There have been discussions between the members of the polyphasic community about unexplored exotic sleep mechanisms and potential schedules, which have few to none attempts so far.
Extended naps, sometimes referred to as pronaps, usually have a length of 40-45 minutes. They were suggested first by Jelte to be used during the dawn hours, after needed SWS is met and REM is prioritized by the brain. It turned out to be successful, allowing to get more REM/LNREM, and is used quite often. Longer naps also proved to be successful on non-reducing biphasic schedules such as BiphasicX, having refreshing natural wakes. Other than that, pronaps aren't recommended on the reducing schedules, since they have mid-cycle wakes during SWS, which is not refreshing naturally and leads to sleep inertia or sometimes zombie-mode following by oversleeps. However, it was suggested that such mechanism as wake time programming might cause the adaptation of brain to insertion light sleep at the end of the sleep blocks, which means it's likely possible to start getting refreshing/natural wakes from pronaps even on reducing schedules and even outside of the REM peak. There is a couple of examples of this mechanism, which were suggested.
Being a famous polyphasic schedule, Uberman is considered not doable for most people, since the total sleep time is much lower than the average bare minimum of sleep needed. Metaman was suggested by Sekvanto with the purpose of having a similar to Uberman mechanism, at the same time being theoretically doable for people with a bit lower than average sleep requirements (~7h monophasic baseline or shorter vital stages needs), therefore has a prefix "Meta-" opposing "Uber-" and "Every-". It has six 40-minute naps equidistantly placed throughout the day, with a total sleep time of 4h. If confirmed, this schedule will belong to a new Pronap only category. Worth mentioning, even though the total sleep time theoretically allows to get the needed duration of vital sleep stages, it is unlikely that the naps can be compressed much enough for having long uninterrupted chunks of SWS (30m or more) needed for the glymphatic system to finish a session of cleaning brain waste, so similarly to nap-only schedules, no conclusion about the health implications of waste products in the brain on this schedule can't be made yet.
Similarly to Metaman, this schedule is an extended version of Dymaxion, another nap-only schedule with a low total sleep time. Metamaxion was suggested by Zandimna as an improved version of Metaman with less blocks of sleep needed, which is easier to schedule around the day. It has four 50-minute naps, equidistantly placed throughout the day. This length is on the borderline which divides cores from naps, so sleeps can be shortened to 45 minutes to ensure they are definitely considered naps. Nevertheless, the total sleep time on Metamaxion is less than 4 hours for both options, so one needs a bit lower than average sleep requirements for adaptation. Longer naps duration means that it's more likely to reach the needed sleep compression and having long enough SWS episodes for the efficiency of the glymphatic system, however this is still extremely difficult for an average person, so the same question as about Metaman remains on this schedule too.
Basically has same characteristics as a regular Spamayl, except the naps are longer on this one. The amount of naps needed also can be decreased compared to Spamayl with shorter naps, which makes this easier to schedule around the day. Also, similarly to Metaman and Metamaxion, Spamayl-40 is a bit more doable for regular people. This schedule was suggested a few times, partially done by one member of the community once, who mixed it with shorter naps too though. Longer naps had an architecture of mini-cores, often containing both SWS and REM or one of these stages being dominant. Similarly to the above mentioned schedules, Spamayl-40 doesn't allow for long uninterrupted SWS episodes, so is likely unhealthy for the glymphatic system process.
Modified regular schedules
Taking any regular schedule with extended nap(-s), a new schedule of this category will be the result. An example includes DC1-modified on a picture beside, which has a 40-minute nap outside of the REM peak. The mechanism of this likely differs from the pronap-only schedules above, since the total sleep time is much higher and the compression levels are much lower. Also all needed SWS should easily be placed in the cores, which possibly will allow longer naps to have little-to-no SWS, thus making them more refreshing initially. It is unclear if the wake time programming will be applicable in this case too, but this is worth experimenting. Longer naps on the regular polyphasic schedules might also compensate for a bit shortened cores (e.g. a DC1 variant with 3h + 1.5h cores, or a E2 variant with a 4h core).
