My Fascinating 4-Hour Sleep Schedule

I get only four hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle. Since February 2013 I have been on a strict sleep pattern that has (1) improved my sleep quality, (2) increased my productivity by at least 50% per week, and (3) made me less tired and more alert throughout my waking day. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

There are several polyphasic sleep schedules, and I've adapted my own.

There are several polyphasic sleep schedules, and I’ve adapted my own.

A lot of people think so. Though I haven’t blogged about this more than a couple of times since I started, I meet readers along the way who will pipe up and say, “Hey! How’s that sleep schedule thing going?” Most people agree — with just a little bit of hesitation — what I’ve been doing these past months is fascinating.

Admittedly, this is one of my more radical productivity ideas. Michael Hyatt — whose podcast yesterday was all about the value of sleep (“Sleep and Your Productivity”) — personally expressed concern to me when I shared the idea with him last summer. I asked him yesterday if he still had reservations about it, and he replied, “I really haven’t researched it, Chris, though I was fascinated when you spoke about it.”

Why is getting less sleep so fascinating? Because I am able to increase my productivity up to 28 hours per week. Do you have any idea how awesome that is? That’s literally over 1,400 hours per year, like hiring a part-time employee for free. And I’ve been more alert and actually less tired than I was on a mono or biphasic sleep schedule.

When I started this experiment, I had thought about daily blogging through my experience. However, I have to admit, I was privately skeptical. What if it didn’t work? What if Hyatt’s concern was validated, that indeed there were health risks? What if I was more fatigued than on other sleep patterns? Since my first blog post on this (see “The Everyman Sleep Cycle”), I have been toying with the cycle and perfecting my sleep schedule.

Are you fascinated, too? Allow me to go through the basics of what a polyphasic sleep schedule is, the observations I’ve made testing it out, and finally how I’ve developed my own polyphasic sleep schedule that works best for me. Feel free to adopt it, test it, model it as you wish. Feel free to contact me with questions.

What Are Polyphasic Sleep Schedules?

There are three types of sleep schedules that people sleep:

  1. Monophasic = 1 phase. Most people sleep on monophasic sleep schedules of 8 to 10 hours per 24-hour cycle. This is largely a response to the industrial workday, not something that works well in my life.
  2. Biphasic = 2 phases. Many people, like my wife, practice biphasic sleep schedules: they sleep at night (perhaps a shorter timespan, like 7-9 hours) and take a nap in the afternoons. There has been a lot of studies that show afternoon siestas to increase productivity and the health of the nap-takers.
  3. Polyphasic = More than 2 phases. This is where the most radical schedules come in. They attemp to shorten your length of sleep and maximize the potential waking hours of the radical nap-taker.

The polyphasic sleep schedule that I originally adopted and eventually modified is called the Everyman. The traditional Everyman consists of one 3-hour pattern plus three 20-minute naps patterned evenly throughout the day. Its 24-hour cycle looks like this:

everyman-sleep-scheduleI was on this pattern strictly throughout my busy season of speech and debate competition (February through July). Let me explain to you some observations I made when giving it a try, then ultimately how I modified it to my liking.

