- Proposed by: aethermind
- Total sleep: Undefined, but may average around 5-6 hours
- Classification: Flexible schedule, SPAMAYL variant, Everyman variant
- Specification: 1 core, multiple short naps
- Mechanism: Variant of SPAMAYL that includes a core sleep. Evolves well from adaptation to E3-extended, then E3-extended-flex as a helpful intermediate. The core sleep provides SWS and some REM, with several naps providing the remaining REM. A strong reliance on sensing when to best nap to get quality REM naps is required. You will need the freedom to take a nap soon at any time, and/or the ability to plan naps sensibly for each day such that there is no waking gap too long that makes you tired.
- Adaptation difficulty: Hard
- Ideal scheduling: Around a 4-5 hour core, with about 2-6 naps of 10-20 minutes in length. Favor natural wakes. Cycles may naturally compress to 80m with frequent sleeps. Plan for 90m cycles until there are many early natural wakes. Nap spacing should take into account natural periods of tiredness, as well as the morning Circadian peak. In the evening 6-7 hour gaps are common, whereas alertness may wane after 3-4 hours awake in the morning. A longer ProNap of up to 45m might be plausible during the REM peak (6-9am) if all SWS has already been accounted for, which it should be if the base strict schedule has already been adapted to. This would allow larger gaps and/or increased flexibility later in the day. The core might be flexed and/or varied max. 90m in length, as optional variables after adapted to a base schedule. It’s not recommended to add an extra cycle more than once a week, as more frequent lengthening seems to destabilize adaptations to the reduced sleep total.
The name SEVAMAYL is an abbreviation of “Sleep EVeryman As Much As You Like”. Because of an inability to adapt to this schedule cold turkey, adaptations are very rare. All of the twenty or more known attempts to adapt to a type of flexible, variable Everyman without prior standard adaptation have failed. Strict Everyman adaptations, however, have been successfully followed by flexed versions with a handful of community members in recent years. The ability to move naps assists with a hectic, changing lifestyle. The individual needs to develop a clear sense of their level of tiredness, in order to take naps at the ideal times. The best times will optimally sustain wakefulness as well as get the needed REM sleep. Most early naps contain REM sleep, however, later naps will typically only contain light sleep and don’t need to be as frequent. The main purpose of this schedule is to work around a flexible lifestyle that other polyphasic schedules cannot accommodate. The main challenge is the need to control your schedule for over a month in order to adapt to a strict base schedule first, before being able to adapt to SEVAMAYL.
For what lifestyles is this schedule best?
SEVAMAYL fits those with erratic schedules, but is also possible to utilize with strict lifestyles. However when used on a strict work schedule, the main purpose of SEVAMAYL is lost. If that is the case, a strict schedule or an Everyman schedule with slightly flexed nap times, but no variation in nap number or length, may be more appropriate.
Why does this schedule work?
After a rigid Everyman-schedule has been adapted to, the brain has replaced its standard sleeping schedule and adjusted to a reduced sleep total. It is then possible to slowly shift the new schedule, containing SOREM naps and highly repartitioned cores, without reducing sleep quality, as opposed to flexing during the adaptation. Because the naps are being moved they will most likely contain a lower amount of REM than the naps of the strict schedule, which may require an extra nap to give the same total REM sleep. Still, because a significant part of the REM need is taken care of during the core, the main purpose of the naps is to alleviate homeostatic pressure. It is also possible to utilize ProNaps to more efficiently fulfill the REM need, which results in needing fewer naps later in the day.
What does it feel like once adapted?
Once adapted, it is possible to occasionally increase or decrease the length of the core by 90 minutes. Nap amounts can increase or decrease to help offset the tiredness. After this shortened- or lengthened core, a week should be given to allow the core to remain stable.
As is the case with other schedules, quality naps give a large boost to alertness around the clock. The freedom given by this schedule is also very fulfilling.
What variations of SEVAMAYL actually work?
The core length of SEVAMAYL can be scheduled from 4.5 hours in length to no upper limit. The core length might naturally decrease to about 4 hours if cores compress in length, which is common in polyphasic schedules, but should not be expected until after many weeks. Some people might be able to adapt to a 3.5 hour long core, but it is unclear at this point in time if the flexibility is great enough, and all attempts have failed so far. There need to be at least 6 equivalent monophasic cycles on the intermediate Everyman schedule for SEVAMAYL to be adaptable, compared to the normal 5 equivalent monophasic cycles on the standard schedules (which refers to one quality REM nap effectively replacing one nighttime 90m core cycle, in its ability to rejuvenate). While SEVAMAYL does not have a set number of naps, they are still going to be approximately reflected in the intermediate Everyman schedule. For example, if E3-extended is the intermediate schedule, then SEVAMAYL is going to have more naps than when compared to E2-extended as an intermediate schedule. This is because the fewer core cycles there are, the more REM need is required to be taken care of during the naps. The core should be placed in during the night, and the scheduling range depends on the variant of SEVAMAYL:
|Core length||Start of core, scheduling range|
|3.5 hours||21 – 22|
|4.5 hours||20 – 02|
|6 hours||20 – 02:30|
What is the best adaptation strategy?
Up to this point in time, there have been no successful cold turkey adaptations to SEVAMAYL. There have certainly been attempts, however all of them have failed. It is believed that this is the case because the sleep pressure generated from shortening the total sleep time is not great enough to force the naps to repartition, as is the case with most schedules. SPAMAYL on the other hand has no core to partially take care of the sleep pressure, leading to the naps forcefully becoming entrained. Because of this it is necessary to start a SEVAMAYL-adaptation only after successfully adapting to a rigid schedule first, through gradual adaptation.
