Polyphasic Sleeping: the good, bad and ugly

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sHaZbOk, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. sHaZbOk Registered Member

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    27
    Hey Guys,
    I have a few things i'd like to know about this "Polyphasic Sleeping" business.
    For those who don't know what it is it's when you take 20-30 minute naps every 4 hours. This lets you have 22 hour days and you don't have to sleep at night.
    I just want to know if anyone here has tried it with success or not. I have tried it for a week and felt like total hell so i couldn't go on.
    Also are there any known psychological or physical tolls it can take on the body?
    Thanks,
    shazbok
     
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  3. sHaZbOk Registered Member

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  5. NenarTronian Teenaged Transhumanist Registered Senior Member

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    I remember KRAMER did it on seinfeld.. but i've never done it. However, i find a small nap (30 minutes) before work REALLY takes the edge off, gives me more energy at work, and i'm less tired afterwords..
     
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  7. cyberia Lounge Act Registered Senior Member

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    169
    Okay I've been sitting around reading those articles and everything else I could find on this topic. and I think I'm going to do it. I'm gonna keep a log like this the 2nd guy I'll post the link here if anybody is interested?

    Wish me luck!
     
  8. Ectropic Registered Senior Member

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    Good luck with it. Please do post a log somewhere.
     
  9. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    13,406
    I heard that Einstein did this.

    Anyone know if that is true.
    (sorry if it was included in the articles, I haben't read tham yet.)
     
  10. sHaZbOk Registered Member

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    27
    hey cyberia you should try it, good luck and please do put a log somewhere
     
  11. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    706
    Here's what I make of the brain and why I don't think this technique is not a good idea...

    There are roughly two kinds of sleep. Slow Wave sleep and REM sleep. Current research seems to support that Slow Wave sleep is used to cool down you brain down (and possibly get rid of toxins). REM sleep is used for learning integration.

    Normally when you sleep, you sleep for at least an hour of the Slow Wave sleep before you go into REM sleep, and then it cycles back and forth through the night.

    When you sleep deprive yourself, you go into what's called REM Rebound, where you go into REM sleep immediately after falling asleep.

    Now if you are doing this 20 minute nap thing, it's most likely the only kind of sleep you are getting is REM sleep. So your brain is going to be heating up more than normal and not going to be quite happy.

    However different people have different tolerance levels. Some people need 9 hours + sleep a night, some people are comfortable on only an hour. There is no documented cases of humans dying from lack of sleep (but I imagine it's not good for your immune system) but rats (smaller creatures) seem to die off in a matter of weeks.
     
  12. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

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    334
    It's entirely possible that this kind of sleeping habits works for your mind. Maybe it's how we will sleep in the future. Right now there's alot of things your body needs to do asleep. I can't imagine it being possible to work out 3-4 times a week and expect muscles to grow with this kind of sleep

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  13. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    706
    There's no evidence that I know of that sleep directly restores your body (except for the brain, which is a part of your body) whatsoever, outside of being inactive and relaxing for 8 hours (or whatever you sleep). Your body would get the same restorative quality from being an awake couch potato for 8 hour.

    Sleep is primarily for the brain, and I would like to see some kind of evidence that this kind of sleeping pattern is good for it.
     
  14. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

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    334
    http://www.instantcomfort.com/why/YSleep.asp?Domain=www.instantcomfort.com&

    "DEEP SLEEP is the time when the body replaces old cells with new ones and re-energizes organs and muscles. (The Better Sleep Council"

    I particularly like that quote. Now, they haven't put forth any evidence but I know from personal experience that my own body DOES fix it self while sleeping ALOT more than while being awake. I've had numerous colds, infections, sunburns and other diseases and leaps in recovery always occur while sleeping. Never do such recoveries occur while awake - even if I'm really lazy lying in the sofa. That the body does not need to sleep to recover and that there's no evidence for it is just a heap of bullshit going around in circles that don't want to waste hours sleeping. The perfect evidence is that evolution has formed us the way we are. We and animals are made to sleep, and the fact that deep-sleep occurs is no mere coincidence.

    Maybe it works nowadays not to deep-sleep and only revitalize your brain. As long as we do not get infections or work-out.
     
  15. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    706
    AndersHermansson
    The website that you linked to is from a matress company. The "Better Sleep Council" is a non-profit organization to help build better matresses and get better sleep. Where's the credibility in all of this? I don't see anything pointing to actual research on either site.

    Sleep deprivation studies have found no link between physical body health and sleep. Here's some real research:

    Horne, J.A. A review of the biological effects of total sleep deprivation in man. Biological Psychology, 1978, 7.