My Initial Observations

  • Yes, this took a lot of discipline. Sleeping for only three hours was tough at first. I thought of abandoning the idea many times, but I was determined to at least try. After about 15 days of applying this loyally, my body started to get used to it and I actually began to enjoy the new sleep pattern.
  • I had to figure out how to make this work. I sometimes had trouble falling asleep. Sometimes I couldn’t at all, but at least I rested for the 20 minute naps and “woke” loyally with my alarm. My phone was my alarm clock, often lying loose on my pillow. I set the alarm for 22 minutes for my naps (I figure it takes 2 minutes to fall asleep) and my daily alarm is at 3am.
  • Once I got used to this, my mornings were awesome. I would look forward to my productive times with a quiet and tranquil house. I can tell you that this has made 2013 the most productive time of my life.
  • I have found my most unproductive time to be 10pm-midnight, which I have termed my “flex time.” I do something physical and brainless — like clean a closet or straighten up a room — to keep me awake till bedtime.
  • The naps weren’t as disruptive as I would have thought. I’m self-employed, so lying down for a 20-minute snoozer doesn’t bother my workday. In fact, I’ll sometimes lie down on my office floor and knock out the nap, especially if I’m in the middle of a busy project.
  • I have not been nearly as fatigued as I thought I would be. I kept a careful eye on this because, I reasoned, what good is less sleep if I’m not more productive that I would have been with sleep? In fact, I was more fatigued prior to this sleep pattern. A 20-minute nap is never that far away, and they recharge me nicely.
  • I have grown to love the 20-minute snooze. It seems that sleep greater than 20 minutes “knocks me out” and is difficult to wake from. But 20 minutes is just about the perfect time to recharge my brain and I feel refreshed, ready to take on the next part of my day.
  • I’ve been less groggy, too. Even during my tired “flex time,” I’m up and I’m doing something physical. When I was on a monophasic pattern, I was more irritable and less tempered, especially after a long day’s work.
  • I have total domain over early mornings and late nights. Who else stays up till midnight or gets up at 3am? Only dad.
  • My schedule always seems to be threatened whenever I travel and have to work with others on a project. I will typically fall out from my schedule, but when I return home and back to normal, it doesn’t take too long before I get back into my sleep schedule.
  • When time is extremely tight or I’m required to “burn the midnight oil” on a hot deadline, I’m not nearly as knocked out of line as my mono or biphasic friends. In fact, I pulled a couple of all-nighter drives to California debate tournaments. That’s no sweat if you’re already used to only three hours of sleep a night.

Specifics to My Sleep Schedule

Chris Jeub Sleep Schedule

As mentioned, my personal sleep schedule is a variation of the Everyman. Here’s how my pattern goes:

3am – wake up from my extended sleep
9am – nap #1
2pm – nap #2
10pm to 12midnight – flex time
Midnight – go to sleep for my extended sleep

This veers from the Everyman in two ways. First, I removed the third nap from the routine altogether. I found that a third nap was too disruptive to my family time. That was typically dinner time or close to it, and dad running to his room for a third nap was just plain weird. Instead, the 9am and 2pm naps (typically during my work day in my office) work nicely in my home.

The second variation is the “flex time” in the evenings, typically after Wendy and I put the kids to bed. When time is tight and I have to maximize every working hour of my day, I will stay up and get something important done. If my time is a bit more “flexible,” I may go to bed at 10 and get a “loooonng” five hours of sleep. The point is, these two hours are expendable as I see fit. I have found that this has been a blessing to me, my family, and my business.

What do you think of the Chris Jeub Sleep Schedule? I feel I’m still in experimental stages, but am growing more and more convinced that this schedule is best for me and my life. Use the comment section below to let me know what you think.

UPDATE: You may find this additional article helpful, more recently updated: www.ChrisJeub.com/adding-28-hours-more-per-week

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Thanks Chris! I’m very interested in this. I saw your comment on Michael Hyatt’s blog and thought I would look more into it. I have looked at this a few times in the past but I have been waiting for someone I can trust to give a long term trial. Your results are encouraging!

    I see two benefits that excite me: 1. Distraction Free time for dedicated work in the early morning. 2. Freedom to be fully present with my co-workers and family in the other wake cycles. Knowing that I was able to complete 4 or hours of distraction free work will allow me to be more available to others. And in ministry – that’s exactly what I want!

    Now I need to figure out how to work in the adaption phase with my current speaking, ministry schedule.

    Thanks for posting this.

    • Awesome, Thomas. Keep me posted on how this works for you. Though I’m 8 months into this and am loving it, I still feel like I’m tweaking and experimenting. It’ll be good to learn together.

      • What about sickness? have you had a cold or other issues that cause you to need more rest since starting this? Is there a good site that you used to figure out your adaptation and how to deal with the outlying circumstances?

        • Come to think of it, I haven’t been sick since I started this. I suppose if I were, I’d can the schedule and get some well-needed rest. When I’m healthy, my body can go without as much sleep.

  • Kaitlin

    I’ve always been interested in trying something like this, but it doesn’t work too well with a 9-5 (like you mentioned).

    What does your family think about the results? I like your afternoon modification to keep that block open.

    • The family is totally cool with it. Cynthia actually turned me onto it, though I don’t think she ever tried it.

  • Facinating, Chris. I may just have to give this a try. Thanks for documenting it so well!

    • Thanks, Michael! You are an inspiration…I shudder to think what you would accomplish with an extra 1400 hours a year at your disposal.

