Dymaxion Sleep

Dymaxion is one of the most formidable sleep schedules on the market.

It’s predicted that only the genetically mutated DEC2 gene ‘very short sleepers’ can be successful following such a schedule, because people with this gene are able to sleep only 4 hours monophasically, which is a considerable feat on it’s own. These people do not suffer from sleep deprivation because their sleep compression and sleep quality are naturally so good! The whole idea of a reduced sleep schedule is to improve sleep compression and sleep quality, so that one may get all the normal deep sleep and REM sleep on less total sleep, just like a DEC2 mutant. Unforunately it is estimated less than 1% of the world population has this gene.

Now although it has the same total sleep hours as Uberman (2h-3h), it is not as sustainable because it lacks some advantages of Uberman. There seems to be a frequency advantage to Uberman whereby small amounts of frequent REM can greatly reduce sleep pressure compared to one large chunk of REM. A larger amount of less frequent, REM (like in Dymaxion) is basically less effective at reducing sleep pressure building up over the day, which is why fatigue may build more throughout the day for a Dymaxion sleeper compared to an Uberman sleeper.

Whilst the most noticeable effect of the mutated DEC2 is more REM and SWS, and less LNREM, there is also the fact that these people can get by with less frequent REM without any effect on their sleep pressure. This is an effect of their circadian rhythm, something we do not yet know how to alter.

The Dymaxion schedule was coined by Buckminster Fuller, and involves sleeping 4 times a day for 30 minutes. The chances are that he indeed had this gene mutation, and could get by on very very little sleep. Along with his incredible passion for learning and engineering, his busy mind would have never been bored, and so never succumbed to a fatigued state induced by boredom.

Classically, the schedule stands as 4x30min naps.


…but as we see more people adapt to different schedules we see that even Ultradian centric schedules have some kind of shift due to day light and night darkness. This may manifest as slightly longer sleeps at night and slightly shorter in the afternoons, so predicting a version realistic Dymaxion schedule we can look at something like this…


This article is not to detract people from experimenting with this schedule, but is to inform them so they can make the right choice for their lifestyle. It would certainly be amazing to find another person who has the passion, drive, and sleeping pattern as Buckminster Fuller!

16 comments on “Dymaxion Sleep”

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  5. Darfka Reply

    There is someone who posted what he did to achieve easily this sleep. I will try it and post here how it did go.

    “I came up with a similar idea about 10 months ago and have used it a few times with great success (never without it “sticking”). The first night, I spent 30 minutes sleeping, 30 minutes awake, alternating during the usual 8-hour block from my monophasic sleep schedule. The next day, I slept 30 minutes out of every 2 hours until that evening when I pushed it back to 30 out of 3 hours. Then throughout the second day, I had only slight sleepiness as I pushed naps back further until, by day 4, I was fully adapted to the Dymaxion schedule (30 minutes every 6 hours). I’ve been able to stick with Dymaxion for stretches as long as 5 months, stopped only be outside factors.
    The first time attempting this was with an initial adaptation after being primarily monophasic for over 3 years – I was fully adapted in 4 days as I just described. I used it again for two other adaptations after needing to be temporarily monophasic for 2 two week periods. Those adaptations were both completed after 2 days. No zombie periods, but it was tricky to be 100% on the schedule during the first 2 days – clear your schedule before beginning this! ”

    Source (check the comment zone): http://www.puredoxyk.com/index.php/2011/05/15/cool-idea-the-naptation/

  6. Caroline Middlebrook Reply

    This is really interesting! I am actually starting an experiment this year to transition through various sleep cycles and ultimately I would like to try to get to Dymaxion. I like the idea of just tweaking the basic schedules to suit the individual. I’m not sure how far I’ll get but I’m blogging about it at my site. Click my name if interested!

  7. Thomas Reply

    I’m considering taking to the classic dymaxion cycle, however as I’m still in schooling I would like to know how modifyable it is before it bocomes ineffective. Or does it just make it more difficult to adapt to?


  8. Colin Reply

    is the idea of this that one will adapt to enter REM almost instantly upon falling to sleep after they are used to it? because if not, wouldn’t this be incredibly dangerous on the body mind, as we need REM in order to live?

    • David Reply

      Although i am not on this schedule. Ive been operating on 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night for 2 years. When you are sleep deprived, or in my case. If i rest my head for even 5 minutes, i go straight into dreaming. When i wake up even after just 5 minutes. I feel like i slept for triple that time.
      So yes you will adapt to enter REM rapidly.

  9. MICHAEL Reply

    I have been unable to sleep more than 3 hours a night for the past 25 years. I may take a micro nap twice a day ( from a few seconds up to 4 minutes) and this allows me to continue on at 100% for a few more hours. I thought there was something wrong with me as my friends and family were concerned that I never slept and was always busy “working myself to death”
    I have held up to 3 jobs at once and worked as long as 65 hours with only short 10 minute breaks every few hours.
    I also have an incredible metabolism which has been a struggle since I am always moving. Hard to slow down to eat sometimes when your mind refuses to rest.
    Sounds great ! Right!
    Not so much…….
    I am not sure if our physical vessels are capable of duration in a non-stop environment….

  10. Suzie Reply

    Current sleep Schedule:

    10pm-12am (2 hrs)
    2 or 3am – 7am (4 hours)
    11am – 1pm (2 hours)

    Total of 8 hours

    I wish I could just sleep all night…being a stay at home mom and video editor allows me to nap, but having to wake at 7am to get the kids to school is hard. It would be more comfortable to sleep through until 10 or 11am. I wonder if there is something wrong with me? When I fall asleep it is because I have to…I crash. And I always wake up at midnight and can’t sleep until 2 or sometimes 4am. But I still get 8 hours of sleep and my best sleep is the mid-morning nap.

  11. Mario Reply

    I just adapted to this schedule and i feel awesome! I usually sleep extremely long, like until 1:30 on the afternoon. I just love to sleep 🙂
    But since i am at the university now studying the MBA program, i dont have time for my sleeping hobby anymore.
    I was always tired and groggy the first semester, and when i came home – i fell asleep immediately. I was that tired.
    I soon realised that it could not continue this way, So i started sleeping polyphasic.
    I also want to point out that im into bodybuilding, and that i have seen BETTER results now when sleeping dymaxion. This proves that the body still is able to rest to let the muscles grow.
    And just for the knowledge, the metabolism will slow down if you sleep less. I was very happy it did because i am very skinny. I am gaining weight now though.

    I will continue this sleep pattern through my hole education if i can.

  12. Trevor Reply

    Mario are you still on this schedule? Do you experience tiredness between naps? Eye problems (bloodshot, strained, blurry etc.)? Any ill effects that may indicate lack of sleep? Do you need an alarm clock and do you have to make an effort not to oversleep? How many hours did you usually sleep before you started?

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