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  • Writer's pictureSophie Bostock, PhD

Does Polyphasic Sleep Work?

Can you improve productivity by adopting a polyphasic sleep schedule? i.e. Can you hack sleep with short naps over 24 hours?

It's a tempting idea. A quick Google and you'll find recommendations for all sorts of 'recipes' for sleep... the Uberman, Everyman, Dymaxion.. Short bouts of sleep were allegedly good enough for Leonardo de Vinci, so how about for the rest of us?

Here I talk about the rationale for polyphasic sleep, and what the latest research says about its impacts..

see here for the review paper by Weaver and colleagues in Sleep Health.

This is especially relevant for me, since I'm embarking on a rowing adventure this summer which will involve embracing a polyphasic sleep/row schedule.

Many thanks to Pip Hare, solo round the world yachtswoman, and Dan Wakerley, of the masterful On Shoulders of Giants Atlantic-winning crew, for sharing their experiences of polyphasic sleep with me.

I've shared a few tips but if you have your own experience of thriving on polyphasic sleep to share, I'd be interested to learn more!


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