  • tereza crump

    I wonder how much caffeinated beverages you consume in 24 hours.

    I always liked naps but I have a hard time sticking to a short one. My naps (they are rare now with 4 kids) are usually 2 or 3 hours long. 🙂 I love to go to bed late and hate mornings. I always thought I loved sleeping until I had a house full of noisy kids, now I crave silence. I will many times go to bed after 1am. Or go to bed early and wake up at 1 or 2am to enjoy a couple of hours of solitude. But can’t sleep in any longer. So I am up by 8am, if not earlier.

    My DH takes a nap every day for about 20-60min depending on how much time he has to spare. He sleeps about 5-7 hours a night. It works for him.

    • I actually cut back on coffee quite a bit about a month ago. I’m ashamed to say that I used to drink an entire pot by myself. I’ve cut back to only 2 cups, which is just about right.

  • franklyrealty

    I have recently been working on 2 times a day 15 min naps. The key is to keep them at 15. Once you hit 20, your brain shuts down and you wake up groggy. I think it helps me go from 8-9 hrs to 7hrs a night comfortably.

    • I agree, though I’ve drawn my line at 20 mins. If I get, say, 30 minutes sleep, it is actually worse. I remember experimenting with this once I got into it. You’d think more sleep would make you more awake, but the exact opposite was happening. Adds to the fascination, really.

      • franklyrealty

        I even got down to 10 min. Felt pretty good. I even tell my wife now, when I see her tired with the kids “go take 15 min, and I will stop work”. She normally prefers the 45 min- 1 hour naps, but that eats up the day. Still working on her. I would like to get a better pattern going with this, instead of when I randomly snag 15 min.

        • Here’s a note I could have emphasized to this article: I don’t ALWAYS fall asleep. Nor do I ALWAYS get exactly 20 mins of sleep. The point is is that I allow the time to rest. Allowing the schedule to go loose inevitably sacrifices time. That may be what you’re noticing. If you got on a specific time pattern, you’ll probably notice a better use of your time.

  • david

    Chris, great article! Have you noticed any changes in body composition or the amount of food you eat? It sounds silly, but I’m curios as to your change in eating and whatnot with the added hours and schedule. Also, if you went back to a monophasic cycle for some reason of you think there would be any lasting consequences in sleep quality? Thanks in advance for your response.

    • I consider healthy eating to be low-carb, lots of proteins, avoiding snacks. Breads, starches and snacks make me tired no matter what pattern I’m on. I do occasionally jump to a monophasic or biphasic schedule when I travel. I don’t like it when I do, but sometimes life demands it. I enjoy returning to this schedule and now consider it my “normal” sleep pattern.

  • Great article, I am thinking to give a try on this… Do you have data or some research on the impact on long term health?

    • LOTS of data on biphasic schedules. Very little on polyphasic.

  • Susan Shearer

    How do you tie in your meals & snacks with this schedule?
    Oops. Looks like David beat me to the punch with that question.
    My creative cycle sets a similar sleep cycle however I haven’t figured out how to regulate is as you have. I tend to let my projects dictate the cycle. I’m thinking a schedule might better inform my body.

  • Elizabeth Keil

    This is very fascinating! I wonder the long term effects? Glad discovered something that works well with you. Something I might try once my wee ones are bigger/grown.

  • BulldogPT

    Do you have an office or “quiet place” to work at 3 am? I would have to go downstairs to the freezing cold classroom to avoid disturbing the family. How to you compensate for the increase in energy or utility costs? Also, I’m a 9 to 5’er and napping at 2 would be difficult, more difficult than the 9 nap, so I am looking for suggestions to those scheduling problems. Most of my projects entail home and garden chores and difficult in the wee hours of the morning. I’d have to pick-up reading or blogging projects. Overall, I think this schedule works for your self-employed tasks and gets you some alone time without interruptions from Wendy, ‘your boss’, and the kids.

    My fledgling blog is at bulldogpt.com

  • Hi There,

    Thanks a lot for this great article and inspiration. I was looking for ways to improve my productivity and sleep time and this article really helped me to understand that theres much more possible to do with sleep cycles.

    Previously I was on biphasic sleep cycle. I had 5-6hours of sleep at night and then I had 20min nap in the afternoon. I have noticed that I would like to get another nap in the second part of the day, as I felt less productive. But I went straight away into Everyman sleep cycle.

