After beginning to use this app last night, reading this article, and finally this article, I have resolved to adopt an Uberman sleep schedule, which consists of six 20 minute naps throughout the day. I also just read this article.
On second thought, I have doubts about the efficacy of polyphasic sleeping, and this quote from the last article (Wikipedia) confirms this:
Critics such as Piotr Woźniak consider the theory behind severe reduction of total sleep time by way of short naps unsound, claiming that there is no brain control mechanism that would make it possible to adapt to the “multiple naps” system. They say that the body will always tend to consolidate sleep into at least one solid block, and they express concern that the ways in which the ultrashort nappers attempt to limit total sleep time, restrict time spent in the various stages of the sleep cycle, and disrupt their circadian rhythms, will eventually cause them to suffer the same negative effects as those with other forms of sleep deprivation and circadian rhythm sleep disorders, such as decreased mental and physical ability, increased stress and anxiety, and a weakened immune system. Woźniak further claims to have scanned the blogs of polyphasic sleepers and found that they have to choose an “engaging activity” again and again just to stay awake and that polyphasic sleep does not improve one’s learning ability or creativity.
Now, I consider meditation to be a very important part of my life, and I imagine that having a polyphasic sleep cycle would not be conducive to having a meditative life. Imagine trying to sit and meditate, only to start falling asleep after a short period of time! Therefore, I think I’ll stick to single phase sleeping for the time being, at least until I have more evidence one way or another.
I think perhaps a more intuitive way of managing sleep is to minimise activity and exposure to light at night. If the body then needs sleep, let it sleep, and if it doesn’t need sleep, then wake up.