Other Substances

Introduction

This page contains information on less popular substances that polyphasic sleepers occasionally use. However, there is currently no definitive evidence on how much and how often a polyphasic sleeper should consume these substances. 

Once there is more information available on these substances, we will expand their information and mechanics in separate pages. 

Smoking/Nicotine

Nicotine is a stimulant with similar effects to caffeine.

  • It has a half-life of around 2h1, after which it is metabolized into cotinine.
  • However, cotinine is also a stimulant and has a half-life of around 19h2.
  • Consequently, it is likely that smokers will have harder time adapting to a polyphasic schedule; as the sleep onset will increase and overall sleep efficiency will decrease3.

So far, there are no reports of any smokers having successfully adapted to any polyphasic schedule.

Cannabis

61452.png (600√ó600)
Cannabis consumption on E2-modified

There is very limited research on how cannabis affects sleep, let alone polyphasic sleeping.

  • Currently, research and anecdotal evidence points to cannabis reducing the amount of REM sleep.¬†
  • Cannabis also increases the amount of SWS (possibly also increasing daily SWS needs)4.
  • Incidentally, reducing REM duration also affects dream recall and lucid dreaming overall.

As a result, you should avoid consuming it during adaptation. Additionally, consumption should remain at moderate levels after adaptation. Cannabis also seems to assist with falling asleep, but an adaptation still needs to take place. Anecdotally, certain adapted sleepers consume cannabis regularly. However, such schedules often have a decent amount of total sleep, such as: E2, E3-extended variants.

Drugs

It is best to avoid all drugs that alter sleep directly. Specifically, drugs that directly alter the sleep architecture, the relative proportions of sleep stages or increase alertness or sleepiness; this also includes drugs with indirect effects, such as inducing loss of self-control. This is especially important during adaptation as you may need to stay awake through periods of extreme tiredness.

  • To better understand whether and how a particular (prescription) drug could affect your sleep, research their half-life, effects on sleep, your mood and control from studies and information labels.
  • Regardless, if you‚Äôre unsure about consumption of a certain drug, consult appropriate medical specialists. This way you will know its effects and possible side effects.
  • You can also ask in the Discord community chat server or Reddit for user experience of the same or similar drug.

Main authors: Crimson & GeneralNguyen

Page last updated: 15 February 2021

Reference

  1. Benowitz N, Hukkanen J, Jacob P. Nicotine Chemistry, Metabolism, Kinetics and Biomarkers. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2009;(192):29-60. [PMC]
  2. Jarvis M, Russell M, Benowitz N, Feyerabend C. Elimination of cotinine from body fluids: implications for noninvasive measurement of tobacco smoke exposure. Am J Public Health. 1988;78(6):696-698. [PMC]
  3. Jaehne A, Loessl B, B√°rkai Z, Riemann D, Hornyak M. Effects of nicotine on sleep during consumption, withdrawal and replacement therapy. Sleep Med Rev. 2009;13(5):363-377. [PubMed]
  4. Angarita GA, Emadi N, Hodges S, Morgan PT. Sleep abnormalities associated with alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and opiate use: a comprehensive review. A. 2016;11(1). doi:10.1186/s13722-016-0056-7