    I was wondering, how consistent you are taking your naps and going for a night sleep? I know that consistency is important and it’s really good practice to have sleep/naps at the same time every day, but this is not always possible. What is your experience with inconsistent (different time) naps?

    Thanks,
    Justas

    • Good question. When I’m at home and on my normal work routine, I try to snap into the cycle as loyally as I can. I fudge about an hour around the 9 and 2 times (I may take my nap a little early/late depending on the day). That’s what makes it happen for me. Like I said in the article, when I travel I get knocked off whack and it takes a while to back on track. You’re right, consistency is key.

      • Thanks for you reply Chris. As I mentioned I am very early adopter of everyman sleep cycle (my wife joined me on this one as well), but what I noticed – I was very sensitive to inconsistent time of sleep. I was late more than an hour for one of my 20 minute naps the other day and I was really struggling after the nap to get my productivity back. I really hope we will be able to put consistency in our everyman sleep cycle, but we need to work hard on it, as it’s really complicated to achieve on weekends for us. To be honest I guess we just need to put higher priority and more effort on consistency and then it will happen.

        I am currently thinking about to combine everyman sleep cycle and biphasic one. Meaning that I will experiment on 4.5 hours of nigh sleep and then to 20 minute naps through the day while making it possible to have three 20 minute naps in the future and switch to everyman sleep cycle.

  • Patricia Vea Zavala

    Disclaimer — I’m not a medical professional. :):) But everything I’ve seen about sleep would say that it’s important for your body to recover and repair itself and that you need your rem sleep time – and that it takes an extended time to do that. So I would think it wouldn’t be good for your body with the one that was just

    a lot of short naps. I naturally only sleep 5 hours at a time so I stay up late so I’ll wake up @ 5 or 6 a.m. Then I usually take a nap (anywhere from 20 min to couple of hours) and don’t time it. I sleep until I wake up. And I’m a woman! Also retired so have that flexibility. I would say if your body feels rested, and you’re not dragging through the day, it shouldn’t hurt (check with your doctor!!). And if you’d like to try some really good, plant based vitamins to keep you going I can help you with that!

    • I find my surrender to “whenever I’m tired” to be counterproductive. I’d sleep forever if I gave in like that. The polyphasic discipline is an attempt to maximize the productivity of your sleep. This has made my sleep MORE valuable, not less, and my awake hours LESS drowsy, not more.

      And on doctors, they typically refer back to vague studies on sleep patterns. They will prescribe “a good night’s sleep” as a cure-all to anything, which I haven’t found useful. There have been no studies on Polyphasic Sleep Schedules, specifically, which I’d love to read about. Whacky experimentalists like myself blog about their discoveries, but that’s been about it. My anecdotal findings have proved very successful.

      • Patricia Vea Zavala

        I don’t have the pressure of a job but am busy with 10 grandkids, volunteer stuff at church, etc. So half the time I don’t get my nap. So I enjoy it when I do! I’m too unorganized (which is not a good thing!) to have such a strict schedule. Am glad it works for you. Can see how it would make sleep a valuable commodity.

  • Tim Hardesty

    Your personal experience brings a lot of credibility to this discussion. Based on this article, I am giving polyphasic some serious consideration. A few more questions. Do you have any sort of excersize in your daily routine? Also, how did you get started? Do you just start with this schedule right of the bat or did you work into it?

    • Good questions, Tim. Some answers:

      1) Yes, exercise is important. Even off sleep schedules, I found my sleep much better when I was in physically good shape. All the more important, I suppose, when you’re trying to maximize your sleep/awake hours.
      2) My daughter Cynthia (www.cynthiajeub.com) told me about it. She read a blog post or something. She never tried it herself. She just let her halfway-crazy dad do it. 😉
      3) I went hardcore Everyman right off the bat. I wanted to give the raw trial a fair shake. I eased off the peddle a bit with this modified schedule, dropping one nap and having an adjustable flex time at night.

  • I agree that it’s fascinating, but I wonder how you can measure the long-term effects of this beyond “feeling better.”

    • It would be helpful if there were long-term studies on sleep patterns. The only I have found have been tests on regular people and their sleep habits, not on those who have actually tried to discipline their sleep patterns.

      I know there are studies on athletes, what they do, and how they maximize their exercise. Why not on sleep patterns?

