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The everyman sleep cycle is a schedule of polyphasic sleep. The idea of polyphasic sleep is to break your usual 1 block of sleep into smaller bits, and decreasing your sleep need by doing so. The everyman cycle consists out of a block of core sleep (about 4.5 hours) and a number of naps (3 times 20 minutes usually).

The everyman sleep cycle

  • Block of core sleep plus naps
  • The shorter the core sleep, the more naps you need
  • I did 4.5 hours of core sleep with 3 naps
  • You effectively gain 3-4 hours each day (a couple of working days a week) It would be a great help if you leave a comment, and subscribe on youtube!

Other polyphasic sleep schedules

Other than the everyman sleep schedule, there are a bunch more. The image below comes from wikipedia and sums it up very nicely (click to enlarge).

 Polyphasic Sleep Cycles

As you can see the schedules range from adding a siesta to your day, to changing your whole life around. As I write this I'm considering segmented sleep with a siesta...

Why would you?

Very simply: time. My typical day on everyman would be something like:

  • Get up at 7 AM, before any other student friends
  • Read, prepare the day, email
  • Go to classes (and nap in the boardroom of the study association)
  • Do work (pet projects), classes and other day to day stuff (and nap again)
  • Have dinner, watch series, play games (and another nap)
  • Go to friends/party/read book
  • Get home from friends or party (say around 1 or 2)
  • Play some games, watch series, start pet projects
  • Lather, rinse, repeat

It left plenty of time for the things that needed doing, the things I wanted to do and then some more. My productivity was high, and I never felt any time pressure. Where my friends would worry about finishing a paper after dinner, I knew I had half a day left, and then the early morning again. And fresh as a peach...

Disadvantages of the everman sleep cycle

It sounds awesome doesn't it? it's not all moonshine and roses though. I noticed some, eh, odd effects:

  • Mood swings (happy peaks) in the first weeks
  • Getting sleepy when having nothing to do, especially after dark
  • Not waking up without an alarm Apart from that, some effects were mostly social:
  • I had to have 'nap spots' everywhere I went
  • It's socially odd to have naps 3 times a day
  • At night it can get boring/lonely since the world sleeps I recommend it though. Regardless of the side effects, it was a great experience to have had.

Everyman sleep cycle guide

If you feel like trying the sleep cycle, go about it the following way:

  1. Choose a schedule (number of naps)
  2. Plan your naps and core sleep, your bed times should NOT be flexible
  3. Make sure you have napping spots at places you will be
  4. Set a duration you want to stick to this, stick to it

Some tips from my experience:

  • Limit alcohol and coffee
  • Get earplugs, the foamy ones
  • Get an eye mask that blocks light well
  • Inform those around you, nothing is worse than someone waking you from your nap (especially by frightening you, as a joke)
  • Make sure you have stuff to do