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17 October 2005

Polyphasic Sleep

Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily. This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness. The theory is that ordinary monophasic sleep consists of many phases, only a few of which are needed for survival. REM sleep, occurring quite late in the sequence, is commonly believed to be one such necessary phase. It is believed that after being deprived of sleep during an adjustment period, the brain will start to enter the required stages much quicker - with the result that each short nap consists almost solely of REM sleep. Some theories of sleep suggest that REM is largely responsible for the mental rejuvenation effects of sleep, but the role of REM sleep has in recent years been disputed. It has been documented that depriving rats of REM sleep specifically leads to death in 3 to 8 weeks (which doesn't happen with depriving test animals of other specific sleep phases), but it has also been documented that humans survive without REM sleep. Since polyphasic sleepers get a lot of Stage 4 NREM and REM sleep, they may achieve higher alertness levels than those who do not know the art of catnapping. Several famous people applied catnapping to a large extent. These include Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison and Buckminster Fuller. Other figures said to be associated with polyphasic sleep experimentation include Nikola Tesla, Napoleon, and Winston Churchill. This method was also popularized on Seinfeld, where the character Cosmo Kramer attempted to adapt to a polyphasic sleeping pattern. Source:
I think this kind of sleep pattern can be very usefult ot those who suffer from low sleeping hours in Ramadan, however I do not think that one can be used to it easily. Tags: , , , ,