I have read from various (low quality) sources that practicing polyphasic sleep would add around 10 years to my lifespan vs. an average Western lifespan. Polyphasic sleep refers to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period—usually more than two, in contrast to biphasic sleep (twice per day) or monophasic sleep (once per day).

4-Hour Life:

The polyphasic sleep concept is that, indeed, if you succeeded in sleeping 3 hours per day instead of the prescribed 8, starting at 20 years of age, you would gain over 11 years in an average Western lifespan.


Polyphasic sleep pattern or popularly known as Uberman sleep pattern refers to sleeping in short bursts of duration throughout the day and skipping altogether the one complete long stretch of normal night sleep. The recommendations can go from anywhere between 15 to 20 min. for every four hr time period to 30 min. for each block of 6 hr duration. So if your normal sleep requirement is of 7 hrs, with this sleep pattern you can easily save 5 hrs everyday! Assuming an average lifespan of 70 years and if one starts practicing this pattern at the age of 20, it “adds” up to a whopping 10 years to one’s lifespan. While this may sound very appealing, experts advise to employ caution.

My Sleeping Experiment:

One of you said that studies show that getting less than eight hours of sleep will reduces life expectancy. Even if, despite leaving me rested and happy, it does shorten my life by ten years, I will actually end up netting five years of “awake” time over a monophasic lifestyle. From my perspective, “life” only counts if you’re awake.

Is there any study on the effect of polyphasic sleep on lifespan?

I'm aware of the existence of the thread Does polyphasic sleep work? Does it have long-term or short-term side effects?, but it doesn't focus on the lifespan.

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    In the related question, @Christian says "To my awareness there's nobody who upheld the schedule for multiple years." If no-one can maintain the regimen, making claims on its long-term effects seems moot. – Oddthinking Jan 19 '14 at 8:18
  • @odd the answer would simply be "no, it's impossible because the rhythm can't me maintained". The trick is proving it. – Sklivvz Jan 19 '14 at 10:26
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    If you read those claims carefully, none of them say you will live longer. They all say that you will spend more of your life awake. – Ladadadada Jan 19 '14 at 10:46
  • Yes they define the lifespan as the awake time. I've just added it in the question to make it clear. Thanks! – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 24 '14 at 16:05
  • What kind of evidence are you seeking? Even if there is one person out there that's not very visible and that individual lived to be 90 years of age that wouldn't proof anything. The human body is a pretty complex system. When big pharma invents new drugs >90% of those who are supposed to work in theory fail clinical tests. Big pharma also targets area's where they think they understand sort of what the are doing. If you look at the Uberman shedule there very little information about what happens in humans under that circumstances. – Christian Jan 24 '14 at 17:08

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