Polyphasic Sleep Hacking

Boost energy and productivity while sleeping less

Tag: safety (page 1 of 2)

Day 39 | Feeling More Sick

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Nap 2 | Skipped

Nap 3 | 4:30 PM – 4:50 PM

I was too aggressive last night. It was Amanda’s birthday and (as it should have in this case) social pressure beat out what was the right choice for my body. We went out to a (delicious) German restaurant, ate lots of meat, and drank a bunch of heavy beer! It was really fun but I was completely exhausted by the time we went to bed.

My morning from 3-5 AM was a nightmare. I was coughing, sneezing, snotting, etc. and felt pretty horrible. I decided I still needed more sleep, so I extended my first nap to a solid 3 hour chunk of sleep. I still didn’t feel well until I woke up from my afternoon nap, when I started to feel better.

Lesson learned: follow through with enough sleep when finishing off beating a sickness

I think I’m close to winning this battle and look forward to no social plans over a long weekend coming up to get back on top of my health and back into the flow of Everyman!

Day 37 | Healthy(ish) and on Track

Core | 10:30 PM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 2 | 9:30 AM – 9:50 AM

Nap 3 | 4:50 PM – 5:10 PM

I’m feeling a lot better today after getting tons of rest over the last few days. I’m not totally healthy as I still have running nose, cough, and headache, but my energy level and mental clarity is way better and I can tell I’m on the upswing.

It was extremely easy getting back into my normal schedule since I kept the same core throughout my rest period!

I also am grateful for the early bed times the last few nights and I see how that can make a big impact.

Sleeping to Fight Sickness

First off, in my opinion there are two levels of sickness: 1 where you feel a bug coming on and are fighting it off or have a mild flu, and the other when you feel like you’ve been hit by a freight train. If you have the more mild type one that you are trying to fight off, I highly recommend maintaining the same core length and extending or adding naps as much as necessary to get enough sleep to combat the sickness. This will make it extremely easy to convert back to your schedule when your health is back. However, if you have the more severe type two sickness, throw the entire polyphasic thing out the window and just stay in bed as much as you need (or even as much as you can!). It’s better to be completely out of commission for a couple days than to have a lingering sickness for weeks. Adapting back to your schedule won’t be too bad as you’ve already trained your body to get into REM fast and you’ve proven you have the self-discipline.



Day 36 | Extra Sleep Beating Sickness

Core | 10:30 PM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 4:30 AM – 8:00 AM

Nap 2 | Skipped

Nap 3 | 4:00 PM – 4:10 PM

I felt pretty sick today. Again, I slept more of a dual morning core sleep schedule than Everyman. My alarm went off at my normal 5:40 AM this morning and there was no chance I was getting out of bed. I felt horrible.

After a long day of sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and feeling exhausted I’m starting to feel better! It’s important that I am still staying up in the middle of the night to maintain that part of my Everyman sleep schedule. That will make it so much easier to get back on track post sickness than if I was sleeping monophasic during this recovery. Interestingly, I haven’t been sleeping during my 4 PM nap much at all. I’m not sure if it’s because my face is leaking and I’m coughing or if it’s because I’m getting enough sleep so I’m not tired enough to need to drop into REM.

Day 35 | Fighting Sickness with Sleep

Core | 10:30 PM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 4:30 AM – 8:00 AM

Nap 2 | Skipped

Nap 3 | 4:00 PM – 4:15 PM

I am fighting off the flu. It may have something to do with a lowered immunity due to sleeping less. It may have to do with three nights in a row of weird sleep making me more susceptible. It probably has to do with the flu going around right now in the winter, including two of my good friends just getting over it and my fiance getting it just before me…

In general, I don’t get sick much – definitely less than once per year. I can feel my body slowing down and I fight off the bug with extra sleep, lots of fluids, and eating well. The big question for me now is – how do I fight off a bug on Everyman sleep? If normally extra sleep is my #1 weapon, it seems I’m doomed sleeping less than 5 hours per day.

Everyman Plan to Fighting the Flu

My plan is to get more sleep while still remaining roughly within the Everyman schedule. I remain consistent that the most important thing for staying on the Everyman schedule is waking up after the ~3.5 hour core. Extending naps or adding a nap when needed is the way to go for adjusting total sleep time or playing catch up.

I’m extending my first nap to get extra sleep and stay healthy!

This may mean more of a dual core approach for a few days if I need it or it could just mean a slight nap extension.

As always, I’ll keep you guys informed on how it’s going.

