30 Days of Biphasic Sleep

Time for a bit of an experiment.


NappingI've been interested in sleep for some time now, and the other day's articles on biphasic sleep - particularly the Glen Rhodes model - have convinced me to give it a go. A 30 day trial seems a reasonable length (read Steve Pavlina's article 30 days to success if you need further persuading) and the first of those days (or nights) is today.


The plan is a simple one : a 90-minute nap in the evening followed by a 3-hour sleep a few hours later. This worked out especially well tonight as the Italian Grand Prix (I'll watch anything involving fast cars) starts at 23:10 Sydney time, which gave me a chance to squeeze in a nap beforehand.

Initial thoughts (I'm writing this shortly after the first nap, with a luxurious 3 hours of sleep to look forward to) :

I expect there'll be a few days - at least - of adaptation, and the nap demonstrated that beautifully. Trying to sleep when you're not tired is rather like trying to relax; it isn't something you can force. Although lying comfortably in a darkened room, with the soothing sound of light rain to accompany me (and after more than 6 years in drought here, it's soothing indeed), I was permanently aware of 'trying to sleep'. I managed to survive 45 minutes of light sleep before returning to the world.

Fortunately I'd managed to elude the slightly groggy state that often accompanies waking from a deep slumber. I suspect I'd feel about the same after sitting in a dark room listening to relaxing music for 45 minutes.


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The real test will begin once I wake up tomorrow after 3 hours' sleep. I've certainly done that many times in the past, but never for more than a week or two. Additionally, one day per week (usually Sunday) has traditionally been devoted to 'catching up'; sleeping as long as my body deems necessary. No more of that I'm afraid.

One of the aspects of this experiment that I'm particularly curious about is the effect of late-night eating. The nap will most likely take place sometime around 20:30 - 22:00, with the longer sleep at something like 02:30 - 05:30. That leaves plenty of time for a meal in between (possibly topped up with a protein shake shortly after rising at 05:30). I suspect that'll be quite enough to keep things going.

Another thing that's made me curious enough to try this is the effect of training in between the nap and main sleep. I think I'll wait though until I've adapted to the new sleep times before throwing heavy objects into the mix.

Looking forward to it.


Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.



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Certainly a heavy one.

Napping in the Afternoon.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

- Edgar Allen Poe

Power of the 90 Minute Nap.

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