Uberman Sleep

UbermanThe Uberman Sleep Schedule (coined by Puredoxyk, the first Uberman sleeper) is a sleep schedule consisting entirely of 20 minute naps, spaced equidistant throughout the day. In its traditional form Uberman is 6 equidistant naps throughout each day.

There is nothing known about the long term health effects of being an Uberman, although there have been people who sustained the schedule for as long as a year with no serious health issues.

No one has EVER adapted to Uberman without the help of others, often in the form of a human alarm system.


A 6 nap schedule (2h total sleep) will consist of a nap every 4h, it will have a 2h BRAC and a 4h rhythm.

An 8 nap schedule (2h40min total sleep) will consist of a nap every 3h, it will have a 1.5h BRAC and a 3h rhythm.


The adaptation process for Uberman begins with 24-36h awake (or until one enters into a ‘second wind’, a rise in energy) at which point you begin taking a nap for every BRAC (1.5-2h). You might continue with this exaptation for 2-4 days until you are getting regular REM naps, or until you are no longer REM sleep deprived and unable to nap so frequently.


You may forgo the exaptation and simply go straight into the adaptation phase, as always. Nap every 3h or every 4h on the dot – depending on which rhythm you feel comfortable with.

An expectation of Uberman is to go through a most infamous ‘zombie mode’ where normal cognitive function is severely impaired (due to sleep deprivation). Starting with an exaptation may help alleviate these symptoms, and of course an 8 nap schedule will be less harsh than a 6 nap schedule to adjust to.

After this, one continues napping as your sleep cycles repartition (either on day 3, day 7, or day 10 – depends on the individual and their initiating sleep deprivation). It takes 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to the Uberman Schedule. Some people may adapt faster, but many have taken a whole month to start feeling adapted.

Whilst many people will claim that the adaptation period is finished after a month’s practice, the body will continue to ‘adjust’ to this schedule for many months as continual entrainment improves habituation. Note that usually people have habituated monophasic sleep for many, many years, and so whilst a month old Uberman should feel fairly rested and alert for about 22h a day, old mono-sleep habits still exist and it may take a long while for those to completely subside.

As habituation becomes stronger, an Uberman should gain some flexibility and be able to shift naps by an increasing amount of time without suffering from a rhythm disturbance. It becomes easier to recover from mistakes or events where naps cannot be taken when they normally would, and even occasionally a longer sleep period will usually not ruin an adapted Uberman’s schedule completely as it would have during adaptation.


Uberman Schedule is the most popular and famous of poylphasic sleep schedules because of it’s 2h sleep total. It should be noted that only about 5 percent of the population can get by just fine on six hours of sleep, so perhaps only 5% of people can do this schedule comfortably. A much higher percentage of the population may find an 8 nap schedule more sustainable, as the extra ~40 minutes sleep can make the difference between SWS deprivation and health.

Non Equidistant Uberman

Because the body gets different types of sleep at different times of the day, non-equidistant timing may be possible, and maybe even beneficial to the sustainability of the schedule. Such a schedule might be achieved by starting with an equidistant 8 nap schedule and, once adapted to it, then cutting out a late afternoon nap. After adjusting to the 7 nap schedule, once adapted to it, then cut out a late morning nap. All three (8, 7 and 6 nap schedules) should be easily transitioned between because they have the same ultradian rhythm, and they have the same nap times. This model would allow for ‘sleep ins’ (8 naps a day) and ‘work days’ (6 naps a day).


Long Naps at Night

It could potentially be beneficial to take 40 minute naps at night. SWS generally takes longer than REM to transition into because there is a difference in brain wave frequency. The body takes a while to slow down and so this is why traditional Ubermen encounter the SWS crash so quickly, they simply don’t get enough SWS in a 20 minute nap because the first 15-20 minutes is light sleep. Of course you can repartition SWS, there is no problem in that, but taking 40 minute naps at night may avoid the need to repartition SWS so harshly, and maybe even increase the overall amount of potential SWS available in the schedule (due to increasing the total sleep from 2h to 3h).

Uberman Sleep Refeeds

In some scenarios a persion adapting to the schedule will have an oversleep or ‘crash’ impending, and the best way to deal with a crash is to purposely ‘oversleep’ before the crash comes.

In other scenarios a person has adapted, and repartitioned their sleep, but they are still sleep deprived from the initial sleep deprivation stage. This is usually because they are getting enough REM and SWS to sustain their schedule, but no excess sleep and therefore not enough to recover. If they are to refeed sleep and catch up from the initial deprivation required to create enough sleep pressure to adapt, then they will regain homeostasis.

