Olympians Are Polyphasic Sleepers

Olympic champs are trained to take quick naps before competition

I am a polyphasic sleeper, meaning I structure my sleep schedule to maximize my sleep efficiency by structuring several naps through the day. Turns out that Olympians do the same.

I take naps in cars often. Apparently, just like Michael Phelps.

I take naps in cars often. Apparently, just like Michael Phelps.

When I’m most disciplined, I get four hours of sleep per 24 hour cycle. This allows for 28 more hours of productive awake time per week. I have adjusted this more radical sleep schedule to add two hours per night and a reduction of one nap per day (down to two). In all, I get 6 hours and 20 minutes of sleep per 24 hour cycle. Still, this is an additional 12 hours of productivity per week.

Read about this schedule my article My Fascinating 4-hour Sleep Schedule.

Olympians need more rest, I imagine. A sleep startup called Casper has been dedicated to quality sleep with their new kind of memory foam mattresses. They’ve been sharing the following chart and saying, “Sleep and performance go hand in hand, whether it’s just staying productive throughout the day, or competing at the highest level.” Notice the bottom part of this chart:


Key note: “Quick naps are important, too — especially before a competition.”

I cannot tell you how many times a quick nap snaps me to attention. Friends and work associates may find pushing through the drowsy part of the day productive, but I beg to differ. Training your body to lay the head down and take a 20 minute nap will help your productivity…especially before a competition.