thanks! Alvaro

  4. Love this site. Really love.
    I’m switching to polyphasic (after some experience with biphasic, mono+nap and living both during day and during night only) in few days. Love the “No, you can’t do it!” stuff 😉
    I would much prefer to ask you by email, because this place doesn’t look perfect, but well… I’ll ask here:
    How do you wake up in the middle of the night? I can’t set speakers with alarm on 02:00 AM – neighbors would kill me soon. How do you manage this?

    • Hi Jakub,

      Thanks for the compliments on the blog. concerning waking up: I use an alarm. The trick is to use one with a volume that increases progressively. For the Everyman sleep I have been able to hear it each time before it reaches the full volume. Luckily my girl always falls asleep again and barely remembers hearing it. Otherwise I don’t think it’s loud enough for the neighbours to hear it. Perhaps one additional trick is to think before going to sleep: “I have to wake up in 3h, make sure to wake up, wake up straight away! no snoozing!” … and let your subconscious do the rest. Are you going to try the 3 nap Everyman?

      • I’m just used to VERY loud alarms (~40% power of avarage 5.1 speakers including subwoofer 😉 I check time – below 3 seconds from alarm beginning to turning them off – including walking few meters to get them ).
        I’m thinking about learning to sleep at my back and use headphones when I don’t get full cycles of sleep.
        I’m going to start with 3 full cycles+2 naps, move to 2 full cycles 3 naps, next 1 full 4 naps and finally Uberman.

  5. Nice website!!! Very interesting and precise: thank you sharing all of these here 😉

    I am quite curious your Zeo Sleep Tracker… Are you satisfied with the product?
    I would like to buy one too to track my sleep phase more accurately, but I am not sure it is a good idea or not.
    Can you tell more about pros and cons?

    Cheers mate!

  6. Hi,

    I like you log and you seem to know quite a bit about polyphasic sleep.
    Botany and I have just created a new forum with a live chat and a wordpress with articles that tutorial polyphasic sleep. If you have time could you pop by our forums and have a talk with our members? We are new, but we have a good gathering of 50 members, and 15 active members trying to adapt. If you like you can write your own article? Anything to contribute!

    Regards

  7. Hi,

    I’d like to try polyphasic at some point in the near future. I see your logs end at around Aug 27. Did you give up?
    Could we talk on email? Thanks!

    Best,
    John

    • Hi John,

      I did about 8 months of experiments (but kept the blog only for about 4). I still record my sleep so I have lots of data, but I have been too busy with my startup to dedicate enough time to the blog. Overall I did the everyman schedule for 2.5 months, and felt that I adapted quite well (However it pretty much precludes normal social life and requires discipline to organize your schedule around it). I tried about 2 months of Uberman, but did not make it through the 4 weeks of flawless schedule that people claim are necessary to adapt. So I tried it but kept falling asleep here and there and having to start again. I will probably make one last attempt this year, so I might come back and give an overview with data if I do.

  8. Hi, i have started everyman schedule for one year. I feel very very well and never get sick. awesome!
    Do you think Polyphasic sleep make you smarter and more creative?
    Is there any different between Everyman and Uberman schedule experiment. I am on everyman should i switch to Uberman?

  9. Hey Tran Quoc Tuan,

    I’m not sure about polyphasic making you smarter and creative. I think it does induce a calmer and serene mood. Early mornings doing Everyman where very productive for me (so perhaps smarter in that you get quiet time to do things you like). I managed to get a stable schedule on Everyman for about two months but never managed to adapt fully to Uberman (I would always oversleep here and there). So it’s up to you what you want to experiment and why. I think Uberman is hard and requires full effort and dedication … but I never got to see the real fruits of the effort and had to give up before that.

  10. I search for Dymaxion and run into this site. I usually visit the polyphasic forums, but it was dead so I came searching in other places. I do Dymaxion for 5 days a week, 2 days a week I sleep as long as I am allowed. I have been doing this for two years. People in the polyphasic community will tell you to avoid stimulants but honestly, I can’t sleep without them. I need the crash to put me to sleep or wake up sometimes. Other times I don’t need them.

    A tip for those that might run into the “after a year unable to sleep wall,” think up a calm peaceful scene that you can imagine, you’ll go to sleep every-single-time. Of course, I could be weird and no one else ran into this issue lol.

  11. Do you think uberman is sustainable? I have been on Everyman for just over a month and it’s going really well! I’d say I’m very close to adapted fully.

    Uberman interests me, but there are very few cases I’ve found of people pulling it off sustainably. Thanks!

    • Hi Eric,

      I didn’t finish the log once I went into Uberman. I did about 2 months of Uberman but it didn’t work for me. I would always relapse after a week or a week and a half and never managed to adapt. I did however adapt to the Every man schedule.

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