The other day I came across this post on 43 Folders, which started me thinking about the possibilities of biphasic sleeping. For some time now I’ve comtemplated moving to a polyphasic sleeping pattern (several small doses of sleep rather than a single nightly slumber); initially prompted by the self-tests of Steve Pavlina. For the moment though, I’m indulging myself with the usual nightly rest (plus a brief nap during the last 10 minutes of any good late-night film).
Biphasic sleeping (getting your sleep in two chunks) seems like a reasonable compromise. This is usually based around the theory of the 90 minute sleep cycle, and the most likely option seems to be along the lines of Glen Rhodes’ current behaviour. As he states in the article:
Typically, I sleep 3 hours a night, and nap for 90 minutes in the evening. That’s a total of 4.5 hours, and I am always alert, always awake and always feel rested and refreshed.
There are a couple of benefits to this, the most obvious one being the time saving. Unless you’re one of the few people who routinely gets less than 4.5 hours per night (and functions well on that), you’ll suddenly find yourself with a bit more free time. Perfect.
The secondary benefit – which goes on the heap of ‘requires a few more years of research‘ is the fact that your body resets things such as sodium/potassium ratios whilst in the Theta state (the edge of the ‘subconscious‘ part of sleep). It seems as though the timing of this additional nap – as well as the timing of workouts – could prove to be one more factor in working toward optimal strength.