With so much information, polyphasic sleep can be confusing. This page is to guide you through the material and get started with polyphasic sleep.
Choosing a schedule
First, read through the Scheduling overview page, and then pick a schedule that you can fit into your work/study schedule and read more on the schedule page. Be sure to fully consider things such as scheduling consistency and dark period. Also, make sure you have enough time to stay adapted after the potentially gruelling adaptation; according to community experience, at least one month is needed to adapt to most schedules.
Before starting the adaptation, there are several things you should do to minimise the difficulty.
- Recover from sleep debt. Going into adaptation with pre-existing sleep debt lengthens the most difficult part of it (Stage 3).
- Quit drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Any of these drugs will greatly reduce the quality of your sleep, potentially making your adaptation impossible. Caffeine also has a strong negative effect on most schedules, and it is best to limit consumption to an insignificant amount.
- Get used to waking up from alarms immediately. A snoozing habit is an easy way to oversleep and ruin your adaptation. If possible, you might want to align one of the sleep or wake of your current sleep to the same time as your future schedule to make it easier.
- Prepare various things you'll need for the adaptation, examples of which may include:
- Red goggles for dark period
- Alarm clocks / smartphone apps
- Productivity / Time tracking apps
- Find locations for you to take naps when situation may demand, such as:
- your car
- your office desk
- Create a long list of things to do when you are tired. All the extra hours you have will work against you when you get sleepy. These things can include:
- Household chores
- Video games
- Write down reasons why you want to do polyphasic sleep. Remind yourself about it when you lose motivation. A polyphasic adaptation can be one of the most difficult things you have done by this point, and having a motivational reminder would be very helpful.
- Read up further about polyphasic sleep on this wiki. Ask on the subreddit or Discord if you have any questions.
There are several ways to start your adaptation. In most cases, the recommended way is starting cold turkey, where you simply start sleeping according to the schedule right from the start. At first, it is expected that you might not be able to fall asleep for all sleeps. Over time, the situation should resolve, as you reach later stages of your adaptation. The tiredness and difficulty waking up from sleep are also expected to worsen significantly, so make sure you are prepared for that.
Tracking your progress
It is recommended that you try to log your adaptation to track your progress. One way to do so is with the logging bot on the Discord. Some users use spreadsheets to keep a record of their tiredness and waking feelings over time, which are also helpful. Sample spreadsheet 1 Sample spreadsheet 2