When we don't have enough time to get everything done, especially in today's fast-paced society, sleep is often the first thing to go. But simply working late into the night doesn't promote your productivity long-term. You may want to try something a little more systematic, like dramatically change your entire approach to sleeping. After all, Leonardo da Vinci did it, and look how much he got done! Da Vinci was a proponent of getting roughly one and a half hours of sleep throughout the day so that he could allocate more time for his creations and masterpieces. It makes sense, doesn't it? The guy was a musician, painter, architect, scientist and inventor. It's no wonder he accomplished so much. He had more hours in the day to do it all! But I turn into a zombie after a single all-nighter. How did Leo do it, day after day? Da Vinci napped frequently. According to an article in Brightside, da Vinci slept for 15 minutes every four hours, and he continued this pattern for many years without feeling tired. The "sleep of genius," or polyphasic sleep, increases your waking hours by taking intermittent naps during a 24-hour period. You can train your brain to focus on the deep sleep cycle and skip the transitional first phase known as non-REM sleep. We tend to be more productive and alert immediately following a nap, so think of how productive you will be once you mop up that drool and plow through your work assignments. There are drawbacks, however, and you'd be wise to get acquainted with these side effects. Like the endless caveats at the end of a pharmaceutical commercial, common side effects from a drastic change in sleeping habits could include nausea, headaches, low-energy levels and appetite loss. The symptoms eventually go away after 10-14 days, and the body resumes normal function. Before jumping on board, keep in mind that this option isn't for everyone, especially if you're a 9 to 5-er or have a regular work schedule. Those repeated power naps throughout your work day are unlikely to sit well with the boss, although interestingly, there are work places that actually encourage power naps for more efficient work production. Polyphasic sleep is definitely NOT encouraged for people whose jobs require operating heavy machinery. I shudder to imagine the cleanup in Aisle 4 if a forklift worker fell asleep at the wheel. People with low blood sugar or certain medical conditions should also avoid this option as insufficient sleep can create medical problems. If you have the constitution to adapt well to changes, however, you could benefit from this sleeping method. Dr. Claudio Stampi is an expert on the art of napping. He believes that polyphasic sleep can improve cognitive performance among those who are sleep deprived.
Individuals sleeping for 30 minutes every four hours, for a daily total of only 3 hours of sleep, performed better and were more alert, compared to when they had 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. In other words, under conditions of dramatic sleep reduction, it is more efficient to recharge the sleep "battery" more often.Regarding da Vinci being a polyphasic sleeper, researcher Piotr Wozniak believes that it is just an urban myth.
It seems quite strange that someone would come up with a crazy polyphasic schedule idea at the time of leisurely Renaissance life that was well-timed by the superiority of sunlight over candlelight.Maybe da Vinci was superhuman. He did whatever it took to enlighten the world, and getting sufficient sleep was the last thing on his mind. His greatest accomplishment was probably mastering the art of slumber, in small doses, one snooze at a time. And that enabled him to leave quite a legacy. Designer Marc Owens has designed a prototype alarm clock that mimics da Vinci's sleeping method. The Da Vinci Alarm Clock goes off every 3.5 hours and then again every half hour later to wake you up. The 4-hour cycle repeats itself six more times over the course of a 24-hour period. Budding polyphasic sleepers should keep their bleary eyes open for this sleek product to debut in stores soon. Hey, it's better than the alternative. Is it time for that nap? H/T - wisegeek, brightside, bustle, yesnet, supermemo, sleepassociation