Day 33 | Getting Extra Sleep

Core | 11:15 PM – 2:25 AM

Nap 1 | 5:20 AM – 5:00 AM

Nap 2 | 9:20 AM – 10:00 AM

Nap 3 | 5:00 PM – 5:20 PM

Today was a good day! I had a fairly good energy level and had a hard training session at 7 AM that I was alert and focused for.

However, I felt some extra sleep deprivation symptoms in the morning – a little groggy and honestly hung over feeling. A bunch of old college buddies met up at a bar and drinks were flowing last night. I was fairly responsible having 3 drinks and getting home by 10:30 PM. It still had it’s effect on me, especially after being out later than normal 2 nights ago too (and drinking some beer).

Playing sleep catch up without falling off the wagon

I did some research into this and the recommendation is one of two things: add an extra nap, or slightly extend one of your nap periods. So, I took a 40 minute second nap and felt extremely revitalized after! When I woke up I wasn’t sure where I was/what time it was/what I was doing/etc.

The sleep deprivation symptoms I was feeling were from a lack of REM sleep. Getting an extra 20 minutes of solid REM in an extended nap makes a world of difference on how your day goes.

Two notes: 1) this is more of an advanced move once you’re getting consistent REM in naps and not something to even consider for the first ~1 week and 2) keeping your core the same time and as close to the same schedule is the most important! Playing with # of naps and nap duration is more flexible.



Day 28 | Feeling Good! Adrenaline Helps

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:20 AM – 7:00 AM

Nap 2 | 9:00 AM – 9:20 AM

Nap 3 | 6:00 PM – 6:20 PM

I felt awesome today! Napped easily, got up without much trouble, and had good energy and alertness all day.

Adrenaline certainly played a role in how my day turned out as Amanda and I toured over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back on a tandem bike. The tandem was rented and extremely ghetto. We had an amazing time and I was completely sharp and safe the entire day… mostly.

Around 4:30 PM I started to get groggy and felt like taking a nap (right on time!) but we were still across town watching the end of an NFL playoff game that caught our attention. In the 1.5 hours until I could actually take a nap I was slow moving, but that’s to be expected. Improving on how tightly I stick to my schedule is critical.

Game-Changing Resources

Further Learning Resources

Polyphasic Society

This is the best online resource for polyphasic sleep information that I’ve found. The site can be a bit technical and jargon-filled, but it’s incredibly interesting and useful. The forums are an awesome way to connect with and learn from other poly sleepers too!

Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules and the Polyphasic Lifestyle

Uberman BookThis is the holy grail on polyphasic sleep written by Puredoxyk who created the most popular polyphasic sleep schedule: Uberman. This is a great resource on not only Uberman but Everyman and other polyphasic schedules, the science (or lack-there-of) behind polyphasic sleep, advice for adapting, social aspects, and more. This is a really interesting deep dive into polyphasic sleep.


Tools That Helped Me

Sleep Mask and Ear Plug Sleep Kit

Sleep MaskThis travel sized sleep mask does a great job of cutting out the light almost completely. It also has cavities over your eyes and has an adjustable strap. It comes with a small travel bag and standard ear plugs. I have two of these – one I keep at my house and one I keep in my computer bag so pretty much no matter where I am I have one ready to help me nap!


This super handy app adjusts your computer monitor’s color temperature to make your screen night-time friendly. By cutting down on blue and green light, f.lux helps to keep melatonin production, which regulates sleep, normal even when staring at a monitor late at night. You can adjust your color temperature way down at night by expanding beyond their ‘normal’ values in settings.

 Pebble Smartwatch

pebble smartwatchPebbles are cool! They are extremely customizable, have their own app store, and it is an awesome company. The silent alarm and actigraphy sleep tracking by the Pebble have helped me a ton. I no longer disturb my fiance’s sleep as much and I have more insight into my sleep cycles so I can better design my schedule. I highly recommend a smartwatch with a vibrate alarm and sleep cycle tracking at least during adaptation.

Sleep as Android

The sleep as android app does a really good job tracking sleep cycles with actigraphy and pairs wonderfully with the pebble. Even if you don’t get a compatible smartwatch – just using your phone on your bed or under your pillow will provide pretty good results for tracking sleep cycle.


Great free tool for visualizing polyphasic sleep schedules.

Day 26 | First Full Night Oversleep

Core | 10:45 PM – 7:30 AM

Nap 1 | Missed

Nap 2 | Missed

Nap 3 | Missed

Damnit! I slept through the night!

This is really frustrating. After this long without too many mistakes I completely slept through the night for an almost 9 hour core. This is my first time sleeping completely through the night. I was the most tired I’ve been in the last 27 days when I went to bed after partying the night before, which probably explains my mistake.