According to this research, the polyphasic sleep community has established a recommendation to leave at least 1.5h gaps between two blocks of sleep, preferably even longer (about 3 hours) to ensure brain doesn't count them as one interrupted block of sleep, decreasing their quality. It was found in the study that frequent awakenings followed by immediate returning back to sleep decrease sleep quality, leading to a higher percentage of light sleep. But recently a new idea was suggested by some members of the polyphasic community. In fact, it's possible that the main reason of the reduced sleep quality on schedules with short gaps was not the gaps by themselves, but rather SWS interruption, or mid-cycle wakes in general. Therefore, a new mechanism was suggested - full cores with a short gap (30-60 minutes) in between. This makes getting long uninterrupted chunks of SWS possible, and likely will lead to a normal sleep structure (similar to a one with longer gaps between cores). Also it might be possible to have a few REM naps close to each other during the dawn hours, with each of them having a high quality.
A schedule, which was originally suggested by Dr. Zoid. It consists of naps, which are divided by short 20-minute gaps, suggesting the possibility of interchangeably napping for 20 minutes, staying awake for 20 minutes and repeating the cycle N times. Stacked by this method naps are called "z-cores". Extra naps can be added to z-cores or during the day if needed. This is a nap-only schedule, which usually has sleep mostly concentrated during the night. A similar method was suggested by Rasmus for the adaptation to Spamayl.
There is a known registered attempt of adaptation to Zoidberg. Two people couldn't reach the adapted state after sticking to the schedule for a few months, and it was suggested that the reason was the mechanism of interrupted sleep, which leads to unpredictable sleep structure if the gaps between blocks of sleep are too short. Sleepers had difficulties with falling asleep and waking up after Stage 1, presumably because of the frequent REM and SWS wakes. However, it is still not clear if the mechanism of interrupted sleep was the main reason of the difficulties. Zoidberg is Uberman-modified, and the regular Uberman usually isn't adaptable either because of the low total sleep time. Even having a high sleep quality, Zoidberg wouldn't become better for an average person by this criteria. Also there are no EEG readings of those who consistently attempted Zoidberg, so it is impossible to know how high was their sleep quality. There are known attempts of regular schedules, when a sleeper had high sleep quality and still wasn't able to leave the loop of Stage 3/4 for weeks or even months, even though the vital sleep stages duration was not much lower than the baseline on mono. An extremely long wake gap during the day makes this schedule unreasonable as well.
Worth mentioning that one of the people kept waking up every 20 minutes for a long time even after leaving Zoidberg, so one should be aware of such possibility when attempting this schedule. Same warning can be applicable to any other nap-only schedule though.
It was suggested that short gaps might be possible between cores if there is no SWS interruption. There were no attempts of adaptation to this schedule with the usage of EEG yet, so it's still unknown how sleep structure would be formed. It might happen that the interrupted sleep hypothesis will be confirmed, if blocks of sleep have unpredictable and messed up structure. However, it is also possible that cores sleep structure will take a normal form, similar to the one for longer gaps.
Short gap schedules usually don't have many advantages, since for many people it's difficult to return to sleep after a short gap, as not much sleep pressure is built. Also short gaps are noticeably less useful from the point of view of activities, because much less things can be done in a short period of time. They might have an advantage for those inclined to shorter wake gaps though. In the past, adults often slept in two distinct phases at night, bridged by an intervening period of wakefulness of approximately one hour, which also suggests somewhat short gaps are natural for human.
Dawn REM naps
It was suggested that it might be possible to have SOREM in naps during the dawn hours (close to the REM peak) even if they are placed close to each other, which is based on the observations how monophasic sleepers often keep dozing off during the morning, getting more and more REM each time, which is also a common technique for increasing dream recall in the lucid dreaming community. There were also a few reported cases of getting SOREM in a couple of naps during the dawn hours with a short gap in between (around 60 minutes), which suggests the possibility of placing naps more densely on Everyman schedules or Spamayl.
Generally this method can be used for increasing time spent in REM. A dawn pronap often is used to achieve the same, but a few naps instead can have benefits for those people, who tend to wake up after 15-20m of SOREM. This should also be beneficial for dream recall, since for some sleepers pronaps often end in light sleep, which makes more difficult to recall any dreams after waking up. Triggering SOREM and waking up from REM more frequently increases chances of having higher dream recall.
Unorthodox core length
A few schedules were suggested, the sleep structure and classification of which would differ depending on the features of a sleeper's natural sleep architecture and inclinations. The relevant one is the individual ability of sleep cycle compression, which leads to a difference in the number of sleep cycles in some blocks of sleep for different sleepers. For example, a 60-minute block of sleep can have the structure of a nap for some people or be a full sleep cycle for others. Same goes for 4-hour core, which can be either compressed to 3 cycles or contain only 2. A difficulty sometimes appears when it comes to naming, because a schedule can contain more cycles than the standard one for some people due to a higher compression, at the same time having less TST.
