Sleeping away up to a third of our life can be frustrating to many adults who struggle with a full load of responsibilities. This is especially true when deadlines are looming, and your focus is challenged due to poor sleep. Luckily, there are some approaches you can take to provide carefully scheduled sleep for physical and mental rest–all while gaining much needed time for productivity.
The Dymaxian Sleep Cycle is one such approach and provides an alternative approach to your sleep. Used by many who struggle with a traditional night’s rest, and those who need to take advantage of more time each day, this cycle may be the solution you have been looking for.
You might want to read: What You Should Know About Sleep Cycles
Dymaxian Sleep Cycle QuickView
This Sleep Cycle integrates carefully scheduled napping into a 24 hour period. You must keep to a rigid schedule and is designed more for short term productivity as it is not often found to be sustainable over long periods of time. It forces your body into deeper stages of the sleep cycle for a more restorative rest.
Healthy Amounts of Rest
Sleep patterns vary from person to person, but most studies all agree that adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. This doesn’t mean that some people cannot function well with less sleep, but it is important to allow yourself to cycle through various sleep stages for whole mental and physical healing.
Sleep Stages Defined
Your brain and body cycle through the 4 stages of sleep each night, each marked by various depths of physical and mental rest. Although you should not disrupt these stages in order to provide the best sleep possible, some can be manipulated to achieve similar, restful results.
This transitional stage allows you to drift into a deeper stage after wakefulness. It is easy to be awakened from this stage, but it only lasts a few minutes overall before you move into the second stage.
This is a light sleep stage that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Your body begins to fully relax which is marked by a lack of eye movement, drop in core body temperature, and lower brain activity. You may wake from this stage easily without feeling tired.
This deep stage of sleep is restorative and lasts anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure all reach their lowest point. Your circulation also increases for your body to fully rejuvenate and heal. Being woken from this stage may leave you feeling tired for a short time after rising.
Stage 4 – REM Sleep
REM sleep is a deep stage of sleep but has increased brain activity. Your heart rate and breathing will also increase despite being in a very relaxed stage of rest. Being woken during this stage may create a feeling of confusion due to the disruption of active brain activity.
Dymaxian Sleep Cycle in Detail
People who can function well with less sleep than what is recommended can often use polyphasic sleep cycles as a means to getting the rest they need. Polyphasic cycles are defined by multiple periods of sleep throughout a 24 hour period rather than one long period of sleep. Although they are not recommended for long periods of time, people find they can be helpful for when they need to take advantage of more time in the day.
Dymaxian ‘naps’ are defined by 4, half-hour naps for a total of 2 hours of sleep. These are evenly spaced throughout the day and must take place every 5 hours. By doing this, your body begins to adapt to the stages of sleep in a very different way, and spends less time in stage 1 and 2 and moves into the deeper, more restorative stages of 3 and 4.
After your brain and body has adjusted to this pattern, you may even find that you drop into a REM sleep immediately and skip over stages 1-4 completely. Upon waking you may find yourself not feeling as rested and a bit groggy, but it wears off quickly and allows you to get back to work as soon as it passes.
There are many discussions over how the best way to adapt to this pattern is, with some practicing saying it is best to transition slowly, with others claiming jumping right in with periods of rest every 3 to 4 days will help make it easier. Some claim it is best to not transition at all to force your body to make the adjustment.
No matter how you decide to get started, it can take months to fully adjust, with some people never able to fully embrace the idea. Those who find it working are likely to have the DEC2 gene, or short sleeper gene, which is defined by a mutation that allows the body to function on less sleep than what is ideal.
Dymaxian Sleep Cycle Benefits
This practice can help maximize time, and is a way to help function mentally on less sleep than you normally would. This is especially helpful when you need to allow your brain multiple breaks throughout the day for greater focus later on. Working straight through the day wears down your cognitive function, making you less productive. Allowing your body and mind to take intermittent rests helps stimulate better efficiency.
Uberman Sleep Cycle Risks
Although not really a risk, you most likely should cut out any caffeine or sugars that may affect your quality of sleep from your diet. Some may see this as a benefit, but if you love your coffee- it might not be a risk you are willing to allow those around you to take.
All jokes aside, getting by on only 4 hours of sleep total each day does have some real risks you need to consider. Many who have tried find they cannot get past the initial hump of sleep deprivation that occurs within the first month. You may feel tired and run down constantly as you try to adapt.
Those who have made it work find it is very supportive of their hectic and productive schedules, but only if they are very strict in how they ration their sleep. Despite all that, there are some more serious aspects to getting less sleep each night. Our bodies dispel ‘waste’ through lymphatic vessels- and it only occurs while we sleep. If it builds up, it may disrupt the nutrients provided to our cells for proper body function. Over time, this can interrupt how our body works.
The never ending cycle of sleep deprivation caused by the practice may have some serious consequences as well. Although it may take time to notice, hormone changes, weight gain, struggles with short term memory, blood pressure shifts, and heart palpitations are all side effects well documented by those suffering from a loss of sleep.
Is It Right For You?
This is not a practice that is suggested by the majority of healthcare professionals, but if you are serious about needing to maximize time for responsibilities and productivity, you may want to try it out. As long as you have strict personal scheduling for sleeping on a schedule and rising despite feeling tired (at least during the adjustment phase) you may want to try it out.
You should most definitely avoid this if you are in poor health, do not eat well, or are dependent on caffeine, alcohol, or any sort of illicit substances.
Polyphasic sleeping isn’t a practice everyone can handle, but if you think you might be able to get into the ebbs and flows of it you might find yourself surprisingly productive. Hopefully, this Dymaxion Sleep Cycle review has given you some information and insight into how it is defined and what pros and cons you should consider.