[No registration!] Is polyphasic sleep dangerous?

Sleep onset latency outside regular sleep times

Sleep Onset Latency Outside Regular Sleep Times

The topic of this section is about the sleep onset latency (SOL) outside the regular sleep times. SOL is just a fancy word for saying how long it takes to fall asleep. So if you’re laying in bed for an hour and unable to fall asleep, and then actually manage to fall asleep, your SOL is 1 hour.


If you are falling asleep fast outside your regular sleep times, that’s a telling sign that you’re actually sleep deprived. However, if you are living a very routine-filled life with strict sleep times, you’re going to be able to fall asleep quickly at the times you usually fall asleep. Thus, these two situations should not be mixed up. Even though you might be able to fall asleep quickly in your naps, that shouldn’t raise any red flags at all; you are used to falling asleep at these hours because your body is entrained to them.

Testing the sleep onset latency

To test the sleep onset latency, you want to try to sleep for 20 minutes at a good distance from your regular sleep times, with a metal spoon in your hand over a metal plate. When you enter NREM2, you’re going to drop the spoon that in return makes a loud sound and wakes you up. This acts as a timer to demonstrate how long you’ve slept. If you fall asleep within 10 minutes, that’s showing some degrees of sleep deprivation.

Current situation

The community has been occasionally tracking how adapted people perform, but currently we don’t have that large of a sample size. Regardless, the results are still decently interesting. A large majority of people didn’t fall asleep at all for their extra nap; on the other hand, SOL results ranged from 14 to 18 minutes, with one odd exception of mere 3 minutes. Still, these tests remain in progress and it’s too early to draw any definite conclusions.


If you are looking to find evidence against polyphasic sleep, you would need to show:

  1. That polyphasic sleepers who are adapted and try to nap outside their regular sleep times would fall asleep very fast.

At this point in time, it should be noted that these the readings gathered from SOL tests can definitely be skewed if the polyphasic sleeper in question is going through or has already completed a flexing adaptation. A flexing adaptation basically refers to an adaptation aimed at teaching the body to sleep within a specific interval, rather than demanding that the nap is taken at a particularly precise moment. This flexing adaptation can be attempted after a schedule has been adapted to, but not before that.

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