Today I've decided to try something new! Instead of writing a post I've filmed in in Vlog format! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Hello, yogi’s. I thought I would try something a little bit different today. Instead of writing a blog post, I'm going to blog about it or make this little video to talk to you directly, and see how that goes!
I hope you guys are all doing well. What I want to talk to you about today is my experiments and adventures with biphasic sleep. If you've read the blog any of my videos, you know that I'm very into sleep, and sleeping well.
When I was really ill, I had a lot of problems with getting to sleep, staying asleep, and it was all of these different sleeping pills, and none of them had any lasting effects. I had tried all these different things.
Nothing worked until I developed a more regular yoga and meditation practice. That really helped me so much. I'm still always looking for ways to improve my sleep, and to sleep better.
I decided to try biphasic sleep.
What is biphasic sleep?
you go to sleep just after sunset for about three or four hours. You wake up for about two hours. You go back to sleep again before sunrise again for another three or so hours.
I should mention that biphasic sleeping is part of a bigger idea of polyphasic sleeping. If you ever heard like about a siesta in warmer countries, that's part of polyphasic sleeping. Some people will do it in two, or three, or many.
The argument for biphasic sleep is that way back when before electricity, this is how most humans slept because it got dark, they would only have candle light which is not conducive to doing much, so they would go to sleep.
They want to sleep usually pretty early, because it was after dark or maybe even passed out from exhaustion which, as I'm sure you know, is very different than a full night sleep. They would then wake up in the early morning hours.
They would have that time to themselves, so it was often a very spiritual time. People might meditate. They might write. They might talk to their loved ones. They might make love. It's a very nice spiritual time for people.
Then they'd go back to sleep. Apparently, that's how a lot of people's sleep cycles worked for a long time until we developed this eight‑hour sleep cycle. A lot of people still have siesta today. We can see there they could sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours on their siesta, and then again at night.
The idea is that we used to do this, and some people still do it naturally. It may be more in line with some people's circadian rhythms, so they might end up sleeping better and need less sleep if they follow a biphasic or polyphasic sleep pattern than if they follow what we usually do, which is the seven to nine hours a night sleep.
I decided I wanted to give it a try. When I was younger, I always loved being awake late at night and in the middle of the night. I loved the quiet. I loved that I could read, or write, or do whatever it was, and not be disturbed.
There was something very magical for me about that time. Even now, sometimes I still stay awake absurdly late. It feels like a guilty pleasure. I love that time of night . I decided that I was going to give it a try.
I prepared. I read a lot of articles about Biphasic Sleep. Everyone said the first few weeks is tough while you adapt, and you're going to be tired. Once you adapt, you're going to feel great. You're going to get more done. You're going to need to sleep less, etc. etc.
Definitely, the first few weeks were tough. I could see also how it was nice. I'd get up and maybe do a bit of yoga, do a bit of reading, or watch a movie. It felt like these stolen hours of the night, which was really nice.
What happened for me is that it didn't end up getting any easier. At first, I knew it was going to be a struggle to get out of bed. I thought I'll read or write from bed, or maybe hop to my desk and not fully get up, and then go back to sleep. That was OK.
When it came time to fully be awake during those hours and to do maybe a bit of work or to do something productive, it was harder to get up. It was also harder to get back to sleep. When I fully woke up ‑‑ which is what you're meant to do ‑‑ I found it hard to then fall back asleep.
Another thing that I struggled with was going to bed early enough. This is probably where I failed. It would be really interesting to hear if anyone else has tried this at all, and how they dealt with this.
The sun was setting more or less around 9:00 PM for most of the time I was doing it. I was struggling to go to bed before then. Oftentimes, if I was socializing or whatever, I wasn't back until around then. By the time I was ready for bed it was closer to midnight or, as I said earlier, I'm a night owl.
I might have all intentions of being in bed by 9:30, but then being in bed I would read, and I would write, or watch TV, or do any of those things, and again not get to sleep till closer to midnight.
When I was waking up around 3:30 or 4:00, going back to bed around 5:30 or 6:00, it was already starting to get light out. I think I sabotaged myself that I wasn't in line with the circadian rhythms.
Maybe if I'd committed to going to bed earlier, it might have had a different results if I was going to bed at 9:00 or 10:00 and waking up at 1:00 or 2:00, and going back to sleep around 3:00, and then waking up maybe around 7:00 after sunrise.
That probably would have been more natural. It didn't work for me, because while I was doing this I was back home. I wanted to be surrounded by family and friends, and do things. It didn't work for me at that time.
My experiment on biphasic sleep was a failed one. I'm now back on my eight‑ish hour sleep schedule, which is sometimes still to take a siesta in the afternoon. I found it very helpful sometimes, especially if I've not had the best sleep or the most hours of sleep the night before.
I have always been a fan of naps, actually a power nap or an afternoon nap. Without knowing it, I probably was a polyphasic sleeper already. The style of polyphasic sleeping to wake up in the middle of the night didn't work for me.
What I was also curious about is when I used to wake up in the middle of the night no matter what, or late nights when I still sometimes wake up, if I would be better off fully getting up rather than lying in bed and trying to go back to sleep or waiting to fall back to sleep, that I would be better off to get up for a couple hours and then go back to sleep.
That might be my next experiment. I'd love to hear what you guys think about this. If you've tried it or interested in trying it, especially if you have trouble staying asleep through the night, I would love to hear maybe if you've experimented with staying in bed versus getting up in that time that you're awake.
If you'd like to learn a bit more about sleep, how yoga and meditation helped me sleep, and some other things that I've done and tried that have helped me to sleep, or that I'm trying not help me to sleep, you can read some more on my blog.
Most of the information is in my six‑week online yoga course which is coming up October 17th. This runs a few times a year. If you're watching this after October 17th, head over to my website at arogayoga.com. The next phase this will be up there. We have a whole section on that course dedicated to sleep.
I've enjoyed making this first video blog. I'm excited to hear what you guys think about sleep and biphasic sleeping. Maybe put in the comments anything you've tried that was a bit strange to help you with sleep that either helped or didn't help what your results were.
Thank you for watching!