Polyphasic Sleep: Exploring the Benefits and Risks of this Sleep Pattern

Jul 02, 2023

Sleep is an essential part of our lives, and the quality and quantity of sleep we get can significantly affect our overall health and well-being. While most people follow a monophasic sleep pattern (sleeping for 7-8 hours straight at night), some people have adopted a polyphasic sleep pattern, which involves sleeping for shorter periods of time throughout the day.
In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits and risks of polyphasic sleep and whether it is a safe sleep pattern to follow.

What is Polyphasic Sleep?

Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern that involves sleeping for short periods throughout the day, rather than sleeping for one long period at night. This sleep pattern is based on the idea that the human body can function optimally with less sleep, as long as it is distributed throughout the day.

There are different types of polyphasic sleep patterns, including:

Uberman Sleep: This pattern involves sleeping for six 20-minute naps throughout the day, for a total of two hours of sleep per day.

Everyman Sleep: This pattern involves taking one long nap (3-4 hours) at night and two shorter naps (20-30 minutes) during the day, for a total of 4-5 hours of sleep per day.

Dymaxion Sleep: This pattern involves taking four 30-minute naps throughout the day, for a total of two hours of sleep per day.

Benefits of Polyphasic Sleep:

One of the main benefits of polyphasic sleep is that it allows individuals to have more time in their day. By sleeping for shorter periods throughout the day, individuals can have more time for work, hobbies, and other activities. Polyphasic sleep can also improve productivity and creativity, as the shorter naps can provide a mental boost.

Polyphasic sleep has also been linked to better memory and cognitive function. A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that individuals who took short naps throughout the day performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn't nap.

Risks of Polyphasic Sleep:
While there are potential benefits to polyphasic sleep, there are also risks associated with this sleep pattern. One of the main risks is that it can be difficult to adjust to, and some individuals may experience sleep deprivation and fatigue during the transition period.

Polyphasic sleep can also disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm, which can lead to a range of health problems, including insomnia, depression, and mood disorders. Additionally, polyphasic sleep may not provide the same quality of sleep as monophasic sleep, which can lead to sleep deprivation and other health problems over time.

Is Polyphasic Sleep Safe?

Polyphasic sleep is not recommended for everyone, and it may not be a safe sleep pattern for some individuals. People who have certain medical conditions, such as sleep disorders, may not be able to tolerate polyphasic sleep. Additionally, children, pregnant women, and older adults may not be able to handle the demands of a polyphasic sleep pattern.


Polyphasic sleep is an alternative sleep pattern that can provide some benefits, including increased productivity and cognitive function. However, it also has its risks and may not be suitable for everyone. Before adopting a polyphasic sleep pattern, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it's safe for you to do so.