Originally Posted by ViceVirtue
Hi all. Could someone comment on the amount of impact missing a nap will have while on a biphasic schedule? Or perhaps how closely a nap can come to the main sleep and yet still be effective (e.g. nap at 11pm-12:30am, sleep 2am-6:30am)?
I'm interested in trying this out, but I know that I will not be able to accomodate a nap in the evenings every single night. I'd say at least once or twice a week I'm involved in activities after work and do not get home until 9-10pm. Most days, I am home by 6pm and would expect to begin a nap by 6:30-7ish.
Just trying to gauge how sensitive one might be to varying the schedule. Would you recommend biphasic sleeping if you were me, or is this only for someone with a very consistent schedule?
The impact of missing a nap - or any change to your routine for that matter - is much more noticeable during the adaptation phase (the first week or so, while your body gets used to the new routine) than it is later on. If you can't take the 90 minute nap at your usual time, try a couple of short ones (15-20 minutes or so) at other points in the day. Or simply revert to monophasic for a night (warning: you'll need a lot more total sleep this way. It isn't simply a matter of adding your nap length to the end of the core sleep period, it'll be core sleep + at least double the nap length).
As for having a consistent schedule - it helps, but it certainly isn't essential. Just try to get it as close as possible (at least for the first week).
A quick thought on the closeness of the nap to the core sleep : it probably varies from person to person, but in my case the refreshed feeling after taking a nap lasts for about 5 hours. Moving the nap closer than this to the core sleep period doesn't yield any benefit, but it doesn't hurt either. Moving it further away didn't work in my case (I was getting tired well before my scheduled core sleep began); but it's OK for an occasional day. Just not as part of a regular routine.