As we've read in chapter five, our sleep cycle consists of five stages. This sleep cycle, which repeats approximately every ninety minutes, consists of non-REM sleep (stages 1 - 4) and REM sleep (stage 5). REM sleep is the deepest period of sleep throughout this progression and is essential to our health. We cycle back to the REM stage about five or six times throughout the course of the night, encompassing about an hour in its entirety. If the REM stage is so important to our health, is there a way to take full advantage of this portion, and lessen our amount of non-REM sleep?
The typical person sleeps for hours at a time, but the Uberman's Sleep Schedule, however, views sleep on a different timetable. Spaced evenly throughout the day, Uberman's method states that sleeping six times a day for twenty to thirty minutes at a time is a sufficient amount of rest. Granted, one must immediately skip from stage one to stage five, the REM stage. Training one's body to enter REM sleep instantly is done under conditions of sleep deprivation, and is typically mastered over the course of a week. Under this method, it is believed one's body still benefits from healthy sleep, but can be active twenty-one to twenty-two hours out of the day. Vivid dreams are a key characteristic specific to the REM stage, and occur frequently within Uberman's routine.
The capabilities of the human brain amaze me. Sleeping for two hours a day seems extreme, but by applying definitions and concepts learned from our text, I can comprehend how this is possible. Though long-term health risks are still unknown and under investigation, the claims that people can survive on such a minimal amount of sleep and still feel rejuvenated when they wake up is fascinating. Clearly it truly is possible to maximize vital stages of sleep, and efficiently nap our time away.