There are two notable ways to recover from sleep deprivation on a nap-only schedule, neither may be ideal, but they get the job done. They should be implemented no more than every few days, and usually started around dusk, ten hours before the crash. (assuming the crash is expected around 4am.)

First technique, a Core Refeed, is to have a 1.5h core sleep in place of a nap. It is that simple, have a core sleep between dusk and midnight, then continue to nap as per your usual schedule, napping at your next allocated nap.

Second technique, a Nap Refeed, is to start to double your napping frequency, for example if a [4/8/12] schedule Uberman may want to take extra naps at 6pm and 10pm.

These techniques basically increase the amount of SWS an Uberman can get (thus the sleep is around dusk) without disrupting adaptation too much. The more often you do this, the longer it will take to adjust to the Uberman schedule, of course it should be said doing a refeed is better than crashing as you are intelligibly managing your stress levels rather than succumbing to them.


Predicting oversleeps on a nap-only schedule:

When in a sleep deprived state, there is a balance of sleep pressures called a pressure ratio. This is a ratio of REM pressure vs SWS pressure, and as your body recovers sleep debt throughout our adaptation, the pressure ratio will change. A high ratio means REM pressure is greater than SWS, and a low pressure means SWS pressure is greater than REM pressure.

Sleep pressure is caused by glial fatigue, which is greatly increasedby CNS activity, and learning processes.

REM pressure increases when glial fatigue causes regulation of a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine (caffeine blocks this receptor site stopping that accumulation being detected). REM pressure increases with greater adenosine reception.

SWS pressure increases with a drop in membrane potential bistability. Calcium signalling is how glial cells integrate and propagate signals in the central nervous system. SWS pressure is regulated by sleep spindle occurances and periodic lowering of high frequency brain activity, and in simple terms the slowing of brain activity is a a result of nervous exhaustion (reduction in calcium uptake following chronic depolarization). The brain can perform the actions of SWS at a much lower rate than it normally does when it is awake, so SWS pressure builds more slowly than REM pressure.

Adenosine breakdown is fast during REM (and can clear in 15 minutes) so this system explains why high frequency REM sleep can be so much more refreshing than large blocks of REM as experienced by a monophasic sleeper.

The first few days of adaptation both REM and SWS pressure will rise, but the REM:SWS pressure ratio will be high when REM builds faster. As days pass and REM sleep rebounds in naps, the ratio will equalize and there may be a lulling point. Very often however, a person’s REM rebound will be so powerful that the ratio drops low and soon afterward there is a SWS rebound.

This means that you can often predict a SWS ‘oversleep’ by realising an oversleep is anticipated by a really really refreshing REM nap. You might wake up from a random nap feeling like you had a big cup of coffee… beware, as there this is evidence that the next two naps the body will try to get SWS at all costs!

 A note on nap-only rhythms

Not everyone’s rhythm’s are perfect, even when entrained. If after the first week or two you notice that one of your naps is not giving you adequate rest, or you are simply not sleeping in one of your naps, you should experiment with that nap by shifting it forward or backward 30-90 minutes to see if you sleep better having placed that nap differently. This will result in an imbalance in the equidistant nature of the schedule, but being equidistant is not as important as listening to your own body.

A note on exercise

While other schedules support exercise fine, few have been able to do proper exercise while on Uberman and still recover. It seems recovery from cardiovascular exercise is good, but weightlifting and sports can suffer from the low amount of total slow wave sleep. If you are set on weightlifting whilst Uberman, avoid traditional high volume bodybuilding routines, as the stress can cause a sharp increase in SWS pressure causing you to black out later that night. Evidence shows you might recover better from high frequency, low volume training whilst on a low sleep schedule.

A note on the 3h total sleep rule

While there is a general consensus that you will be getting less than the recommended sleep totals, it seems frequency plays a role in the total sleep requirements. It may be that sleeping so often in lowers total sleep requirements but for the moment there is no proof or mechanism explaining this.

A note on failure

Often people will try the Uberman sleep schedule only to fail and give up polyphasic sleep completely. There is no reason you cannot move from being an Uberman to any other schedule that shares your Uberman rhythm! Many people have first started on Uberman only to transfer to Everyman and be incredibly successful with their new schedule. In fact it is recommended that people aiming for an Everyman schedule give Uberman a go before commencing, as Uberman has such a regulating effect on sleep, the entrainment is very beneficial for those wanting to do a milder schedule in the long term.

