What are Sleeping Schedules

Most people around the world spend 6-8 hours per day sleeping, all in the one block. But there are other options. These other options are documented on this site.

Basic schedules

Here's a list of the basic sleeping schedules

Uniform Name Other Names Sleep periods during 24 hours Description
Monophasic Normal, Hibernation 1 This is the sleeping schedule that most people consider "normal"
Biphasic Siesta, Afternoon nap 2 This involves sleeping at night, as per monophasic, but then having a nap in the afternoon as well. This was the modus operandi for people like Winston Churchill, who believed that it was possible to get more done under this system, as he averaged 5-6 hours of sleep per day.
Triphasic 3 The standard version is 3 90-minute naps/day, for 4 1/2 hours of sleep/day
Tetraphasic 4 The one known instance of this is Buckminster Fuller who apparently slept a half hour every six hours.
Pentaphasic 5 Obviously 5 sleep periods/day
Hexaphasic Überman 6 This is napping for 15-30 minutes every 4 hours. This has traditionally been attributed to Leonardo DaVinci; while there is no proof he did this, there are currently people doing it sucessfully.
Polyphasic 2+ Technically, this means any sleeping schedule with 2 or more phases, but is increasingly used to refer to hexaphasic sleep. Yes, this means that you sleep for only 2-3 hours per day. And the people who do it long-term say they feel great (after an initial adjustment period).


In addition to the sleeping schedules above, everyone has an offset, that is, how far from midnight they begin their nap. So a monophasic sleeper who goes to bed at 10pm (2 hours before midnight), would be "monophasic minus two", whereas a hexaphasic sleeper napping at 1, 5, and 9 (am and pm) would be "hexaphasic plus one".

Nap length

Nap lengths vary from person to person. Some hexaphasic sleepers find that they often wake after 15 minutes. Winston Churchill's afternoon naps were 1-2 hours.

Core sleep

For those who only nap (ie. the tetraphasic/hexaphasic sleepers described above), there's also the concept of core sleep, which means that they have one longer period (often 3 hours) of sleep. This is typically daily, and in the 1-5am timeslot, but could also be weekly or monthly.


The idea here is that every once in a while (ie. every month or so), you sleep for as long as you can, while you're on a hexaphasic sleep pattern. This apparently boosts your mental capacities for some period of time after the reboot.

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