An example of such controversial schedule is shown on a picture beside. With such a low total sleep time and short blocks of sleep, most likely all of them will be compressed to cores, which makes this schedule Triphasic-modified. This is an interesting variant, since the sleep structure is quite unpredictable for different people, and it would be interesting to collect some EEG readings of this schedule from different sleepers. It also might be interesting to extend the dusk core to 3h or 3.5h. Higher TST would require less sleep compression, so for some sleepers with a low compression ability one or both of these 60m blocks might still have a nap structure, thus making this schedule E2-modified or DC1-modified.
There have been separate attempts of alternating different sleep schedules from day to day, which will be discussed in this section. Worth mentioning, -AMAYL group belonged to this category as well, but having the same sleep structure from day to day and a strict base, it showed some success for different polyphasic sleepers and was excluded from the hypothetical schedules.
This schedule was attempted by a member of the polyphasic sleep community as an experiment on a 48-hour sleep cycle. It alternates between E2 and DC1, which have almost the same total sleep time. Each sleep is woken up from at the same time every day. Dark period was kept the same every day as well. The only changeable variable was the length of the blocks of sleep.
However, the experiment wasn't successful. It lasted 9 days, but was finished after the sleep structure was quite random and tiredness was experienced at the time, when the sleeper was asleep a day before. This schedule didn't work since Everyman and Dual core schedules have different origins and sleep mechanisms, which should be consistent from day to day for brain to adjust to it.
A flexible nap only schedule with occasional monophasic days, which was suggested by Edgarvny in 2014 and is an abbreviation of "No less than 4, no more than 20". The nap-only part of the schedule implies having naps no longer that 20 minutes with wake gaps in between, which last 4 hours or more. Thus the schedule becomes flexible, having 6 naps or less daily, which is a form of Spamayl with a few extra rules. Trying to adapt to this schedule, Edgarvny faced long oversleeps from time to time, which became the main feature of NL4NM20. A 8-hour monophasic core can be taken after a few days of nap-only, relieving sleep deprivation symptoms and returning a sleeper to the first or second stage of adaptation, which are milder and can make a wrong impression of being adapted. This state lasts a few more days, allowing to continue a nap-only schedule, but then Stage 3 kicks in, which is accompanied by intense sleepiness. The main consensus of the polyphasic community on NL4NM20 is the impossibility of adaptation, being stuck in the loop of entering the third stage of adaptation and returning back to the early ones by oversleeping, thus constantly experiencing prolonged sleep deprivation. Such irregular sleep schedule is also a way to destabilize circadian rhythm and sleep overall.
A non-reducing schedule, which has three blocks of sleep of changeable length and heavily relies on natural sleep patterns and circadian management. Its mechanism is very similar to BiphasicX, with the possibility of the night core splitting. The best Triphasic-X variant has a core, which starts closely to dusk, second block of sleep (core/nap), which is close to dawn, and the third block of sleep during the day. Thus Triphasic-X is supposed to take three main forms: E2, DC1 and Triphasic. Dark period starts 1-2 hours before the main SWS core. If the second block of sleep starts around the dawn, it's better to keep dark period till this time.
It depends on individual sleep inclinations whether one needs alarm for this schedule or not at all. Those with a natural affinity for segmented sleep, who often wake up in the middle of the night or have WASO habitually, should find this schedule more natural and easy for adaptation. Otherwise there might be a need to use alarms for the first core to ever get the DC1 or Triphasic forms. E2 can be done in the case of alarm failure or if one doesn't use alarms and had a long first core. It's possible that after some time on the schedule sleeper starts to wake up naturally before the alarm from the first core. If this is the case and remains stable, brain is fully adapted to sleep segmentation and is ready to continue no-alarm sleep.
- "Interrupted Sleep". polyphasic.net. March 2019. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- Ekirch AR (2005). "At Day's Close: Night in Times Past". W. W. Norton. Cite journal requires
- "Wake Back To Bed". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- Fireger (April 2019). "Failed Experiment: 48 Hour Alternating Polyphasic Sleep Cycle" (PDF). polyphasic.net. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- Edgarvny (2014). "A flexible Uberman-like schedule that works for me". Reddit. Retrieved 2020-11-27.