Understanding The Reasoning Behind Each Choice
- Personal Monophasic Sleep Duration Assessment
- Work and School Schedules
- Short-term Polyphasic Sleep Strategies
- Polyphasic Sleep as a Long-term Lifestyle Choice
- Personal Health History and Lifestyle Habits
- Narrowing Your Choices: Process of Elimination
- Balancing Opportunity and Cost
- Some Practical Applications of Scheduling
- Your Final Choice
Work and School Schedules
Standard Working Schedules
Q1: I really like E3-extended because many people made it work! Should I try my best to schedule it?
A1: First, you need to look into your work schedule first. What schedule you like does not matter because your work schedule has a final say whether this nap placement fits at all. The priority, therefore, should not be your sleep. Your sleep follows your work, not the other way around unless you can completely make your work hours flexible.
If your work hours do allow for the placement of three naps at the right timing, then E3-extended would surely look great. Otherwise, you will need to look for other schedules.
For example, the above E3-extended is a poor decision.
- The evening nap most likely will contain a lot of SWS and waking up will be a nightmare when adapting.
- The core is late, but it is acceptable with a 4.5h duration. However, the evening commitments mean you will have to limit the dark period duration before the core. With the core already out of SWS peak (9 PM to midnight), you likely will struggle with quality SWS.
Q2: What are the best schedules for each work shift?
A2: This depends on whether you can afford napping at daytime hours, and avoid evening hours. But there are some rules of thumb; note that the work hours may vary between individuals, though. Also, note that I am assuming you cannot nap at all during work.
- First shift (9 AM to 5 PM):
- If you cannot nap at all during these 8 continuous hours, consider Segmented sleep. It would be the “safest” choice if for some reason you still have to do certain things after work.
- Overall, though, Biphasic schedules are usually your best bet. Specifically, Siesta late core, E1 (6.5h core) with a nap after 5 PM, Segmented sleep would be most ideal, due to the very long wake gap at work.
- Exceptions do exist, such as DC1-extended, Triphasic-extended. Both of these, however, still have to place their last sleep session after 5 PM.
- Second shift (4 PM to midnight):
- Because of the limitation of napping during work and it becomes late to nap, once again, stick to Biphasic sleep.
- Remember that you will sleep somewhat late at night, and can wake up a bit later in the morning. However, check your timetable carefully to be sure you can wake up a bit later than usual.
- Siesta with a regular daytime sleep and E1 are strongest candidates. Place the naps of these schedules before work, and you’re good to go.
- Third shift (midnight to 8 AM):
- Biphasic sleep is your best bet.
- Siesta and Segmented work best.
- E1 is less so because the nap is going to be too late, almost close to your work hours.
- In addition, beware of very tough adaptations ahead.
Nap Placement with Work & School Schedules
Napping during Breaks
Q: What should I pay attention to when napping during breaks?
A: Great question! There are indeed a couple things for you to consider:
- You would want some time before a nap to cool down. For example, sparing at least 5-10 minutes trying to shake off tension and adrenaline from the previous work hours is a good idea. Try to level your heart rate, and calmly head to a nap spot. This is especially ever more important if you are a beginner napper.
- Do not expect your naps to start working right away when you first start out! Keep your expectations low (and avoid pressuring yourself to nap!) and things will stick over time.
- You have to be fully aware of how long the lunch break is. This is because you will have lunch AFTER napping (not before!). Coupled with cooldown time, at first things will be difficult. Overall, you would probably want to look at the minimum of 45-60-minute lunch break to be comfortable with a 20-minute nap.
- If your lunch break is 30 minutes long or less, better not schedule any naps there.
Napping after Work & School
Q: My school/work schedule ends at 5 PM. So, can I have a nap at 5:15 PM, for 20 minutes?
A: On paper, yes. Similar to lunch breaks, though, you have to account for the following:
- The best deal is if you can just nap at work, in your office, classroom or wherever works for you.
- Same as before, if you’re new to napping, you should have a couple minutes to cool down. This also includes the time it takes for you to find a new nap spot if it has been taken. You would not want to be late to your naps when adapting!
- If you have to go home first to avoid all the distractions, then 5:15 PM may not appear as viable anymore. Taking into account of traffic during rush hours, you may have to delay this nap all the way to at least 6 PM.
- Additionally, if you have to fulfill some commitments after work more than once a week, you unfortunately will have to forgo napping at that hour.
Note that, though, these apply to any reducing polyphasic schedules. If you do not reduce total sleep, your nap times can vary on a daily basis.
Flexible Work Schedules
Q: My work schedule is entirely flexible. I work at home. So what schedule should I pick?
A: You can virtually pick any schedules, as the option pool is so large. For beginners, you can start with any Biphasic schedules, or any schedules with at least ~5-6h of sleep. I also assume you are in good health. Later on, you can even proceed to make your sleep schedule very flexible by flexing sleep. The ultimately highly flexible schedules that are fairly adaptable are DUCAMAYL and SEVAMAYL.
With all that said, we will get to further details in the lesson using Process of Elimination for certain cases like yours later on.
Hopefully, by this point, you get a grasp on how your nap timing and placement really matter. With your daily timetable thoroughly mapped out, I believe settling down on a polyphasic schedule should not be too overwhelming. Just one step at a time, and you can totally figure out the best course of action to take.