The Matt Walker Podcast

#57 - Polyphasic Sleep

September 25, 2023 Dr. Matt Walker Episode 57
The Matt Walker Podcast
#57 - Polyphasic Sleep
Show Notes

In this engaging podcast episode, Matt delves into the world of polyphasic sleep – the practice of dividing sleep into multiple short naps throughout the day. The episode starts by exploring the historical origins of polyphasic sleep, from the concept of phases within a 24-hour sleep cycle to the motivations behind adopting unconventional sleep patterns for increased productivity.

Matt explains various polyphasic sleep schedules, such as the Uberman, Everyman, and Triphasic schedules, which involve segmented sleep periods interspersed with short naps. While proponents claim benefits like enhanced sleep quality, improved brain function, and better health, Walker breaks down the scientific evidence to reveal a different reality. Multiple studies suggest that polyphasic sleep doesn't offer the promised benefits. Instead, it often leads to disrupted sleep stages, impaired cognitive function, mood decline, and adverse effects on health, including blood sugar and cardiovascular issues.

In conclusion, Matt emphasizes the importance of prioritizing traditional, consolidated sleep patterns and warns against the potential pitfalls of attempting to hack the sleep cycle. While individual experiences may vary, the weight of scientific evidence suggests that polyphasic sleep might be more of a sleep-hacking myth than a genuine solution for better health and productivity.

Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way. 

The good people at InsideTracker are one of the sponsors of this week's episode, and they are generously offering a special 25% off any one of their programs for anyone who uses the above link during the time window of this episode. InsideTracker is a personalized biometric platform that analyzes your blood and your DNA to better understand what's happening inside of you and offers suggestions regarding things that you can do to better try and adjust some of those numbers, optimize them, and, as a result, optimize you.

Another sponsor this week is the biochemical electrolyte drink company LMNT, and they are very kindly offering eight free sample packs when you purchase any one of their orders at LMNT is an electrolyte sports drink that I can get behind - it's created from the basis of science, and it has no sugar, no coloring, and no artificial ingredients – all qualities that are so important to maintaining your blood biochemical balance. If you want to give LMNT a try, just head on over to and get your eight free samples with your first purchase. 

Further reading if desired

Scientific  of polyphasic sleep:

As always, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out to Matt on Instagram.