  • How about coffee or other caffeinated beverages? Do you find that they get in the way of your new cycle?

    • Sort of. I used to drink an entire pot of coffee every morning. That was too much. I cut back to 2 cups every morning. I’m not sure if it actually got in the way of things, but it definitely is healthier.

  • Ciera Samoa

    I think it’s neat. I never understood why I naturally sleep only 4-5 hours at night,then need a daytime nap,until I realized I’m a bi-phasic sleeper.Now that I’ve accepted it as normal for me,my mind is more at ease not trying to fight it, or thinking there is something wrong.I think more people would be happier if they could find a way to accept and incorporate whatever the natural sleep pattern is for them. 🙂

  • Tim Hardesty

    For those of you that need caffeine, here is an article about when is the best time of day to drink it. http://www.fastcodesign.com/3020940/asides/the-best-time-of-day-to-drink-coffee

  • Dmitry

    Hi, guys. I would like to introduce myself as I am already a 2-year polyphasic sleeper.

    Moreover, I am creating a mobile app called SmartSleep that would be an essential guide to polyphasic experience for everybody.

    We alredy have a functioning prototype that we use in our everyday life, but we need funds to finish it and launch to pruduction. So we created a company on kickstarter.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222464008/smartsleep-first-application-for-polyphasic-sleepe

    Check our website: http://www.smartsleepteam.com

    We apreciate any feedback, proposals and contributions. If you have any questions please contact us.

    • This is absolutely awesome! I am currently just using my Apple app that comes with the phone. It’s not nearly as useful as what your app looks to be making. I donated to your Kickstarter Campaign and glad to be of help!

      • Dmitry

        Thanks for your support, Chris. It is very important for us.

  • Chad Jackson

    Chris, very interested in this. Did you get any blood work done before and after. Wondering about your testosterone and your GH were effected.

    • No, I didn’t do anything complex or scientific like this. I just dove in.

  • I’ve been considering multiphasic sleep for a while now but haven’t yet taken the plunge. Just saw your article – didn’t realize you were doing this. Since I’m also a self-employed dad of a houseful of kids and I work in a home office I can really see the benefits of having 3-4 hours of uninterrupted work while everyone else sleeps without sacrificing quality family time during the daytime hours. My main concern is trying to nap when the kids are up – things can be noisy even when I’m in my office with the door closed – I may need to invest in earplugs.

    It would be nice to see some studies on the subject – I have a bit of hesitancy that there may be long-term side effects – though I suppose my 18 month old has been operating on a multiphasic sleep pattern his entire life and seems to be doing well 🙂

    • Sounds like we’re running along very similar paths. Your main concern was one of mine, too, which is why I dropped my evening nap out of the schedule. I may pull it back on when I’m super-duper disciplined and staying up till midnight. When I’m not as disciplined, I go to bed at 10 and sleep for 5 hours, which is actually quite comfortable, and I’m able to keep that early morning time sacred.

      • So I took the plunge – I’m now a week into the Everyman schedule with nighttime rest from 2AM-5AM and naps at 10AM, 4PM, and 9PM. Amazingly (and probably because I was already sleep deprived) it took about 36 hours of fatigue before my body made the switch. Even those 36 hours weren’t bad – we went on a family hike and I managed to stay awake and alert the whole time.

        This weekend I missed my evening nap as we had guests over and I was starting to feel really fatigued when 2AM rolled around. I let myself sleep in until 7AM and was right back on schedule the next day without a problem.

        I’m now seriously considering just finishing the transition and going to the Uberman cycle, but two things are stopping me: 1) My bed is cozy, and since I take naps on the sofa in my office I’d never use the bed anymore, and 2) My wife tends to appreciate me being beside her in bed at least part of the night.

        Thanks for sharing the story of your experiment with polyphasic sleep. I’ve been wanting to try it for some time now but needed to hear from someone I knew who was using it successfully.

        • So awesome, Roger! I’m glad to hear it working out for you. I, too, considered going all out and doing the Uberman, but I haven’t found very many people commit to it as a lifestyle. Marriage and family life is just too complicated to justify the experiment, but the Everyman has worked out great!

          Thanks for sharing, and keep me posted.

