Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern/routine that involves breaking apart sleeping time into two or more separate phases throughout a 24 hour period. Most individuals have a monophasic sleep pattern with the usual 8 hours/day. Uberman’s sleep is a radical version of polyphasic sleep that involves an individual sleeping 20 minutes every four hours or 30 minutes every six hours. By doing this, a person spends only 2 hours asleep and can achieve full alertness for 22 hours a day. This particular topic was performed as a case study due to the personal nature and best regulated by the individual. Personal accounts such as dreams, energy levels, mental activity, and overall performance can be best articulated by the sleeper him/herself. When going through Uberman’s sleep, the body is “trained” to skip directly into the 5th stage of sleep-REM. Studies have shown that REM sleep or deep sleep is crucial to mental and physical rejuvenation. An average 8 hour monophasic sleep contains about 1.5 hours of REM sleep. By training your body to jump directly into REM, an individual with Uberman’s sleep can expect up to 2 hours of REM in a 24 hour cycle. One obvious benefit of Uberman’s sleep is the amount of time that is freed. Many famous icons such as Winston Chruchill, Thomas Jefferson and Buckminster Fuller are said to have adopted polyphasic sleep at one point in their lives.
Uberman’s sleep was executed in this case study by taking a nap for 20 minutes every four hours for six months. An alarm clock was used to control the amount of sleep and each nap was to be precise. On the first day, the person experienced a lack of energy from sleep deprivation. The 2nd and 3rd days were the worst days of the entire routine that included extreme drowsiness and the inability to concentrate. After the 3rd day, the individual regained energy and seemed to show improvement. A regular routine was finally achieved with no sign of drowsiness within a week. Uberman’s sleep if controlled carefully was a success. Alarm clocks were eventually not necessary as the body’s inernal clock was fine tuned. However, if any nap is missed then the routine is thrown off. It takes only a day or two to get back on the routine. Also, it is very easy to revert back to the monophasic sleep routine. Benefits from the Uberman’s sleep include the tremendous increase in free time which can also lead to boredom. In addition, there was a noticeable increase in energy and stamina in everyday tasks and weight loss. Back aches and neck aches from sleeping are eliminated due to the short bursts of naps instead of long damaging naps. Most interestingly, sleep disorders were eliminated such as sleep walking, sleep talking, nightmares, and insomnia since the naps do not allow enough time for the mind to develop these problems. Dreams still occur and usually with more detail and vividness. The negatives include a complicated routine that takes dedication and will-power to achieve. The first week is the toughest week in the Uberman’s sleep routine. Schedules may be difficult to accommodate since a nap must be take every 4 hours. The last negative involves the individual constantly losing track of the date since they were awake during both A.M. and P.M hours. Overall, no visible health concerns arose. The individual did not experience any sort of drowsiness or sleep deprivation once they were on the routine. Uberman’s sleep is an example of the mysteries of sleep and how the human body can adapt to extreme conditions. Also, this case shows the role that REM plays and possibly even how minor the other sleep phases can be. This routine may also be a cure for certain sleep disorders if more research is done. This particular case study was very casually conducted in a journal-like format. Nevertheless, had the data was solid and many important points were addressed. More medical research should be done to find out the true physical effects the Uberman’s sleep has on humans such as hormone levels, blood glucose levels, and even heart rate. Also, this routine should be continued for at least a year for long term effects since 6 months has been achieved with no noticeable differences in physical and mental health.