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48 comments on “Uberman Sleep”

  1. vlor Reply

    Even though this is an overview I’d thought I’d point out that Naptation isn’t every 2 or 3 hours, it is precisely 2 hours and 40 minutes, last time I spoke with Forevernade.

  2. Nade Reply

    Since receiving some feedback, and based on my own experience, I think exactly 2h would be best suited for a traditional 6 nap schedule, 1h45 would be best for a 7 nap schedule, and exactly 1.5h for an 8 nap schedule. If you are to nap every 2h40 you would be able to sustain a 9 nap schedule, but it would not have very good ‘rhythmic transfer’ to other schedules.

    • Glaz Reply

      I am thinking of starting my naptation next week!
      Do you think the 8 nap uberman schedule could also be a form of naptation for the tesla schedule? (a sort of double naptation to adapt to such an extreme schedule?)

  3. Nade Reply

    It might be worth talking about diet, such as vegan.
    Also talk about how you cannot do any real hard exercise while on 2h sleep a day.

    • abraxas Reply

      “It might be worth talking about diet, such as vegan.”
      It might not, ultimately each individual should be the one to decide their eating habits.

      “you cannot do any real hard exercise while on 2h sleep a day.”
      Exercise is essentially adaptation to repetition and thus your body would get used to it if you eased into it. For the sake merely of using energy as opposed to lifting this should not logically be an issue as you use more energy in general when awake than when asleep.

      This article was solid enough on its own in my opinion.

      • Random Lifter Reply

        “Exercise is essentially adaptation to repetition and thus your body would get used to it if you eased into it.”

        Except all excercise done with purpose (aka called training) aims to progressively overload each work-out. Whether its cardio or weight-lifting. You want it so that your body DOESN’T get used to your workouts to maximize the efficiency of your training and continue to see improvements. You take something from your body that it isn’t willing to give you each training session. That’s the intensity required to see real results.

        And that requires adequate resting periods. These ultra-low sleep schedules just don’t work at _all_ if you train.

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  14. Spud Reply

    This wouldn’t be applicable to people who have 8-10hour office or labor intensive jobs because they can’t sleep while on the job.

    • UsedTampon Reply

      No shit…it’s meant mainly for “self-employed” or entrepreneur types that want to use as many of the 24 hours they can

      • Nope Reply

        Not true, as most jobs allow employees a 30 minute break per 8 hours of work

        • Bryan

          They allow the break but they wont keep you long if you “sleep on the job” even if its just through breaktime. I personally had a fruit pack-house position that was 10 hours a day, a 15 min break and a 30 min lunch. slept through my lunch breaks and just ate what I would lunch wise during my morning break. 2 weeks in and HR calls me in stating that “the fact you ‘sleep on the job’ was affecting morale.” Had to go back to a regular sleepcycle, pump my ass full of energy drinks and just had a fuckin sour demeanor throughout my time there. Ironically the fact I cursed like a sailor and the fact I was one surly SoaB after going back to a regular sleepcycle somehow didnt “affect morale.” Cunts.

    • Steve Reply

      A nap is usually about 20 minutes, but if you were to do 30, than only four naps would be needed. It’s up to you, whichever seems more comfortable. I personally prefer the 30 minute schedule, as I get more REM sleep per nap.

      • Bryan Reply

        I personally find that functioning on 4 hour long naps spaced evenly throughout the day works best for me when I havent got time constraints screwing with that kind of sleep schedule. Then again I’m a weirdo that doesnt feel rested without 10 hours on a monophasic sleep cycle.

  15. Mateo Reply

    the issue is: where to sleep. At work there is no place do to it, at college neither. In vocations if i go travel it is difficult to find a place to sleep while you are visiting famous places. You could not get far away from the hotel.

  16. Lacy Reply

    Hello, I was just curious if with your Uberman Sleep shudles if you noticed changes acidemicly in the way you work or learn. I’m doing so research on sleep shudles and if kids actually need 8 or more hours of sleep. If you could help me that would be great, Thanks!

    • Paul Reply

      Lacy hi, i have just posted a comment about my sleep. It may be of benefit to both of us to get contact, PAUL

  17. Paul Reply

    Wow, this is surprising, i just stumbled across this tonight. Since suffering a brain injury 4 years ago i have been in the uberman sleep cycle without knowing. I sleep between 15 and 30 minutes at a time 4 times a day. Believe me this is not voluntary, i’m just unable to sleep normally. I had no idea and have not heard of this before now. The medical profession cannot or will not help, sleeping pills have no affect other than putting me in a foul mood. Now i know what i have read tonight I will lock myself into a regular six hour routine and try to make the best of it.

