Do I get enough sleep at night has become a common question for many Americans. Before beginning my biphasic sleeping lifestyle I used to sleep 8 to 9 hours a night and still feel tired all day long. If that sounds anything like you then you’re probably a good candidate for biphasic sleeping.
Since I have been keeping a biphasic sleeping lifestyle for the past few months now I have noticed that I usually only sleep about 6 hours a day. This worries me a little bit because now I am wondering “do I get enough sleep?” I’m never really tired during the day except just before my usual 1pm nap. I used to get that drowsy, don’t-want-to-do-my-work feeling around 3:00pm everyday and would infuse myself with as much coffee as I could just to make it until quitting time. Now I find that I’m humming right along during the afternoons and all of a sudden the work day is over!
Since becoming a biphasic sleeper my company has grown because I’m getting so much work done in the afternoons instead of playing around on facebook and crap. In fact my energy levels are higher and I’m getting more done at home too. I usually get home and help my wife with dinner then we go for a walk or play with the dogs instead of going out to eat something junky then flopping onto the couch for a few mind numbing hours of tv like we used to do.
But still in the back of my mind I’ve been feeling like there was a crash coming. I only sleep about 5 and a half to 6 hours a night and then 30 minutes after lunch. There has got to be a major void of sleep happening. Many people are probably thinking the same thing since they’re only getting 6 hours or less of sleep per night. They may not be biphasic sleepers but because their lives are so crazy they just can’t find the time. Or maybe they’re like I was and are getting 8 to 9 hours a night but still feel tired and feel doomed that they must sleep 12 hours a night and sleep half their life away just to feel good during the day.
If this is you and you’ve been asking yourself: Do I get enough sleep at night, then you might want to try biphasic sleeping! I did some research since I was getting less sleep than I used to but was feeling much better than I used to. It turns out that as you sleep you drift in and out of REM sleep. This is the sleep cycle that really restores and refreshes your mind, body, and soul.
Your first trip of the night into REM sleep usually lasts the longest. Then as you continue to sleep your trips into REM sleep shorten.
For many of us the stress factors we are overloaded with on a daily basis take their toll on our bodies to the point where they prevent us from fully shutting down our minds. We are used to always being on alert and therefore so are our bodies. Because of this most of us, myself included, never really fully relax at night, thus robbing ourselves of valuable time spent in REM Sleep.
The best way I’ve found to beat this is biphasic sleeping. When I take my nap during the day I usually wake up completly unaware of what’s going on around me. I find that if I’m in bed I usually fall into that drool all over the place DEEP SLEEP. I liken it to sleeping like a baby. Have you ever seen a kid fall asleep on the floor while they’re watching tv and it seems like nothing in the world could wake them? That’s how I fall asleep during my nap time. Or in other words, I spend 30 minutes in REM Sleep.
I didn’t at first fall right away into REM sleep during my naps. Honestly it took about 2 weeks before I was comfortable with going to sleep in the middle of the day and finally let my body do it’s thing. But when I did get to that point is when I really started noticing the benefits of biphasic sleeping.
Since I’m spending 30 minutes a day in REM Sleep it’s basically taking the place of my last 2 or 3 trips into REM Sleep per night. If you recall the longer your sleep the shorter your stints in REM sleep get. If I go to sleep at 10:30 like I do most nights I’ll fall right into a 30 minute REM. Each trip into REM usually happens once every 90 minutes and the duration of time spent in REM decreases by about 5 minutes each trip until finally you hit 5 minutes in REM and then the rest of your trips are about 5 minutes.. Thus at 11:00 I’m out of REM and won’t enter it again until 12:30. This phase is likely about 25 minutes. Then I’m out at 12:55. I’m back in at 1:25 for about 20 minutes.
You get the picture. It turns out my last three phases back when I was sleeping 8 to 9 hours were all together about 30 minutes or total time spent in REM! Then I would come out of REM at about 5:05 am. I know this is true for me because when I’d keep a journal of my sleep habits I noticed that around 5:00 am I was waking up But I didn’t need to get up until 6:00 so I’d go back to sleep. When I’d wake up at 6:00 I’d feel so tired. That’s because my body was making another journey toward REM Sleep so when I got up at 6:00 I was tired and felt tired all day.
With biphasic sleep I’m getting a good 30 minutes of REM per nap so when I do sleep at night I only need to sleep until about 3:00 am to get the same amount of REM sleep I used to get in a typical night. Now I find that I sleep until 5:00 am every day which according to my sleep cycles gives me another 25 minutes of REM sleep. This is more REM sleep then I have ever gotten in my life sleeping the old way.
If your haven’t tried biphasic sleeping and am asking yourself “do I get enough sleep” do yourself a favor and try biphasic sleeping.