  • Daniel Hayes

    I find this fascinating, Chris! I had read about it in Tim Ferriss’ 4HB,which has a chapter on polyphasic. He lists som resources here: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/gear/#uberman. There’s another Ferriss acolyte who is a PA and has his synopsis here: http://www.4hourlife.com/2012/04/29/become-uberman-sleep-like-da-vinci-the-polyphasic-sleep-cheat-sheet/

  • Wow I was wondering if you had stuck to it…. Amazing. Think I’ve got a friend that’s diving in and I’m thinking about it too.

  • I remember hearing this mentioned with Michael back when you first started. I’m happy to find this post and see that it’s working well for you. Fascinating stuff Chris.

  • Christian R

    Hey Chris,
    Thanks for sharing. I’d like to attempt a similar Everyman schuedle soon. Curious to know how many months/years you’ve been doing this scheudle and/or if you’ve felt any long term negative side effects?

    Shoot me an email or text if you can.

    Cheers,
    Rob
    rob.rutigliano@gmail.com
    647-994-9216

  • connectgo

    Very interested to hear if you have continued this and any long term effects you may have noticed

  • Amitloaf

    Well it seems like you’re doing an everyman 4.5 with occasional shorter cores 🙂 As a practicer of Everyman 4.5, it intrigues me. The reason I chose not to do the Everyman 3 schedule is because it interferes with my normal life like you stated in your post

  • Palm Bear

    Hello Chris,

    I’m really fascinated by this whole concept, however I’m not self employed and have a 9-5 job with about an hour of traveling to and from work and was wondering how I could even start with this type of sleep schedule when my boss will definitetly not permit me to sleep at work.

    Any thoughts on this?

    • You could stick with biphasic. Take a nap either on your lunch hour or immediately after work. Stick to 20 mins only, no more. I bet you’d notice a significant boost in the evenings if you got on a strict schedule.

    • Justin M Trefney

      When I started my sleep schedule I worked 9 to 5. I would sleep from midnight to 3am then get to work a half hour early and take a nap in the car before work and at lunch. Then take another one when I got home.

    • Owen Murphy

      Hey i wondered this to but im going to try it anyway. First i’d like to let you know im in colloge 8-4 so what im planning to do is have my main sleep12-3am then have my first nap at around 7:30am just before college and my second nap at around 5pm just after college and miss the third nap the same as Chris.

    • Chantel Hunt

      Interesting that a lot of 9-5-ers have theier core at 12-3am. I tried a 2-5am core at first but decided on my own that 12-3 might work better and overall it has, though I’m still struggling to adapt. Anyway, I work from 8-5 with an hour lunch. Since the morning is toughest for me, I actually take my first nap at 6am, then noon when I’m on lunch, then 6pm after I get home. It works for me because I’d rather have a lot of “fresher” morning time to myself instead of really-tired evening time. Plus it gives me a lot of flexibility for social events in the evening. I can hang out with friends, go to movies, eat out etc without needing to move my naps much, if ever.

  • columbuscook

    I’ve always wanted to try this but recently read something about the brain flushes out all sorts of neurotoxins when you sleep. Alzheimer’s is so rampant nowadays I don’t want give my body any additional reasons to fall victim to it. Have you come across any of the discussions on this or been concerned yourself? I’d hate to trade off my productivity and time now for not knowing if I had a family or if I ate breakfast when I succumb to Dementia when I’m 50.

    THis isn’t the exact article I was thinking of but it does explain what I am fearful of.

    http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2013/ninds-17.htm

  • edcion

    Can’t call it a 4 hour sleep schedule if you add in 2 more hours and make it 6

    • Jonathan Masiello

      He said the naps are 20 minutes, not an hour. So he is actually on a 3 hour 40 minute sleep schedule 🙂

  • Elise O’Neil

    I wish I could nap so I could do this, but I’ve got problems with insomnia. I have found, however, that in the summer when I don’t have to follow a normal schedule I tend to slip into the segmented sleep pattern where you sleep for 3-4 hours twice a day. Problem with it is that for some reason my body naturally makes those times from around 7-11am and 8-11pm, though it varies depending on how long it takes for me to get sleepy enough to be able to go to sleep and how active my insomnia decides to be. No matter how little or how much sleep I get I’m always so tired I’m nearly constantly on the brink of exhaustion, and this so far is the only cycle I’ve found where I feel semi-awake.

