Dymaxion Polyphasic Sleep: Fuller’s Esoteric Strategy

Esoteric Polyphasic Sleep Strategies for High Performance

Walker and Huberman discuss polyphasic sleep, a practice where people split their sleep into multiple phases throughout the day instead of one long period at night. This method gained popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the rise of the biohacker and quantified self movements.

Proponents of polyphasic sleep claim that it can improve mood, productivity, and even health. Different polyphasic sleep schedules exist, such as the Uberman, Everyman, and Triphasic, each with varying amounts of sleep and wake time.

However, the concept of polyphasic sleep dates back to at least 1943, when Time magazine described the sleep protocol of designer Buckminster Fuller. Fuller, known for his Dymaxion design principle, saw sleep as a waste of time and sought to maximize efficiency by reducing sleep.

The Dangers of Polyphasic Sleep

Walker and his colleagues at Harvard find no supportive evidence that polyphasic sleep is helpful for improving cognition, productivity, mood, or health. In fact, they discover that polyphasic sleep decreases total sleep time, results in poor sleep quality, and reduces REM sleep.

The researchers also find significant impairments in cognition, judgment, decision making, mood, and glucose regulation associated with polyphasic sleep. Walker emphasizes that he is not telling anyone how to live their life but merely presenting the scientific information for individuals to make their own decisions.

However, Walker cautions that insufficient sleep can lead to an increased risk of road traffic accidents. Studies show that sleeping less than 6 hours a night results in a 30% increase in the likelihood of a car crash, with the risk exponentially increasing as sleep duration decreases further.

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