  18. Rola no Cú Assado Reply

    Many people says that these kind of things such as polyphasic sleep is suicide. I prefer to live less like a king than to live more as a serve.

    • GeoNOregon Reply

      I have. I have been on a 4 x 6 hr daily sleep schedule for around 20 years. I only learned about polyphasic pattern yesterday. I had never explored the Internet for alternative sleep patterns.

      I am ecstatic about the benefits of polyphasic sleep. I’m 65, in nearly the best physical condition I’ve been in, in my life, and I was a college and professional athlete. I work on my house, cars, equipment, fabricate, repair 98% of the stuff I own… actually, 100%, with a re- think.

      My chronic pain is so much less, I have great energy, get lots done, work a 12 hr day like I was 30.

      Other things contribute, but the polyphasic sleep schedule is the heart of it all, and enables everything else.

      Cheers, and best wishes.


  19. It’s easy Reply

    It’s bull I’ve done this most my life 2 to 4 hours sleep a day, but I didn’t try to do this schedule. I don’t know y My body has done this, to me it’s normal. I can’t remember when I slept 4 to 6 hours strait.

  20. Alexander Reply

    Hi guys, I’m on day 5 of my adaptation phase using the uberman sleep schedule.
    I first began with a naptation phase, because I heard it was easier. So I didn’t slept for 36 hours and then had a 25 minutes nap every 2-3 hours. Sometimes I was really tired and slept 2 hours after a nap, and other times I could stand 3 hours without a nap.
    I was beginning to feel better after a nap. The only thing is I feel my muscles are really tired, like they aren’t recovering. Can someone relate to it? Or tell me what I can do about it?

    Today I crashed hard. Yesterday because I finally was feeling better after the naps I decided to sleep for an hour so that my muscles could recover. That was my idea, I thought after this hour I will feel great. So after I can switch to the normal uberman schedule were you sleep every 4 hours. So after the 1-hour nap, I didn’t feel better and my muscles still were tired. Nevertheless, I switched to the normal uberman schedule. After 4 hours I took my nap and was reeeeally tired, I could barely stay awake. I washed my head with cold water, which normally makes me fully awake. But it didn’t work. I could even think normal. It was really bad. I slept I think another hour in naps that I added, and now I sleep every 3 hours. I just woke up from my second nap since I crashed and feel rested. But my muscles still are tired and I feel how they become more and more tired. I don’t know what to do…can anybody give me a tip or something???

  21. Jonathan Reply

    Hey Alexander!

    I heard it would helpful to sleep 30 mins, wake up for30 mins – repeated durring normal night hours for the first day.

    Next day, 30 min sleeps, 1 hrs awake, repeated,

    And keep adding a little more time between naps till you reach 4 hrs segments. It’s much easier to succeed this way. ( or so I’ve heard )

  22. Rob Reply

    Would it be possible to do a more than listed sleep amount in order to recover muscles better? I lift weights and I usually have a full rest day in between lift days, so if I were to implement the Uberman Sleeps, I think I would need like a 3-4 hour sleep total per day for my muscles to really recover. Any opinions or tips?

  23. Shivam Reply

    I’m going to try and adapt the Uberman (U8) w/40m night naps. Im going straight to the adaptation phase, the exaptation phase doesn’t look so good to me.
    In this way I will get 3hrs and 40 min of sleep every 24 hrs that’s 5 20 min naps and 3 40 min naps at night. I think it should work. And I do not think sleep depriving yourself for 24 to 36 hrs before starting your new sleep cycle is a good idea

  24. Mths Reply

    There’s a recent article by Mark Manson addressing the Uberman Sleep Schedule and what it says about the way we want to discipline ourselves. Very interesting. markmanson.net/self-discipline-youre-doing-it-wrong

  25. Daniel Reply

    Going to have to test this. I’m one of those people that sleep about 5-6 hours every night, so this might work for me.

  26. oxygène Reply

    I adapted the 4h just fine with minimum problem in 5 days, but although I didn’t feel tired anymore I didn’t get any rem and now I can’t even nap anymore I’ve been entirely awake for 2 days and although I don’t feel tired I’m not in the mood for anything (probably due to depression caused by rem deprivation) what should I do? I did it to get more rem and because I was in a hurry for a programming project.

  27. Hayao Miyazaki Reply

    GeoNOregon, I don’t get it. How many times and how long do you sleep? Do you sleep a total of 6 hours a day with 4 1.5 hour naps?

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