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From Polyphasic Sleep

The Uberman Sleep Schedule (AKA "Uberman's sleep schedule" [1][2]) is a polyphasic sleep schedule that consists of six naps of about 20 minutes each (possibly as little as 15 minutes after sufficient adaptation, and possible as much as 30 minutes, depending on the individual). These six naps are spaced evenly throughout the day -- i.e., about every four hours. For this reason, the schedule has also been called equihexaphasic.

The term "Uberman" was coined by Puredoxyk and first appeared on the Web in her post to everything2.com. PureDoxyK reports having pursued this schedule with a partner, after which she recruited a group of friends into the practice. However, it's unclear whether they called it "Uberman" at the time (1998-99) or whether she came up with the term afterward; the everything2 post was made in December 2000, well after full-time work had forced her to end the practice.

To date, probably the most well-known successful practitioner of Uberman as such (i.e., using the term "Uberman") was on-line self-help guru Steve Pavlina, who stayed on the schedule for 5-1/2 months in 2005-6. Probably the most well-known failure with the practice under any name (in this case, "da Vinci") is fictional: Kramer, on the sitcom Seinfeld, in the 1996 episode, The Friar's Club. [3]

The first laboratory studies of this sort of schedule predated the PureDoxyK account, and were conducted by Claudio Stampi, who used Francesco Jost as a test subject, and allowed 30 minute naps. The first significant anecdotal report of this sort of equihexaphasic schedule was from Giancarlo Sbragia, who reported 15-minute naps after full adjustment, decades before Stampi's experiments. There is no apparent foundation for the frequent claim that da Vinci used this sort of schedule.


1 - "Uberman's Sleep Schedule" on Wikipedia

2 - "Polyphasic Sleep" on Wikipedia

3 - In the episode, Kramer describes the schedule as 20 minutes every three hours, so strictly speaking, he wasn't attempting Uberman.