If you’re anything like us, you consider sleep to be a holy, critical, much-anticipated, sacrosanct nightly ritual. If you’re Leonardo da Vinci or Nikola Tesla, you consider it wasted time. Blasphemy, we know.
Allegedly, the two stuck to a sleep schedule that is so aggressive, you’ll get exhausted just thinking about it. Thanks, but no thanks.
You’re Getting Very, Very Sleepy
While napping stations are all the rage in trendy millennial workspaces (naps work, people!), mid-day sleeps are not a new concept at all. In fact, it was common for people in the pre-Industrial age used to break up their night’s sleep into segments: “first sleep” and “second sleep.” But, as legend has it, some of history’s greatest thinkers took that a step further.
Anyone Got a Red Bull?
This cycle consists of taking six 20-minute naps, evenly distributed, throughout your day. Continue indefinitely. According to the Polyphasic Society, you can adjust the system in a non-equidistant way to fit your needs. For da Vinci’s possible adoption of this practice, Claudio Stampi writes in his 1992 book, “Why We Nap”: “One of his secrets, or so it has been claimed, was a unique sleep formula: he would sleep 15 minutes out of every four hours, for a daily total of only 1.5 hours of sleep. Therefore, it appears he was able to gain an extra six productive hours a day. By following this unique regimen, he ‘gained’ an additional 20 years of productivity during his 67 years of life.”