Fitness / Meditation / Productivity / Sleep / Yoga

Uberman Sleep Cycle – Boost productivity

Last 12 years I have tried this for brief periods but seems tough to do daily basis unless one is not having a job. I always recall the colorful and vivid dreams that come during each experiment !!


Can six 20-minute naps per day make us more productive?

All of us consider sleep to be a essential mandatory daily ritual of 8-10 hours mostly night time, per 24 hour day cycle.This odd-sounding idea of highly scheduled sleeping is actually a part of a larger group of cycles known as polyphasic sleep. In layman terms this polyphasic programming is simply splitting your sleep into phases throughout the day. Think of it as taking numerous naps per 24-hour period.Other polyphasic cycles include Monophasic (what most individuals of the world are used to and practice – one period of sleep), Biphasic (one period of sleep with one nap added), Everyman, Dymaxion and Uberman.

Uberman (from the German Ubermensch, meaning super-human) consists of 6 equally spaced 20 minute naps throughout a 24-hour period. This will sum up to 2 hours of total sleep with 4 hours spaced between naps.

Other variations of the Uberman sleep cycle exist such as increasing up to 8 naps per day every 3 hours. Many think sustaining such a sleep schedule will increase productivity giving the body just enough rejuvenating sleep to stay healthy.

Sleep deprivation makes you eat more than you need, makes you drive like a drunken fool, kills your ability to learn, and literally eats your brain. While sleep is critical for countless reasons, and Uberman Sleep can have adverse affects hence additional lifestyle modifications should make it interesting Exercise.

Allegedly, Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla stuck to an almost impossibly strenuous sleep cycle. While the pre-Industrial segmented sleepers had a biphasic routine (hitting the pillow twice in a day), da Vinci and Tesla practiced the most intense example of polyphasic sleeping (bedtime more than three times in a day). Their routine of choice, reportedly? The Uberman cycle.
This cycle consists of taking six 20-minute naps, evenly distributed, throughout your day. Continue indefinitely. According to the Polyphasic Society, you can adjust the system in a non-equidistant way to fit your needs. For da Vinci’s possible adoption of this practice, Claudio Stampi writes in his 1992 book, “Why We Nap”: “One of his secrets, or so it has been claimed, was a unique sleep formula: he would sleep 15 minutes out of every four hours, for a daily total of only 1.5 hours of sleep. Therefore, it appears he was able to gain an extra six productive hours a day. By following this unique regimen, he ‘gained’ an additional 20 years of productivity during his 67 years of life.”
Tesla allegedly never slept for more than two hours in any given 24-hour period, if you can even believe that. But, please, don’t try to mimic it. This may have been the ticket that drove him to a mental breakdown at age 25. “Professors at the university warned Tesla’s father that the young scholar’s working and sleeping habits were killing him,” reports Smithsonian magazine.
The reason why people would submit themselves to odd sleeping hours and shortened napping shifts is obvious: More time means — ideally — more productivity. A 1989 study published in Work & Stress found that polyphasic sleep strategies improve prolonged sustained performance. So, not only do you have more time to do what you have to do, but you’ll maybe even get better results when you do it. Just do us a favor, and don’t go to Tesla-like extremes with it.


Following are the recommended features of my Advanced Uberman Cycle.

  • Number of Naps and their Duration – 20 to 3o minutes, Once every 4 hrs to once every 6 hrs
  • Intermittent Water Fasting – 6 to 18 hours a day
  • Yoga and Meditation Session – Two 30 minute sessions per 24 hour period
  • Fitness Routines – Primarily Body Stretching and body weight exercises and cycling machine at home – 3 times per 24 hour period, lasting 20 minutes each
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