How Long is a Sleep Cycle

The transition period from awake to sleep is called the latent period. After this transition, sleep phases begin. Sleep is divided into two periods:

A- REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movements)

This constitutes 20-25% of the total sleep time. The dream is seen during this period.

It is one of the important indicators of this period, in which the work of the brain accelerates, the speed of work of the eye muscles increases, the muscles lose their strength and the working speed of the heart increases. 30-40 minutes after falling asleep, this period passes, the rem period lasts 10-15 minutes, and the brain switches back to Nrem period.

A Rem period is repeated every 80-100 minutes. During a sleep 6-7 times, the Rem period is entered and exited. This period is quite long for children.

B- & REM (non-rem Eye Movements)

How Long is a Sleep Cycle

It is the period when there is no eye movement during sleep. It covers 75% of the total sleep time. During this period, heartbeat and respiration are slow, no muscle tone. It is divided into four phases:

  • Stage I: It constitutes 5% of the total sleep time, sleep is superficial. Brain functions are 50% less. It can take time to recover when awakened.
  • Stage II: It constitutes 45% of the total sleep time. Sleep is superficial. The heartbeat decreases, body temperature decreases, the brain is preparing for deep sleep.
  • Stage III: It constitutes 12% of the total sleep time. It is a period of deep sleep.
  • Stage IV: It constitutes 13% of the total sleep time. It is a period of deep sleep.

When the sleep phases are like this, some people who think whether we spend time unnecessarily on sleep have developed various sleep periods and tried to integrate them into their lives. These are called “polyphasic sleep”, now let’s take a look at the details of polyphasic sleep:

Polyphasic Sleep

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) is an American philosopher, engineer, architect and inventor. It is famous for inventing the famous geodesic dome and Dymaxion car, which allows to cover a space with the least amount of material. Besides his inventions, Fuller also draws attention with his interesting personality.

World renowned for his designs in the 1960s, Fuller traveled all the time. He traveled so much that he spent an average of 300 days a year in hotel rooms of the places he visited. During these periods, Fuller carried three hours simultaneously on his arm; Carbondale, where the first hour office is located, indicates the time of the region where the second hour is located, and the third hour will travel the next time.

In the 1920s, Fuller began trying a sleep pattern that Dymaxion called sleep. Fuller, inspired by the sleep pattern of some mammals such as dogs and cats; He started to sleep 30 minutes every six hours. Standing so 22 hours a day in this way, Fuller slept only two hours.

Fuller claimed that this sleep pattern kept him more effective and fit. In fact, in a statement he made in 1943, he advised the USA to apply this sleep pattern in the army, claiming that World War II would be won easily if this was done.

Fuller continued this sleep pattern for two years without interruption, but gave up on the grounds that his colleagues and customers did not comply with the sleep pattern. In fact, the reason for giving up this sleep pattern was the pressure of his wife, not his colleagues.

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about sleep is sleeping at the same time at night and sleeping for 6-8 hours. However, depending on the physical characteristics and lifestyle of the person, the sleep pattern and hours he needs may differ from each other.

Types of Sleep Cycles

When it comes to sleep patterns, many people’s perceptions are close together; Then a night’s sleep that wakes between 6-8 hours and 16-18 hours.

In fact, this is one of the 5 main sleep cycles, called monophasic (single phase) sleep cycles that have arisen since the sleep pattern began to be explored. The remaining 4 sleep cycles are polyphasic (multi-phase) sleep cycles based on short-term sleep patterns at different times during the day.

The basic and most important element of sleep cycles is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Research has proven that the positive effects of REM sleep on the brain are higher than other sleep stages.

Thanks to the state of sleeplessness in polyphasic sleep cycles, the body does not need the 45-75 minutes of sleep time it needs during the monophasic sleep cycle to move to the REM stage. Thus, you do not have to spend the extra hours required to reach REM sleep in 8 hours of sleep, you can create a more effective sleep pattern.

Polyphasic Sleep Cycles

Uberman Cycle

uberman sleep cycle
uberman sleep cycle

Uberman cycle; It is a sleep cycle that is based on sleeping every 4 hours for short periods of 20-30 minutes, 6 times a day. The Uberman cycle is an effective sleep pattern that allows you to wake up rested and have strong dreams. Some of the people who applied the Uberman cycle also stated that they had dreams they could control. However, if the sleep times are missed, a severe fatigue occurs.

Everyman Cycle

everyman cycle
everyman cycle

Everyman cycle is a cycle that is performed by supporting a long sleep with 20-30 minutes of short sleep. The most successful applications of Everyman cycle; “3 short 20-minute sleeps that support 3 hours of main sleep” and “5 short 20-minutes sleep that supports 1.5 hours of main sleep”.

Everyman cycle is a system that can be applied more easily than Uberman sleep since it does not require short sleeps to be applied at certain intervals. Practitioners have suggested that there is no negative impact on health.

Dymaxion Cycle

Inventing the Dymaxion cycle, Bucky Feller argues that there are two energy stores in our body, one of which is easy and the other is more difficult to renew. Feller, who slept every 6 hours for 30 minutes while starting to apply the method, spent his days with 2 hours of sleep.

The doctors who examined Feller, who stated that this period is the most energetic and awake period he has had in his life, did not encounter any health problems. Although it is the most difficult sleep system to apply, it is quite effective.

Two Phase Siesta Cycle

The two-phase sleep system is a sleep system that is frequently applied especially among university students. A 90-minute afternoon sleep that supports 4.5-5 hours of night sleep is the basis of the system. Two-phase sleep cycle is an easy-to-apply and more effective system than single-phase sleep.

The Best Sleep Cycle

When choosing the sleep cycle that is right for you, the issue you need to consider is your lifestyle. Whichever system you choose, you may need a period of 3 to 10 days for your body to adapt to the new sleep pattern.

When you decide to change your sleep pattern and choose one of the cycles above, the suggestions below will make it easier to adapt to the new system;

  • Take care of a healthy diet and reduce your fat consumption.
  • Find jobs that will take you a long time to stay awake when you first start your new layout.
  • Give yourself time to get used to the new order.
  • Be determined and patient. Although it takes time to adapt, it will be easier to apply after your body gets used to it.
  • Get help from natural stimuli such as sunlight or music while waking up from short sleeps.

Whatever sleep cycle you choose, the important thing is that it does not interfere with your life and does not affect your functionality negatively; the choice is up to you… I wish you a good sleep.


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