A Guy Slept For Only 5 Hours A Day As An Experiment
A Buzzfeed Motion Pictures Staff member, Ryan Bergara decided to take on the weird task of switching up his sleep schedule and it was at the beginning of April.
Almost everyone is aware of the inherent benefits of sleep aside from feeling refreshed, renewed and recharged in the morning. Along with dreaming, spreading out in a comfortable bed and doing absolutely nothing, sleep, as reported by Health.com, has been shown to improve memory, extend lifespans and curb inflammation among many other benefits.
Most of us sleep in a ‘monophasic pattern’. This means we sleep for eight hours and then stay awake for the other 16, some countries, such as those in Latin America, engage in different sleeping patterns.
In Latin America, people follow a ‘biphasic’ sleeping pattern. They sleep for 5 to 6 hours and then have a 30 to 90-minute siesta where they can sleep or nap.
Ryan wanted an even tougher challenge and instead, he chose to engage in a ‘polyphasic pattern'. The goal of a polyphasic sleeping pattern is to break up sleep into as many chunks as possible in order to optimize the amount of awake time.
Ryan interviewed Jackson Nexhip who is the author of Polyphasic Sleep And Productivity, to get his take on polyphasic sleep. Jackson said: ‘so I’ll sleep for four and a half hours and then I’ll have two twenty minute naps throughout the day.’
This sleep pattern is called the ‘Everyman’ and in total it would amount to a little more than five hours of sleep per day. The most extreme form of polyphasic sleeping is the ‘Uberman’ where people sleep for less than two hours every night via six twenty minute naps. Extended over a lifetime. The ‘Uberman’ incurs an extra twenty years worth of awake time!
It was hard!
However, despite Ryan’s consultation with sleep expert at UCLA, Dr. Alon Avidan, who said that a minimum of seven hours of sleep is required for a human, Ryan still decided to undertake the ‘Everyman’ sleep schedule.
His report on Buzzfeed, ‘day 1 and Day 2 were especially hard for me. By Day 2, it was hard to get the energy to work out or complete daily functions. Dr. Avidan warned me of the short-term effects, like slower reaction time, memory problems, cognitive problems, lack of creativity, and increased irritability.’
Ryan recorded his sleep-deprived schedule to the world on YouTube and by day 4 he said: ‘I’m so brain dead right now, I’m incapable of doing anything.’ By the time he reached the fifth day, he reported that he was ‘actually feeling better’ and then was recorded laughing hysterically at a ‘joke’ about his boss making homemade hummus.
Ryan gave up!
By day 7, Ryan gave up and had to get some extra sleep. He was beginning to get sick and that his leg injury from the gym simply wasn’t getting better due to the lack of sleep. In the end, he said that he learned ‘how dangerous the sober amount of sleep is for functionality’ and how he didn’t ‘experience heightened focus or creativity nor did he feel the extra time awake per day was worth it.’ In the end, he sided with Dr. Avidan that only very few people can function on polyphasic sleep and that most people and their bodies are suited for a biphasic sleeping pattern.
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