|Sleep Polyphasically As Much As You Like|
|Total sleep||Undefined, but usually 2.5-3 hours|
|Specification||Any number of 20-minute naps throughout the day|
Spamayl is an abbreviation of "Sleep polyphasically as much as you like". It is one of the 4 "-amayl" flexible schedules. It was originally proposed by a forum user Rasmus in a 2010 forum post, who reportedly stayed on the schedule for one and a half years. Spamayl is the oldest Amayl schedule, which allows taking a varying amount of naps, as opposed to flexible versions of regular schedules. The original design of the schedule exclusively uses 20-minute naps, though variants with longer naps have later been attempted.
This schedule later inspired 3 other Amayl schedules, which contain cores to fulfill the required SWS, while still adhering to the principle of sleeping when needed.
The schedule is based on the adaptation to a habit of 20-minute naps. Since there are no core sleeps, all necessary SWS and REM must come from the naps. As with Uberman and Dymaxion, the intense sleep pressures makes the circadian sleep peaks less important than on other schedules. Experienced nappers can achieve a fast onset of REM or SWS in their nap, even for naps that are not strictly scheduled.
Spamayl can have up to ~10 naps to be scheduled per day, which also adds up to a total sleep of 3-4 hours. If one or more naps are scheduled to be longer, then ~6 naps per day may suffice. Note that the number of naps as well as total sleep time should be relatively consistent on a day-to-day basis to ensure their quality.
Though there has not been many successful adaptations, all of them so far have been achieved cold turkey. However, it is important to note that most of the sucesses come from those with greatly reduced sleep needs.
The adaptation first starts with difficulty falling asleep and tiredness, as sleep quality is reduced after a sudden change of pattern. Once napping is learned, the naps become more restorative and start to yield more vital sleep stages. As a result, it becomes possible to stay awake for a longer before having to nap again. Without core sleeps, the sleep pressure on Spamayl is intense enough to force the repartitioning of vital sleep stages into the naps despite the lack of consistent timings, in contrast to other "amayl" schedules.
Here is the schedule creator Rasmus's experience with adapation:
You nap whenever you get even slightly sleepy (or, when you know that you won't have time to take a nap before you will get sleepy). The only exception is when you're on an upward curve- like, you napped, got up, 20 minutes later you're still a bit sleepy but definitely getting better.
I think it depends where you come from. I started adapting directly after doing a week or two of Everyman3, so that I was already in the rhythm of sleeping every few hours, so I just continued that, more or less. I imagine when you're changing from monophasic, and are used to being up 16 hours apiece, it might look more like that: You're going quite a while without a nap (of course, during a usual day you don't get tired either), then you nap, nap again after an hour or so, a few times during your first polyphasic night, during the second night, when you're already very sleeping deprived, you nap quite often, maybe 15 times, and that keeps up during the next few days. When you're getting in a rhythm where your naps are roughly equidistant (so that you're not NOT napping during the day and all the time at night), I expect that the times you spend awake in between naps get shorter.
So, uhm, nap frequency might take the shape of a polynomial curve during the first few days, lol.
It's no problem to nap as much as 15 times a day or so during the first couple of days or weeks, after all, even that is a reduction of several hours from your usual amount of sleep.— Rasmus, trypolyphasic.com forum (2010)
However, others noted that they usually required a longer wake gap (~1.5 hours) between naps for them to be effective and not result in difficult wakes. This allows them to be fully alert during those wake gaps, and reduces the risk of naps becoming interrupted cores, which are of much lower quality.
Another approach to adapt to Spamayl would be through an adaptation to a schedule with strict sleep times, for example, Uberman with 7 or 8 naps, and then learn to flex the naps, one or two at a time, and add naps when necessary. However, no one has successfully adapted to Spamayl with a this method, due to both the great difficulty of the first adaptation and the flexing process.
Spamayl is considered to be less hostile than Uberman and Dymaxion, since it can allow more naps, especially during the adaptation as noted by Rasmus. However, as the flexible naps tend to be less compressed, the overall time possible in vital sleep stages is likely similar. As a result, it is likely that average sleepers still will not be able to make the schedule sustainable. An extreme adaptation is still going to be required to achieve the needed repartitioning if the TST is to be below 3-4 hours, and even if successful, staying on the schedule may not be healthy. As a result, the adaptation difficulty of Spamayl is considered to be extremely hard.
Spamayl fits those with erratic lifestyles, but may also work for those with stable schedules. It may also be useful as an emergency schedule for those needing a lot of extra time in the short term without reliable sleep times, such as for new parents or soldiers during military operations. Compared to simply skipping all sleep, sleeping Spamayl in those situations allows maintaining a basic level of alertness and cognitive functions, which would be severely affected if sleep is totally skipped. However, it is not expected that one would be able to stay on the schedule afterwards, as a full adaptation usually takes longer and the schedule itself may not be sustainable in the long term for many individuals.
As with other nap-only schedules, Spamayl is subject to a range of potential health concerns. The lack of long sleeps in the original proposal means that the functioning of the Glymphatic system is unlikely to be optimal. Physically active individuals would also likely not be able to rely on short naps alone due to the increased SWS requirement. Even after some time on the schedule, the underlying structure of each nap is still likely to be rather unpredictable, due to the lack of fixed sleep times. Inexperienced sleepers should not attempt to adapt to this schedule.
In the proposal by Rasmus, he mentioned that most of the naps are placed during the night, since it is usually harder to stay awake at night than in the day. Adapted Discord user Charlaxy also took the majority of naps between 21 and 07. Nighttime naps allow for more SWS, and help reduce the need to take naps in the day, which can be socially intrusive.
In recent years, there has been more successes in Spamayl with the use of longer naps. Any of the naps can be lengthened. The lengthened evening nap provides more time in SWS, and the lengthened morning nap provides more time in REM, making the schedule more easily sustainable. However, it is arguable that these longer "naps" do not technically count as naps, and should instead be considered to be shorter cores.
- "Spamayl Plan + Discussion". Retrieved 2020-11-23.