[No registration!] Is polyphasic sleep dangerous?




The purpose of this section is to emphasize two pieces of peer-reviewed research articles that talk about how the life expectancy is going to be altered on sleep schedules that result in shorter amounts of sleep. First, it should be point out that this information should not be directly applied to polyphasic sleepers, because as has been established in previous videos in this series, adapted polyphasic sleepers should only reduce the light sleep stage, while the baseline requirements of SWS and REM sleep will remain constant. Because of this, polyphasic sleepers should be able to be on the safer side of the spectrum.

Two papers

So the first paper is called “Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies”, and it’s written by Cappuccio et al. In this paper, the sleep duration and life expectancy of people is compared, and the results are pretty interesting. In conclusion, people who sleep less than 6 hours a night have a 12% higher chance to die prematurely than people who sleep between around 7 and 8 hours a day, and people who slept over 9 hours a day actually had a 30% higher chance of dying prematurely. This suggests that it is clearly worse for people to sleep more than it is to sleep less.

The next paper is called “Insomnia and mortality: A meta-analysis”, and it’s written by Lovato and Lack. This paper compared the mortality of people suffering from insomnia, which is characterized by people having an issue to fall asleep, and them getting less sleep than what they actually need. The results from this paper showed that there was no statistical difference between the mortality-rates of these people when insomniac individuals are compared with healthy individuals,.

The future

Unfortunately, no long-term studies have been made to assess the damage produced by sleeping polyphasically, so studies on normal monophasic sleep are used to draw the conclusions. In the future, long-term studies will hopefully be completed that compare the mortality-rate of polyphasic sleepers to monophasic sleepers, to give clear evidence for whether polyphasic sleeping is dangerous.


In order to find evidence for the claim that polyphasic sleeping is dangerous, one would need to show:

  1. That there is peer-reviewed research completed showing that polyphasic sleepers suffer from a higher mortality rate.

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