How to get by on two hours of sleep a night

Before the advent of artificial light, most people slept in two chunks each night of four hours each, with an hour of wakefulness in-between. That’s also a biphasic system. Then there is polyphasic sleep. This is sleeping for different periods and amounts of time throughout the day.

Certain paragons of history slept this way including Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Franz Kafka, Winston Churchill, and Thomas Edison, among others. The idea gained popularity in the 1970’s and 80’s among the scientific community. Buckminster Fuller, a famous American inventor, architect, and philosopher of the 1900’s, championed this kind of slumber. He branded his version Dymaxion sleep.

Here, you take a half hour nap every six hours and sleep a total of just two hours per night. Swiss artist Francesco Jost practiced it for 49 days straight once, while observed by Italian neurologist Claudio Stampi. At first, Jost had trouble adjusting. But soon after, he was able to make it work with few side effects. He did have trouble waking at times, however. But the artist gained five more hours each day.