Polyphasic sleep is often associated with one of the most genius names in the artistic world and a famous Renaissance inventor, Leonardo da Vinci. He needed a lot of time to work on his ideas, time which he didn’t have. Therefore, as he wanted to dedicate more time to his work and less on sleep, he needed to come up with a viable plan so that his body and brain can normally function.
For that purpose, he divided the normal period of night time sleep into several phases and made it ‘polyphasic’, i.e., he slept 15 minutes every 4 hours or a total daily sleep of hour and a half. He used the other hours of the day for his work and he never felt tired.
Physiologically, the most productive time for work and creativity comes after sleep. This is the period when the brain capacities of a person achieve its maximum. When the waking state is interrupted every four hours with a short period of rest, the brain’s working capacity significantly increases.
His idea was practiced by numerous other ‘great minds’ like Nikola Tesla. Today, these are the most beneficial variations of polyphasic sleep:
Tesla’s method- 2 hours of sleep at night and a 20-minute afternoon nap
Half an hour of sleep every 6 hours (the dymaxion method)
Twenty minutes of sleep every 4 hours (the uberman method)
One and a half hour to three hours per night and 3 naps from 20 minutes during the day (the everyman method)
Five hours at night and half an hour during the day (the siesta method)
However, since there are no two identical bodies, not all polyphasic sleep types will work the same for everyone. According to experts, if you want to try this schedule of sleep, you shouldn’t drive a vehicle or make important decisions until you’re absolutely sure that your lack of sleep isn’t affecting your judgment and decision making.