Once the rigid schedule has been adapted to for at least a month, a flexing adaptation is started and escalated to varying nap length and possibly even core placements. Each increase in nap flexibility of about 30-60 minutes takes a couple weeks to adapt to. Flexing naps just 10-15 minutes more takes up to a week to adapt to. While adapting to flexible naps, large periods of time will be unpredictably drowsy around those original nap times.
Since SEVAMAYL has such a high flexibility, the standard Everyman-schedules are not going to suffice as the first adaptation step, and extended versions are necessary. The most common intermediate adaptation step is E3-extended, but E2-extended is also possible for a 6-hour core SEVAMAYL. E4-extended should work for people with sleep requirements on the lower side, but it is unclear how flexible a mere 3.5 hour long core will be on an adapted SEVAMAYL. There are only reports of a few successful E3-flex sleepers where one or two naps were a bit flexible, but otherwise required strict timing. A 3 hour core will likely not work. When comparing the raw nap flexibility of 3 hour versus 3.5 hour core E3, the difference is massive in that the 3-hour core schedules have nearly no flexibility at all.
A flexing adaptation is not going to look like a regular adaptation to a polyphasic schedule, as it is going to require continuous monitoring and adjusting of sleep times. First, adapt to a rigid schedule for about a month to 6 weeks. This bears repeating because it appears to be an essential step. Then, the best way to complete a flexing adaptation to SEVAMAYL is to start flexing, or shifting, nap times by 10 to 15 minutes from the rigid point one or two naps at a time.
The shifting can be done either with just flexing or by flexing and adding a nap, until the alertness levels have risen back up and stabilized. A 10-15 minute shift should take roughly 3 to 4 days to adapt to for each nap shifted, but can take up to a week as described previously. After this step is completed the flexing length of the rigid point is increased, one or two naps at a time. After naps are refreshing despite being flexed a small amount, flexing can be increased in larger jumps. The flexing span can be increased by 30-60 minutes each direction, and then up to 2 hours in each direction for each nap. Occasionally add a nap during unusually long wake periods to get used to a variable nap number. The nap times should after this point be alterable according to the feeling of homeostatic pressure and to make way for duties that change times.
During the adaptation to polyphasic schedules, some people will start waking up after around 12 to 15 minutes into a nap. When this is the case, the best approach is to attempt to salvage 5 or more minutes of the nap by returning to sleep. Normally these premature wakes last for a few days to a few weeks, but eventually stop occurring. However, on SEVAMAYL there is no need to return to sleep after a premature wake. If you wake up before your alarm the best strategy is to get up. Though, it should be noted that returning to sleep and sleeping for the full duration of the nap will yield more wakefulness sustaining. What this means is that it is useful to sleep for the full duration of the nap if one’s schedule requires a long gap of wakefulness to be had. The premature wakes from the naps is the main reason why they are presented as 15 minutes long on the standard SEVAMAYL schedule, which is the average nap length. It is also normal for naps taken during the later parts of the day shorten in length, while early naps stay 20 minutes long. This leads back to the importance of the ability to listen to one’s own body when attempting this schedule.
Delaying a nap may increase desire to sleep, but once adapted will have no effect on performance, alertness, or general feeling of well-being until it’s delayed excessively – perhaps longer than an hour or two in the morning, or delayed longer than 2-4 hours in the evening. The advantage of SEVAMAYL, though, is if you can anticipate that day’s busy times, then you can plan an extra nap before as well as delaying the default nap much later.
It is also possible to learn to flex the core sleep. It is going to be harder to do than flexing the naps, but the process is going to be the same. The placement of the core is shifted in small increments from the rigid point until alertness levels have returned to the high standards, and the process is then repeated with a larger range. It should be possible to learn to flex the start of the core by as much as 90 minutes with this method, however, it takes longer than adapting to flexed naps. 30 minutes of core flex (e.g. 10:30pm or 11:30pm instead of 11pm) should be comfortable and realistic, and take a week or two to adapt to. It can be done simultaneously while adapting to flexed naps. However, it’s unwise to take both to extremes at the same time.
It is important to plan your day so you can reach a suitable napping spot when it’s time for a nap, and to also watch food intake and exercise to ensure that the naps have a decent quality.
SEVAMAYL is in some ways the holy grail of polyphasic sleep – a reduced sleep total that saves many hours every week, while also maximizing alertness all day, without having to stick to any strict sleep times. It takes many weeks and a lot of persistence however, and requires establishing more efficient sleep using a strict base schedule. That means life and sleep has to be controllable for up to about 6 weeks, before you can start attempting SEVAMAYL. Then, be prepared for as many as 7-9 additional weeks of adaptation to SEVAMAYL, most of which is phase 4 feeling “almost” but not quite refreshed or stable. Risk of oversleep remains, even as natural wakes become frequent. While SEVAMAYL is more resilient in flexibility, it’s also prone to many of the same breakdowns as regular polyphasic schedules — it can be irreversibly destabilized by excess sleep due to illness, extreme emotional distress, or falling out of habit during a long vacation with monophasic sleepers. Severe injury or excessive flexing can also cause too many oversleeps and undo adaptation.
Main author: Crimson
Page last updated: 22 June 2019