    Horne, J.A., and Moore, V.J. Sleep EEG effects of exercise with and without additional body cooling. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1985, 60.

    Ryback, R.S., and Lewis, O.F. Effects of prolonged bed rest on EEG sleep patterns in young, healthy volunteers. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1971, 31.

    The above reseach gives good evidence that sleep has little to no effect on the body repairing itself (except for the brain). But keep in mind sleep deprivation has quite negative effects on the mind.


    I don't know what kind of body you have, but my body recovers quite well throughout the day. Fevers dissappear, aches slowly heal, cuts close over. Could it be that it's a more psychological perception of time. Eight hours on the couch seems like forever, while eight hours of sleeping seems near instantaneous. Also note that some of the things you listed affect the brain too. Colds and infections can produce fevers, where your brain is overheating (remember the heat hypothesis earlier), so yes in these cases, you feel more drowsy and need sleep, so that the brain can cool down.

    Actually, I'm the one who said that the body doesn't recover when you sleep, but if you read above, I'm still against this kind of sleeping pattern.
     
  16. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

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    Yea I know it's a pretty lame link, I just liked a quote there and it fits perfectly well with my experience. You still haven't explained why throughout evolution we have been supplied with deep-sleep. There must be a good reason for it. That alone proves to me that it's better to sleep deep, than to just lie in the bed awake. And it seems my body is very special, I never get better from diseases during the day.
     
  17. Ectropic Registered Senior Member

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    The only reason I can think of for evolving to sleep like we do is for energy conservation. I know I am rarely starving when i wake up, but if I were to sit on the couch for 8 hours I might eat a box of Fudge Stripes, 2 Nutrigrain bars, a bowl of cereal, a can of soup and four Pepsis.
     
  18. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

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    8,989
    All I know is that any amount of sleep I get is not enough.

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    James Sibley
     
  19. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    Older studies suggest that deep sleep reduces toxic chemicals in the brain or replenishes needed chemicals in the brain.

    However recent studies suggest that deep sleep is needed to cool down the brain. Give the brain a state where it's metabolic rate is reduced to a minimum and cool off.

    It could be both.
     
  20. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

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    334
    Also studies have been interpreted as the memories that needs to be stored in the long-term memory are imprinted during deep-sleep.

    Also for you who say polyphasic sleeping yields REM only sleep are wrong. When you break in your new sleeping habits it takes a while for the mind to adapt. When it does, it has reintroduced the usual distribution of sleep-states.
     
  21. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    No, this happens during REM sleep not deep-sleep.

    I could see that happening. However, I haven't found any actual research on this, have you?
     
  22. AndersHermansson Registered Senior Member

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    According to what I've read, studies have been made on people taking medicines (some anti-depressants) that seriously degrades the quality and amount of REM-sleep in the subjects. According to their tests, subjects showed no significant loss in capacity for storing long-term memories. Also, during sleep brain-activity has been measured and it has been found that there is activity in the hippocampi - the area of the brain that consolidates memories - during the deep-sleep phase.

    About sleep-distribution can't recall the source :/

    Found a good link!

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro03/web2/alippman.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2003
  23. Xenu BBS Whore Registered Senior Member

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    706
    Actually the article that you posted talks about how learning is increased through REM and slow-wave sleep. Also keep in mind that not all learning is increased by sleep. It seems to be the more challenging and/or novel experiences. If you could post something about that study you're talking about, maybe we could unravel it.

    As for the hypothesis that slow-wave sleep helps learning I see a confound. The paper you posted cited this site for that portion of info.

    http://www.nature.com/nsu/nsu_pf/020218/020218-20.html

    It says:
    He and his team have also found that different sleep phases influence different types of learning. Acing a visual test requires relaxed slow-wave sleep in the first quarter of the night, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in the last quarter.

    The first quarter of the night does contain REM sleep. Not as much as the last quarter, but it does. Maybe visual info is the first thing to be processed by REM.

    I also found this link talking about a similar study:

    http://www.sciencenews.org/20001202/fob5.asp

    In this study (near bottom) this is quoted:

    Volunteers who slept through the entire night after training exhibited a much larger performance boost than those tested after the first 3 hours of sleep. These findings suggest that slow-wave sleep triggers procedural memory formation, whereas REM sleep amplifies that process, Maquet remarks.

    Again, within 3 hours of sleep, a person may have up to 2 REM cycles. If they found the same results after waking the person up within an hour, than they might have something.

    My personal belief is that slow-wave sleep does some smaller work or prepatory work for REM learning. There isn't enough metabolic activity to do serious integration work. Actually in slow wave sleep the areas that have been worked the most during the day have the least metabolic activity.
     

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