My name is Marissa, and I have an addiction.
I’ve had it since I was a senior in high school, and I push away anyone who tries to help me. But I can’t do anything about it—I need to feel that buzz. Because let me tell you something, I never feel more alive than when I have a cup of coffee in my hand. Wait—what did you think I was talking about?
In the college life I lead, sleep has taken a back-seat to almost everything else that I do. I just don’t have the time for it, so I cope with caffeine. Usually, I can handle it because I’m too busy to think about how wired I am and too wired to think about how snappy I should be due to my lack of ZZZs. But every once in a while it catches up to me and I ask myself if there could possibly be a better way. Sure, I could sleep a full eight hours every night as opposed to the five or six that I usually pick up, but I’m not really willing to slack in school, club meetings, or my social life. I just need more hours in a day! Is that too much to ask? Apparently, it’s not.
Enter the Uberman sleep schedule, a polyphasic sleeping cycle that increases your awake time by 25 percent. Thinking about what I could do with six extra hours a day makes me giddy; I could finish my to-do list, work out more, and be able to hang out with anyone or anything that isn’t my homework. But at what cost? After looking into it, I believe the cost would be my sanity. The Uberman cycle is nothing short of ridiculous–it calls for just two hours of sleep each day by asking its victims to take twenty minute naps every four hours. The logic behind this lunacy is that it forces your body to enter the REM cycle after a minute or two, thus cutting out the rest of the sleep stages. Doing this is supposed to enhance your life not only by giving you more time, but by making you feel more alert after the month-long adaption period. Yeah, alright.
The Polyphasic Society claims that the reason that there is nothing known about the long term effects of this cycle is because most people “give up” on the process. If you ask me, it’s because they come to their senses like this guy who chronicled his Uberman experience for Men’s Health Magazine.
Overall, I don’t think I could ever adapt to this cycle. You’d have to be über crazy to follow the Uberman cycle. The mere thought of the sleep deprivation that would ensue makes me feel cranky.
Image by Andy Melton from http://www.flickr.com/photos/trekkyandy/2856742505/