I obviously turned off 1 alarm without waking up, but it seems like I failed to set my other backup alarms. This was a big mistake as I require a backup alarm about half the time to get up from my core.


It seems like all of this work was for nothing if I just slept right through the night on accident. I guess I’m back on a monophasic sleep schedule right now then! Instead of quitting though, I’m going to push through and get back on track with my adaptation.

Everyone has setbacks. I will push forward!

Feeling Damn Good

I felt better today than I have in the last few weeks! I was hoping to be groggy all day as I’m not used to that much sleep, but it was actually the opposite. My body must have loved the sleep – I felt more alert, happy, and sharp than I have in a while. This makes me nervous.

The Everyman sleep schedule has really boosted productivity and has made me feel better at times. However, I want both sharpness and productivity increase! We’ll see if that comes through further adaptation. If not, I may be pulling back to monophasic for the benefit of feeling more awake throughout my day!

Day 25 | Partying Schedule Adjustment

Nap 1 | 2:45 AM – 4:15 AM

Core | 5:00 AM – 8:15 AM

Nap 2 | 10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

Nap 3 | 4:20 PM – 4:40 PM

Last night was NYE! I partied with a bunch of my friends and had an awesome time. My sleep schedule shifted a lot, but the flexibility of napping and broken sleep really helped me handle this situation better than I would have on monophasic sleep.

First off, I felt great all night – not tired at all at the party even having about 8 drinks throughout the night.  When the party slowed I wanted to go home, but wasn’t in a place to safely do so. My response was different than it normally would have been. I calculated how long until my BAC dropped below 0.04 (half the legal limit in CA) and I took a nap! Then, upon waking in the middle of the night at 4:15 AM I felt wide awake as I’m used to napping and waking in the middle of the night. So, I drove home at that point.

Public service announcement: Please always drive safe – drinking and driving is seriously bad.

I took a core in the morning when I’d normally have a 40 minute nap and then napped the rest of the day on my normal schedule.

Results of Altered Schedule

I felt way better on the 1st than I would have if I stayed up drinking that late on monophasic sleep. Adjusting my schedule as described allowed me a safe trip home, sleep in my own bed, and a fun day after partying! If you’re having a late night, get creative with your sleep and try to stick as closely as possible to your normal schedule.

Ideally, take your core early (6 PM – 9:30 PM for example) before starting the party as opposed to in the morning after when alcohol is affecting sleep and your circadian rhythm is telling you to wake up.

Even though I felt good during the day, went on a hike, and enjoyed my New Years Day – I was VERY exhausted in the evening and was the most tired when going to bed that I’ve been during adaptation.

Day 10 | Unsafe Driving and Emotional Exhaustion

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:20 AM

Nap 2 | 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM

Nap 3 | 4:00 PM – 4:20 PM

Today was the 7 hour drive back home to San Francisco from Mammoth. Not my best day so far. First, the good news: I went in a natural hot springs with a beautiful view out in the high desert. The bad news: driving through ice/snow/rain while fighting to keep alert sucks and turns out is draining.

Be Safe!

My best advice so far: BE SAFE. If you are fighting to stay awake while driving you need to do something about it. Have someone else drive if that’s an option or pull over and take a nap.

At 4 PM (nap time) I was super exhausted and was playing loud music, tapping my feet and squeezing a grip strength widget to stay somewhat alert while driving through the mountains in bad conditions. My fiance isn’t super comfortable driving my truck in bad conditions so swapping out wasn’t a good option. We did the right thing and pulled into a church parking lot, grabbed the blanket from the back seat, reclined the chairs, I threw on my face mask and we were out cold for 20 minutes.

I felt like a new man after! Moral: safety is more important than making good time.

Emotionally Taxing

Thankfully, I haven’t felt emotionally drained in the last 10 days… until this evening. Typically, when I get tired I get irritable and less optimistic but so far in this experiment I’ve been doing great emotionally and have felt the exhaustion physically – until now.

Everything wore on me and I really thought about quitting the adaptation.

Why the hell am I putting myself through sleep torture. I’m crazy. Be normal Eric!

But, self-control prevailed and here I am writing about it in the middle of the night :)

You are going to have doubts and the adaptation is going to suck at times. My recommendation is to push through with your strong will to make the decision to keep going or quit when you aren’t feeling down. Don’t decide to stop when you’re tired and worn out. Instead, set a reminder to evaluate the test the next day when you should have more of a clear mind.

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