When you own a business, it’s important to take care of yourself, including protecting your sleep schedule. Yet what that schedule should look like depends upon a variety of factors, including your personality, your work hours, and family commitments.
Many business owners try to live by Benjamin Franklin’s adage about “early to bed, early to rise…” Yet it’s not the only path to success in your personal and professional lives.
Let’s explore some popular alternatives to monophasic sleeping.
There are two main methods of implementing a biphasic sleeping schedule: (1) the Night Owl; and (2) the Siesta.
The Night Owl Sleep Schedule
Adopting the biphasic Night Owl schedule is fairly easy to do. You’ll divide your night’s sleep into two parts with a productive work or exercise session in between.
For example, let’s say you sleep from 8 p.m. to midnight. When you get up after these four hours, you’ll work and/or exercise for 2-3 hours before going back to bed for the remaining 3-4 hours of your nightly sleep.
This method can be effective if you need some quiet creative time alone while your kids are sleeping. Or you struggle to find time during the day to exercise because of your work commitments.
The Siesta Method
When I was younger living in Mexico, this biphasic sleeping model became an enjoyable habit. During the afternoon, everything would shut down for 2-3 hours. We’d go home to eat lunch and take a nap (siesta) of up to an hour before returning to work refreshed.
By taking a siesta, you’ll find you’re more productive when returning to work in the afternoon. To be sure, it may not be possible to close your doors midday for lunch and siesta time. However, someone else can manage your business while you’re taking a few hours to refresh.
Adopting a polyphasic schedule of 3 or more daily sleep sessions fits few business owner schedules but some people swear by this method.
At the extreme end of polyphasic sleeping is the Uberman Sleep Schedule where you break out your sleep into either 6 (every 4 hours) or 8 (every 3 hours) 20-minute naps around the clock. This is significantly less total sleep than you’ll get through monophasic or biphasic methods. However, some contend you’re still refreshed because of the frequency of the naps.
Uberman polyphasic sleeping is most popular with college students and young tech entrepreneurs in their mid-20s who have time management flexibility. However, as one ages, it’s tough to maintain this type of schedule because of physical limitations, work, and family obligations. Even if you’re young, this method is difficult to implement if you drink lots of caffeine (e.g. coffee) that prevents napping.
Monophasic Plus Method
If you’re unable or unwilling to change your sleep cycles, consider doing the following tweak instead. Maintain your single block of nightly sleep (e.g. 7 to 9 hours). Then take a 20 to 30 minute nap sometime in the afternoon.
You’ll discover this extra little bit of sleep will make a difference in your work productivity and how you feel at the end of the day.
And you won’t be the only person who does this.
History is filled with business titans (e.g. Thomas Edison) who took naps as-needed rather than work while tired. And if you look around today, chances are you’ll find others who are napping during part of their lunch breaks or disappearing to parts unknown (e.g. their cars, a local park, etc.) for a quick snooze sometime during the afternoon.
Switching Sleeping Methods
Remember that you’re experimenting with different sleep schedules with the goal of improving your business and personal lives. Chances are you won’t pick the one method that works best for you at first. Test and see.
And understand that you can transition from one method to another as your circumstances change. For example, the Siesta Method worked well for me in my early 20s. And I even tried a modified Uberman schedule in my early 30s.
What Method Do I Use?
However, these days a Biphasic Plus hybrid works best for me (your experience may vary).
This means I get up as a Night Owl and work for several hours on creative projects (e.g. writing books), including recently updating the forms generated by Website Legal Forms Generator. And I take a catnap mid-afternoon so that I’m refreshed to finish work and spend time with family in the evening.