16 Sep 2005
Polyphasic sleep (sometimes known as Uberman’s sleep schedule) is a way of spreading sleep into short naps, resulting in a total of just a few hours per day. Apparently your body quickly dips into REM sleep, skipping through other stages to give ‘better value’. A lot of geeks are tempted by the idea of ‘hacking’ their sleep to get more time for coding/World of Warcraft.
Unlike Kramer and Stuart Hogton, I’ve never intentionally given it a try, but have ended up pretty much polyphasic a couple of times courtesy of insane deadlines. It can give you more time, but you do feel somewhat ill and spaced-out, and crash completely if you don’t stick to a consistent schedule.
Shortly after one such crash-out a client phoned about some work. I only half woke up, picked up the phone, and in my confused state calmly announced “Good evening. All calls are currently routed through this point.” Not good. Particularly as it was 9 in the morning.