[No registration!] Is polyphasic sleep dangerous?

Is polyphasic sleep dangerous?

Polyphasic sleeping is unhealthy.

Polyphasic sleeping is dangerous.

You’re harming yourself when you’re sleeping like this.

Wait a second, where’s your evidence for this claim?


The idea behind this course is to examine several aspects that can give insight into what it would take to show that polyphasic sleeping is dangerous. But first, an elaboration. The health-aspect of polyphasic sleep can be split into two questions;

  • Is polyphasic sleeping dangerous, and
  • Is polyphasic sleeping healthy, where the latter is much harder to show.

The reality could also be that polyphasic sleeping gives some benefits, while also resulting in some negative aspects. So the purpose of this course is to address the first question of “is polyphasic sleeping dangerous”.

First a bit of background. Several people have claimed that polyphasic sleeping is dangerous without backing the statement up. The goal is to present the full picture here, so this page will be split into several parts. Each part will be structured in the following way:

  • First, you will be presented with what topics could be used to show that polyphasic sleep is dangerous.
  • Second, preliminary tests performed by the community thus far on these topics will be discussed.
  • Third, the future of testing will be examined.
  • Fourth, clear questions polyphasic sleep debunkers would need to answer in order for their claims to bear any weight.

The goal is to give you a basic level of understanding so that you can learn what to investigate further yourself. If you are a sceptic looking to debunk the idea of polyphasic sleeping, this post will detail clear points for which you need to find evidence to show that polyphasic sleeping is dangerous.

In scientific theories, there are always several different ways to discard them by proving them wrong. For example, the theory of evolution can be disproven by showing observations of organisms being created supernaturally or spontaneously. Similarly to this, there are ways that could be used show that sleeping polyphasically is unhealthy, which is going to be a focal point of each part of this course.

Several of these parts will be built around the question “are polyphasic sleepers actually sleep deprived“, and several different perspectives will be provided to help you determine the answer. In these parts, peer-reviewed research articles and community gathered evidence with external devices such as EEGs will be provided. An evidence hierarchy, where peer-reviewed research is “worth more” than non-peer-reviewed research, and so on, is apparently accounted for.

Main author: Crimsonflwr

Course last updated: 14 May 2019


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