More Energy and Less Stress: Back to Biphasic Sleeping

By Forrest Smith -

Every eight to twelve months I start thinking about biphasic sleeping. For those unaware, biphasic sleeping is basically going from one main sleep period, to two. There are many advantages to going biphasic, which is why I keep returning to it. There are of course several disadvantages to it, which is why I usually go several months and return to monophasic sleeping (the good ole’ eight hours of sleep — or more like six).

This latest foray into the biphasic sleeping was brought about to try and solve two problems: a lack of energy, and an overly-busy and rushed morning routine.

A Lack of Energy & Biphasic Sleep to the Rescue

I love to work on side projects and experiments, but lately after a full day of freelance work, I just didn’t have the energy. After getting our little one down to sleep around nine, my energy levels were approaching zilch. Introducing an hour-and-a-half nap right after our little one goes to sleep (which I’ve done through several bouts of biphasicness), pretty much solved this lack of energy problem. I now aim to start my nap between 9:00 and 10:00, which means I awake from my nap between 10:30 and 11:30. I’m refreshed at that point, and can work for several hours feeling pretty good. I usually try to get back to sleep at 2:30 or 3:00 so I can try to wake up around 7:30, which is when our little guy seems to wake up (if it were possible, I’d probably push that second sleep period back an hour or so).

A Rushed Morning Routine

The other issue I was encountering was a slow, stressful morning. Recently, I’ve been lucky to get out the door before 9:30 which means I’m not really getting started on my workday until 10:00am, which contributed to a feeling of constantly being behind and stressed out.

During my late-night work session, I started to actually work on client projects for a couple hours, which is quite different for me…usually those late night sessions are all about me and furthering my personal projects. However, working on client stuff in the middle of the night gives me a head start on the next day, so I don’t feel as stressed during that morning routine.  I’ve given myself some permission to take it a little slower in the morning actually since I already have put in a couple hours.

The other advantage of doing some client work during the night, is that during the day, I now work a bit on my personal projects as time allows, which seems to give them a little more “weight” and legitimacy.

How Long Will This Last?

I do go through phases with biphasic sleeping. The main disadvantage is that I occassionally don’t feel like taking that first nap, which I think is generally what turns be back into a monophasic sleeper. We’ll see how long this current session lasts, but this week I’ve enjoyed the change.