Recovery is a method of repaying sleep debt by sleeping mostly without alarms and minimal restrictions.
Recovery is usually applied in two cases:
- Before the adaptation. This reduces pre-existing sleep debt, which generally makes adaptation milder and possibly shorter.
- After failing the adaptation, which mostly includes oversleeping syndrome or being stuck in the stage 3/4 loop.
The time this process takes depends on the amount of sleep debt and individual sleep efficiency. It's expected to last for 1-2 weeks on average, but might be shorter or even much longer in extreme cases.
At first, total sleep time may be unexpectedly high or low, but it stabilizes with time. Eventually, the total duration of sleep should become close to the personal monophasic baseline. This, as well as feeling refreshed and rested during the day, indicates that the recovery process has been successfully completed.
Technically, most non-reducing schedules are sufficient as the recovery variants. This section describes the most popular ones.
This is the most popular type of recovery. The nocturnal sleep should start at the same time daily and end with a natural wake when feeling refreshed enough. It's preferable to schedule a dark period before the core to increase sleep efficiency.
Biphasic sleep is often used for the recovery as well. Having two blocks of sleep, it is possible to use an alarm for one of them, without restrictions for the second one.
- E1 and Siesta may have a restricted nocturnal core if it's impossible to sleep for long enough due to social inconveniences. In order to compensate for the lost sleep, a no-alarm sleep is scheduled during midday. Sleep during the day shouldn't be longer than ~2 hours though, as this may destabilize circadian rhythm or make it difficult to fall asleep in the evening. For this reason, it also makes sense to restrict the daytime block of sleep, but leaving the nocturnal sleep without alarms.
- On Segmented, it's possible to use alarms for the first core, waking up from the second one naturally.
Random sleep is the quickest way to recover. This means sleeping as much as possible at any desired time. As much as this way of recovery is appealing, it is not recommended. Habitual random sleep reduces discipline, which makes it difficult to adapt to strict sleep schedules afterwards. Moreover, random sleepers are more likely to have reduced sleep quality, which contributes to the adaptation difficulty as well.
It is possible to recover while still using alarms. The recovery with sleep restriction takes longer, but sometimes it may be necessary due to the social life restrictions. This method is generally not recommended due to its inefficiency.