    • I have thought about writing about this very thing: not being able to fall asleep. When I started, I had a difficult time with this, too. But I forced myself to do it anyway. Even if I didn’t fall asleep, I’d set the alarm and at least rest (though not sleep). Eventually, my body got into the groove and I was able to fall asleep. Today, I’m asleep within 30 seconds whenever I consciously try to sleep.

      • Elise O’Neil

        Maybe I’ll try it out, then. Since it’s summer it won’t really get in the way of school so I won’t be losing anything if it doesn’t work out. Heck, it’s not like my sleep schedule could get much worse at this point.

  • Gabrielle Chiddy

    Chris, I am 23. I started my first full-time job about a year ago and am now living on my own.as you can imagine – huge budget change.i finally found a part-time job to supplement my ‘fun-money’ but am noticing so much more tiredness and fatigue right around those afternoon hours since dropping from the full 8 hours of sleep to 5/6. I started researching alternate sleep cycles and came across your article. Currently, my schedule is 830-5 with a half hour lunch (time for a nap) and then 8-midnight at my part time job. I want to fit the gym in here. I was considering the everyman with 2 naps but maybe I could make 3 work. What would you suggest? I am usually sleeping by 1am.

    • You’re right. Your schedule looks very similar to mine. Fitting in the gym is a good idea, because I find sticking with the schedule takes a physical focus. I’ve had a few unhealthy friends try this, and it didn’t work.

      I have an update to this article that mentions these things:
      https://www.chrisjeub.com/adding-28-hours-more-per-week/

  • Brendan Huber

    Hi Chris I’m extremely active and am trying to get on a modified version of the everyman cycle, pretty much identical to yours. Do you have any comments on how the polyphasic sleep schedule (specifically with less sleep) can affect your ability to work out/ be active?

    • Fatigue was my #1 concern when starting this. I have to be in shape and eating well to pull off the traditional Everyman (4 hours). When my schedule allows me to use that flex time for more sleep, I hover at six hours of sleep, which seems to be my “sweet spot.” More sleep than six hours seems to make me groggy and unproductive, more fatigued than when on my tight Everyman.

  • Aman

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for inspiring post. Looks like we still have hope!

    I’m doing my PhD and keeping productively awake is my foremost priority. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, I have slipped into a damaging sleep pattern, were I can’t fall asleep at night, and just can’t wake up in the morning! It has had an effect on my productivity as well as my memory.

    Your post felt like the perfect solution. I am seriously considering taking up the Everyman schedule. Currently, I have total flexibility with my working hours. And I think, if I ever want to improve my sleeping habits, this is the right time.

    Can you please guide me on how I can take this forward, and settle into my own ‘Everyman’. Your support and help will be deeply appreciated.

    I hope to hear from you.
    Thanks once again
    Aman J

  • Diana Fiori

    Hi Chris,
    I’m in college and want to try out everyman schedule with 2 naps….how does this sound ?
    core: 4-7 am (not a morning person)

    nap 1 : 5 – 5:20
    nap 2 : 10 – 10:20
    Is the gap between the core and nap 1 ok ?

    • That gap seems pretty good. You’d be getting nearly 5 hours of sleep. Be sure you eat healthy and get good exercise. That’s key.

      • Diana Fiori

        thanks a lot !
        today was great !

      • Michael Porter

        I really enjoyed your article Chris! I’m in school at the minute and have been doing the Biphasic schedule for a few weeks now:
        core: 11-6
        nap1: about 5pm, or lunch if I can.
        It has made a huge difference, and would like to take it to the next level.

        However I do also like to exercise, where does the muscle/body recuperation come into this if I sleep less hours overall? Otherwise you have me sold! 🙂

        • Very cool! I don’t know what the “muscle/body recuperation” is. My exercise is simply brisk hiking of at least 5 miles per day plus healthy, low-carb eating. An aggressive sleep schedule is impossible with out that, imho.

          • Michael Porter

            Thanks!
            My thinking was that less sleep may be beneficial with productiveness and mental alertness, but surely more sleep is better as your muscles repair while you sleep; so do you feel physically better doing this?

            • It’s tough to tell. Would I be in better shape with more sleep and less exercise? It’s impossible to say, really. I do know that doing a polyphasic sleep schedule like the Everyman is very difficult if you’re not in shape.

