Polyphasic Sleep

Dymaxion Sleep

By Nade

Dymaxion is one of the most formidable sleep schedules on the market.

It’s predicted that only the genetically mutated DEC2 gene ‘very short sleepers’ can be successful following such a schedule because people with this gene are able to sleep only 4 hours monophasically, which is a considerable feat on its own. These people do not suffer from sleep deprivation because their sleep compression and sleep quality are naturally so good! The whole idea of a reduced sleep schedule is to improve sleep compression and sleep quality, so that one may get all the normal deep sleep and REM sleep on less total sleep, just like a DEC2 mutant. Unfortunately, it is estimated less than 1% of the world population has this gene.

Now although it has the same total sleep hours as Uberman (2h-3h), it is not as sustainable because it lacks some advantages of Uberman. There seems to be a frequency advantage to Uberman whereby small amounts of frequent REM can greatly reduce sleep pressure compared to one large chunk of REM. A larger amount of less frequent, REM (like in Dymaxion) is basically less effective at reducing sleep pressure building up over the day, which is why fatigue may build more throughout the day for a Dymaxion sleeper compared to an Uberman sleeper.

Whilst the most noticeable effect of the mutated DEC2 is more REM and SWS, and less LNREM, there is also the fact that these people can get by with less frequent REM without any effect on their sleep pressure. This is an effect of their circadian rhythm, something we do not yet know how to alter.

The Dymaxion schedule was coined by Buckminster Fuller and involves sleeping 4 times a day for 30 minutes. The chances are that he indeed had this gene mutation, and could get by on very very little sleep. Along with his incredible passion for learning and engineering, his busy mind would have never been bored, and so never succumbed to a fatigued state induced by boredom.

Classically, the schedule stands as 4x30min naps.


…but as we see more people adapt to different schedules we see that even Ultradian centric schedules have some kind of shift due to daylight and night darkness. This may manifest as slightly longer sleeps at night and slightly shorter in the afternoons, so predicting a version realistic Dymaxion schedule we can look at something like this…


This article is not to detract people from experimenting with this schedule but is to inform them so they can make the right choice for their lifestyle. It would certainly be amazing to find another person who has the passion, drive, and sleeping pattern as Buckminster Fuller!

Comments (18)

  1. Sorry for my (almost a year) late answer.
    Hi Trevor!
    To beginn with, i was a very lazy guy before. I have allways had insomnia because of my too high brain activity. I laid awake for hours at night, trying to solve the worlds biggest problems (creating new society structures, politics, starting businesses, solving problems in technology, philosophy etc).
    When i finally fell asleep, i could sleep for 10-12 hours straight without a problem. Sometimes longer. Just like my sibling.
    The days where short, and i was always down for a nap.

    When i adapted, i did not get any ill effects except dry eyes. I bought a handheld humidifier which i filled with lens-liquid to solve the problem. I steamed my eyes with it when i woke up, and the burnings stopped. I have allways had dryer eyes because i wear lenses, so i dont know if you guys will experience that.

    Something else i noticed;
    You know this gross “sleep mucus” you get in your eyes when you get tired or when you wake up? I noticed that it went away a couple of months after te adaptation.

    I have only a few times felt tired between my naps, and my guess is that it was because i ate sugar those times.
    I still need an alarm clock to wake me up, else i will oversleep. Defenitely. Dreaming and snoozing is still something i could do all day long. I so miss that….

    I have been on this schedule since i February 2018, with an exception during June this summer.

  2. I guess I have the mutant gene because I’m only 3 days into dymaxion and I’m functional enough.

    Some of you seem to be overcomplicating it, unless I do have the mutant gene- all I did was stay up at night for a few nights, take a nap in the daytime once for a couple days (basically let your energy guide your sleep schedule, if you’re not tired at night, stay up, can use a quick nap? Take one) Once you’re sleep deprived and out of schedule enough to start a nap in under 10 minutes, you should be ready to start Dymaxion. That’s all I did. Im not doing an exact 6 hour interval or doing exact 30 min, in fact yesterday I even skipped my mid day nap for work. 3 days into it feels like I get 4 little 6 hour days out of every 1 day. I am a bit cranky and slightly drowsy, but physically I have enough energy to walk a few miles if I wanted.

  3. Mario are you still on this schedule? Do you experience tiredness between naps? Eye problems (bloodshot, strained, blurry etc.)? Any ill effects that may indicate lack of sleep? Do you need an alarm clock and do you have to make an effort not to oversleep? How many hours did you usually sleep before you started?

  4. Hello!
    I just adapted to this schedule and i feel awesome! I usually sleep extremely long, like until 1:30 on the afternoon. I just love to sleep :)
    But since i am at the university now studying the MBA program, i dont have time for my sleeping hobby anymore.
    I was always tired and groggy the first semester, and when i came home – i fell asleep immediately. I was that tired.
    I soon realised that it could not continue this way, So i started sleeping polyphasic.
    I also want to point out that im into bodybuilding, and that i have seen BETTER results now when sleeping dymaxion. This proves that the body still is able to rest to let the muscles grow.
    And just for the knowledge, the metabolism will slow down if you sleep less. I was very happy it did because i am very skinny. I am gaining weight now though.

    I will continue this sleep pattern through my hole education if i can.

  5. Current sleep Schedule:

    10pm-12am (2 hrs)
    2 or 3am – 7am (4 hours)
    11am – 1pm (2 hours)

    Total of 8 hours

    I wish I could just sleep all night…being a stay at home mom and video editor allows me to nap, but having to wake at 7am to get the kids to school is hard. It would be more comfortable to sleep through until 10 or 11am. I wonder if there is something wrong with me? When I fall asleep it is because I have to…I crash. And I always wake up at midnight and can’t sleep until 2 or sometimes 4am. But I still get 8 hours of sleep and my best sleep is the mid-morning nap.

  6. I have been unable to sleep more than 3 hours a night for the past 25 years. I may take a micro nap twice a day ( from a few seconds up to 4 minutes) and this allows me to continue on at 100% for a few more hours. I thought there was something wrong with me as my friends and family were concerned that I never slept and was always busy “working myself to death”
    I have held up to 3 jobs at once and worked as long as 65 hours with only short 10 minute breaks every few hours.
    I also have an incredible metabolism which has been a struggle since I am always moving. Hard to slow down to eat sometimes when your mind refuses to rest.
    Sounds great ! Right!
    Not so much…….
    I am not sure if our physical vessels are capable of duration in a non-stop environment….

  7. Although i am not on this schedule. Ive been operating on 3 to 4 hours of sleep per night for 2 years. When you are sleep deprived, or in my case. If i rest my head for even 5 minutes, i go straight into dreaming. When i wake up even after just 5 minutes. I feel like i slept for triple that time.
    So yes you will adapt to enter REM rapidly.

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