Advantages of having a good night’s sleep go beyond than having a refreshed mood or to get rid of dark circles. Not only we have followed the same sleeping pattern since very long, but our body also gets affected if we bring about any changes in that pattern.
Ryan Bergara, the Staff member of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, decided that he would change his sleeping schedule just to see what happens. He began this overwhelming task at the beginning of April.
Most of us sleep in the Monophasic pattern; we sleep for 8 hours and spend the rest of 16 hours while doing other activities. At the same time, there are some countries, Latin America for example, where people practice different sleeping patterns, sleeping for 5 to 6 hours and then have a forty wink for 90-120 minutes, this sleeping pattern is called Biphasic pattern. Then there is another sleeping pattern called Polyphasic sleeping pattern, in which people sleep multiple times, typically more than 2 times.
Ryan decided that he would change his sleeping pattern from Monophasic to Polyphasic. His goal was to ultimately increase the amount of awake time.
For some counseling on the subject, he decided to interview the author of the book Polyphasic Sleep and Productivity, Jackson Nexhip. Jackson said: “so I’ll sleep for four and a half hours and then I’ll have two 20 minutes nap throughout the day.”
Also known as Everyman sleeping schedule, this sleeping schedule amounts to around 5 hours of sleep every day. There is another, more intense form of Polyphasic sleeping cycle, in which people take six 20 minutes naps, sleeping for less than 2 hours. This sleeping pattern is called Uberman Sleeping patter and people can gain 20 years of awake time by following it.
Ryan also consulted with Dr. Alon Avidan, the sleep expert at UCLA, who said that minimum seven hours of sleep is required by a human to function normally. And that this sleeping pattern is not only hard to follow but there are some side effects too, slower reaction time, memory problems, cognitive problems, lack of creativity, increased irritability being one of them. Not heeding Dr. Avidan’s advice Ryan decided to follow the Everyman’s sleeping pattern, only to give up on Day 7.
His report on Buzzfeed looked something like this:
Day 1: The first day is especially hard.
Day 2 & 3: the Second day is not easier than day 1, but today it was hard to perform daily activities, something Dr. Avidan warned me about.
Day 4: I am so brain dead right now, I’m incapable of doing anything.
His sleep-deprived schedule had reached to the YouTube by then.
On Day 5, he reported that not only he was feeling better, but he also laughed at a joke about his boss making homemade hummus. By Day 7, Ryan gave up and collapsed for a deep slumber. Ryan recounted that his injury from Gym wasn’t getting better due to lack of sleep, rather he felt more unwell.
Finally, he conceded that proper amount of sleep is vital for healthy life and proper functioning of mind and body. He also added that not sleeping enough did nothing to increase his focus and boost his creativity. Rather he felt more unfocused and fuzzy due to the lack of sleep. He also added that the extra time awake per day was not worth it. In the end, he confessed that Dr. Avidan’s had been right in saying that not everyone can function normally and properly while following Polyphasic sleeping schedules and that most people function well by following the Biphasic sleeping pattern.
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