  • Abe Johnroe

    Hi Chris your story is great to hear and I’m glad it is working well. I am looking to try an alternate sleep schedule myself however I am finding it difficult especially with my 8am to 430pm workweek Monday thru Friday. I am also a graduate student full time as well. Do you have any suggestions? ( The only time could nap at work is if I took it from my 1 hour lunch from Noon to 1pm. Thanks for your help and support! I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Hudson Hock

    Hi Chris,

    After read your story half year ago I was wanted to start the Everyman routine. However there is something holding me back from doing it. Recently I have sleeping for 6 hours and started trying take a 25 minute nap when I have my lunch break. The nap indeed restore me the fresh mind and raise my level of energy anew. Without intentionally I am doing biphasic..

    I am an employed person so the only nap schedule I can think of to practice Everyman is as follow,
    Core 0000-0300
    Nap1 0630-0650
    Nap2 1200-1220
    Nap3 1840-1900

    Could you advise if this schedule is feasible?
    What should I take note to adjust the nap schedule if my body couldn’t adapt on it?

    Thank you.

    • Personally, I’m more of a morning person, so I like to stretch the beginning of my day out longer than my end. Your schedule appears to do the opposite with more awake hours on the end.

      • Hudson Hock

        That’s the only schedule I could distribute all the wake hours barely distant from one to another. The only thing I need to be well prepare is eat well before I get into it.

        Can I ask do you feel healthier than before when you are in monophasic sleep pattern?

        • Since writing this article, I’ve scaled back from the 4 hour polyphasic to 6 hour polyphasic, but still just two naps instead of three. I find 5:40 hours to be my sweet spot: perfect amount a rest and maximized sleep effectiveness. I have a Fitbit that measures my sleep, and I’m a very deep sleeper…which is good. Every once in a while I’m able to steel those two more hours back for important projects and whatnot, but when things are “normal” I sleep 10p-3a and take two 20 minute naps.

          • Hudson Hock

            I admit the 4 hours polyphasic seems to be very “attractive” and so so much extra time one can steal for a day and all the way down to a year if he/she could sustain without any health issue. At the first impression of knowing human can actually do that is pretty exciting, but I am afraid I would suffer from sleep deprivation.

            Since I’m doing pretty much of biphasic and the body seems to be okay with that, I am going to try 5.2 hours with two naps before jump right into the 4 hours mark and I will be update again when I get there, hopefully.

            More importantly, thank you for your inspiration and reading through your experience has made me feel alive.

  • Charlotte Rose

    Hi Chris,
    After reading your post I am desperate to start this sleeping cycle, but I am concerned it will take me too long to get into routine, I am self employed but I can work stints of 6 hours which I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to get the right routine. I am not a morning person at all, and I wondered how I would start. I can always be awake at 2am but don’t know how to work out the rest of the naps. I would defiantly need the most sleep possibly win the core sleep – what could you suggest?

  • opkat

    thanks my guy, im a student in highschool (i go from 6:45a to 3:15p) and ive just planned an everyman schedule where the 3 hour sleep is from 2a to 5a, and the 20 minute naps are at 6 and 10. havent tried this yet but am planning on starting today. wish me luck.

    • Erik Sadul

      I’m also in high school about to try a modified everyman cycle, but in yours I think it might be an issue that you don’t sleep from 5a until 6p. Also, a 3-hour core is probably too little to start with.

      • aeirya

        hey. I’m also a high-school student and time matters a LOT to me. I’ve been studying about these sleep patterns and I was wondering if I could handle it with my school life.
        Anyway, here is my email address and I would be glad if we could share our experiences

  • aeirya

    Hey, I’m a high-school student and I should be preparing my self for the university entrance exam. It means I go to school at 7 and come back at 2:40! So there’s an 8-hour gap here.
    I’m also a basketball player and I go to practice at 3! So does it mean that everyman sleep pattern is impossible for me?
    regardless of that basketball thing, do you think that 8 eight-hour gap could effect my learning at school (which is very important) ?
    What I’m currently thinking of is sleeping at 10 ’till 4 and taking a nap at 6 and 3. How do you think I’ll end up?

  • Vikas

    Hey! I’m 19 years old and I don’t know why I sleep a lot like 9 – 11 hours of sleep. If I try and cut my sleeping hours to 6 or 7 hours I feel sleepy in the evening. I feel if I reduce my sleeping hours I can me more productive and do good on my goals . Can anyone help me implement a better sleeping pattern?