Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I recently stumbled upon this very interesting blog post by the famous Steve Pavlina, about him trying out biphasic sleep. Biphasic sleep basically means sleeping two times a day instead of the usual one.


Some people believe that sleeping this way is more beneficial because it saves them more time. This is because, when you sleep multiple times a day, you theoretically need less sleeping time each time than you would with just one huge chunk.

Specifically, in the usual nightly sleeping time, most people need 8-9 hours to feel completely rested the next day. For Biphasic sleep, there is one core sleep time, which is when you get most your sleep done, and one nap time. Most biphasic sleepers allot 4.5 hours for their core sleep and 1.5 hours for their nap time. The timing of each isn’t really that important as long as they’re both reasonable spaced apart, so that they feel independent of each other. You wouldn’t want to take an hour long nap, get up then have to sleep again after only an hour or two, right? A 6-8 hour time gap in between will usually be sufficient.

This results in sleeping only a total of 6 hours instead of the usual 8-9, giving you 2-3 extra hours of waking time in a single day.

I’ve known of multiphasic sleep patterns such as biphasic sleep for some time now, and, while I’ve dabbled in some of them from time to time, I’ve never really stuck to any of them because I enjoyed just sleeping in on some days. I’m just that type of lazy bum, I guess, hehe.

Anyway, going back to Steve Pavlina’s fascinating article, he mentions a dilemma he had with sleeping only once a day that I am actually currently having. Steve Pavlina routinely wakes up at 5:00 AM every morning, primarily because he enjoys starting the day before most people do, and, thus, has to sleep relatively early to compensate. This creates the problem of dealing with appointments, parties, dinners, and the like, that all take place in the middle of the night. Attending even one of these would leave him tired and drained the next day, which he wouldn’t enjoy.

There is thus the dilemma of The Night Owl vs. The Early Bird. Steve doesn’t want to give up his Early Bird habit, but still wants to regularly attend these sorts of nightly events whenever they present themselves.
The Biphasic Sleeping schedule solves this by allowing him to nap before the night-time appointment, which would ideally leave him well-rested, then still have enough time to get in all his core sleep before 5:00 AM since he’ll only need 4.5 hours. As long as he’s in bed at 12:30 AM, he’ll be good.

image I’ve had a very terrible sleeping pattern for most of my life. I would stay awake for the entire day, and much of the night, then sleep for 9-10 hours to compensate, resulting in a 30 hour block on some days. Since days on our planet occur for only 24 hours, having a daily life that consists of 30-hour blocks can seriously screw with your overall schedule in relation with the rest of the world.

This is why I very recently developed the habit of rising daily 6:30 AM, no matter what time I fell asleep. It feels great, since I’m able to interact with other human beings more regularly now, and it just plain feels more natural to be awake during the day, instead of at night.

The problem is that, on some days, I feel extremely tired. This is because my years of odd sleeping and waking habits still find themselves activating, even when they’re completely unwanted. Even when I’m completely exhausted at night, I would sometimes still sleep very late and not get enough sleep by the time 6:30 AM hit.


The 4.5 / 1.5 distribution blocks in Biphasic Sleep address this problem nicely, though. I already sleep only 4.5-5 hours every night because of my prior bad sleeping habits, but now can make up feeling exhausted because of it by just having a 1.5 hour nap sometime during the day.

I’d also been bothered by the same Night Owl problem Steve encountered, so Biphasic Sleep literally solved two of my lifestyle problems in an instant, which I very much appreciate.


The current biphasic sleep schedule that I’ve set is Core Sleep from 2:30 AM – 7:30 AM and Naptime from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM. I’ve had to adjust my 6:30 waking time recently to accommodate certain schedules better, and the naptime’s just experimental for the time being. I just feel that that particular time creates a large enough gap between the two sleep times and that I believe I’m easily very flexible during those times of the day. That might change in the future, but for now I’m good with it.

I’m also allotting 5 hours for Core Sleep and 2 hours for Naptime just to give me a little leeway. I know that I’m totally not used to this sort of schedule at the moment, so I’m allowing myself more time to adjust and make sure that I get the 4.5 and 1.5 hours recommended. When I feel totally fine with the schedule, I’ll drop it down to the appropriate numbers.

That’s still only 7 hours total sleep time, though, which is still 2 hours less than my usual 9, so I’m still getting the time-gaining benefits of Biphasic Sleep.


Okay, so yesterday was day 1. so how did it feel? I was never a “morning person”, so I’ve always sucked at getting out of bed, but after going around and about with my needed activities, I felt fresh as a daisy. No problems, so far, and hopefully, that’s how it’ll remain the rest of the time!

Join me on my quest to adopt Biphasic Sleep and see if I stay on it or not! Have you tried Biphasic sleep yet or know a thing or two about it? Give me some advice and leave a comment below; I’d love to hear about it!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at fitnessphp@yahoo.com
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