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Wellness · February 11, 2015

The Uberman Sleep Schedule: Could You Be Convinced to Sleep Just 2 Hours Each Day?

Uberman derives its name from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Instead of a monophasic schedule (where you sleep once a day), the uberman approach is a polyphasic one where you take six 20-minute naps over the course of a 24-hour day. The naps are spread out every four hours: 2 a.m., 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m.

Proponents of the uberman schedule say that they have increased energy and are able to enter REM sleep more quickly when they nap. There is also the benefit of having more time to get stuff done. The uberman sleeper can never say There arent enough hours in the day, because he has six more than the average monophasic sleeper. Over the course of a year that nets out to 91 extra days that ubermen re-claim. Additionally, things like jet lag disappear for an uberman sleeper, because the traditional concepts of night and day disappear.

Rumor has it that Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison were polyphasic sleepers (to varying degrees), and the renowned architect Buckminster Fuller was an avid believer in the practice, though there is little research beyond the anecdotal claims of people who have tried the uberman approach. No long-term studies exist that examine the benefits and risks, frankly because most people dont stick with it long enough. (This alone may be evidence that even polyphasic sleepers should aim for at least six hours of rest each day.)

If youre an extremist about trying everything once, the uberman sleep cycle may be worth testing out. Just dont pass out in the most awkward of situations like Seinfelds Kramer did when he tried uberman; when your body tells you it needs sleep, it might be time to throw in the towel.

Author

Alicia