The everyman 3 schedule was named and coined by Puredoxyk along with the Uberman schedule (although the Uberman technically came first). The original schedule was a 3-hour core and 3 x 20 min naps spread equidistant throughout the day but have since been refined to a 3.5-hour core and 3 x 20 min naps spread throughout the day according to natural drops in our alertness that are dictated by our Circadian and Ultradian rhythms.
The circadian clock in your brain is based on cues from your retina and cues from your liver and many other places. Your body can detect night and day very easily, and partitions types of sleep into certain periods in the 24h clock. It increases SWS pressure in the evenings from about 3 pm to midnight, then it starts reversing back the other way to increase REM pressure from 3 am to midday. This means you will get more delta band activity in your brain when you sleep early around dusk, and you will get the most REM around dawn.
Having a morning core (like 3 am-6.30 am) is not so good, because it is unlikely you will get quality SWS in your core period (as temporary circadian REM pressure is high at this time).
It is best to time your core so that you wake up as your second REM period for the night ends (two sleep cycles). This means a 3.5-hour core is more ideal than a 3-hour core for most people, as according to most textbook sleep stage charts the second chunk of REM starts just after the 3h mark, and ends just before the 3.5h mark.
One good example schedule:
4.10 am nap
8.10 am nap
2.40 pm nap
If you wake up from your core sleep early at the 3-hour mark before your alarm, get up because this means your two cycles have finished and you will enter back into SWS for the 3.5-hour mark if you go back to sleep. It may be beneficial at the start of your adaptation to have two alarms, one at 3 hours and one at 3.5 hours because if your 3-hour alarm goes off and you are in SWS you will automatically turn it off and go back to bed (zombie mode).
If you are organizing your own schedule according to these rules here are a few things to follow:
Core Sleep as close to post-dusk as your schedule can bear. Ideally one would core sleep a few hours after dark, though it is understandable that this is unrealistic for some people. Note that: if you are worried about an early core impinging on your social schedule, placing your core early for most of the week (sun-thurs) and having a later core sleep on the weekends is better than having a consistently late core. You can always have a stimulant on the weekends when you normally core, or have a short core early before you go out.
Nap at the end of a BRAC multiple when you should be feeling sleepy, not in the middle of a BRAC when you are likely most awake.
A balanced schedule will generally lengthen gaps over time, as it is easier to stay awake later in the afternoon than in the morning.
You can see that the nap times are not actually equidistant, but for the reasons stated above, it is actually optimal not to have an equidistant schedule, and optimal to not nap too late in the day. The closer to dusk, the less REM you will likely get in a nap.
For those who are less awake at the start of the day…
Flexibility and altering E3:
If a situation appears and you cannot nap according to plan on occasion, then there should be several alternatives listed below.
The idea is to have to use the stable schedule 95% of the time, and miss naps as little as possible.
Avoid this completely if at all possible
In response to a question about missing a core in Skellig’s thread, here is a model for the occasion where you would miss a core because you are out partying, of course, you might decide to just get as much sleep as you can from your 3rd nap until you go out instead.
Basically, you would wake up from your core as per usual, have three naps, then your core shortly before going out, then stay up for the night until your normal morning nap, then continue your schedule as usual. Remember these circumstantial schedules are all for an established E3er, and not for someone mid-way through adaptation.
This is a catch-up sleep schedule, for when you are feeling like utter shit (maybe for after a night out, or in adaptation.
Some people simply require more sleep than others. Rather than having a longer core, make one of your naps longer, this means having a 3.5h core, and a 40 minute 1st nap or second nap.
Deciding on your own Schedule
Everyman can be considered both an ultradian centric and circadian centric schedule. Forevernade’s exact core and nap times above are therefore the standard for optimal sleep, but definitely not the only way you can structure E3.
There will be higher pressure at people’s ‘personal dusk’ and ‘personal dawn’ times, meaning ‘circadian placement’ of naps within those dawn/dusk times will often result in better quality naps than perfectly rhythmic placed naps. For example, you may find taking a rhythmically placed nap should be at 4 am and 8 am, but circadian placed naps at 4 am and 6.30 am results in less light sleep and more REM, and in that case, you should nap then.
Individual schedules will be different from person to person, based on social and work needs. There are as many people taking their core sleep at midnight as there are people taking early cores. When altering the schedule though, it is still important to keep a rhythm between naps until you can work out your optimal (circadian) nap placement, otherwise, it may be difficult to fall asleep at your scheduled nap times.
Once you’ve designed the schedule that fits best with your lifestyle, we can move on to the actual adaptation process.
There are 2 main methods of adaptation to the Everyman 3 schedule.
One of these methods, and often considered the most effective method, is attempting to do Uberman for as long as you can, then falling back on E3 when you can do Uberman no longer.
The Uberman-way has been refined into a method called Exaptation (formerly adaptation). Basically you don’t sleep for a considerable amount of time, like 24h to induce sleep deprivation, then go on a nap-only schedule so your body has to start repartitioning your sleep to be able to fit REM (and SWS) into 20-25 minute long blocks. You do this for a couple of days, maybe for a week, and then gradually go for your target schedule. For example, you could do naps every 2h. After a few days, you skip every second nap resulting in napping every 4h. Introduce a 3.5h, replacing two naps and deleting one, and keep only the 3 naps you planned for your final schedule. This method provides a shorter (but also a bit harder) adaptation period as you’ll learn to nap more quickly.
The other method is to go transition from monosleep to segmented sleep (3.5h+3.5h), to dual-core sleep (3.5h+1.5h+nap) with the midday nap when one of your E3 naps will be, then to transition to E3 (3.5h+3xnap). Doing this will allow you to practice waking up after 3.5h no matter what, as all three schedules have a 3.5h first core. This method takes much longer because the sleep repartitioning is slower, but it is much easier than going the Uberman route.
A lot of people start to worry that they don’t have good naps, or can’t even fall asleep for their naps. This will get better with time. Give it a week or two, and you’ll eventually start to fall asleep easily. If for some reason you feel wide awake, and/or stressed, you can experiment by trying to move your nap a bit. Often people find it beneficial to have their first nap early (3h after a core) and their second nap 4h after that, third nap 6h or 7h after that. If you don’t think that’ll help just lay down and relax. Even if you can’t fall asleep at all, just by resting with your eyes closed for about 20 minutes is almost as good as taking a nap. If you skip it entirely it’ll be much worse.
If you feel wide awake for one nap, but tired an hour later, and this continues for a week straight, then you should move your nap to when you become tired that hour later.
Sometimes it can even be most optimal to take a perfectly placed 40-minute nap in the morning instead of 20 because this leads to 35-40 minutes REM. If you figure out you can do this at a certain time, then we highly recommend doing it. You may find you do not need one of your naps later, or a shorter nap later if you do this.
Variations (E2 and E4):
There are two main variations of the Everyman schedule, E2, and E4. The numbers mean the number of naps in each one.
The E2 schedule consists of a longer core which is about 5h long, and in turn only 2 naps. The extra 1.5h (~one sleep cycle) is meant to replace one of the naps. Often people find that a dual-core schedule feels more natural than this, however.
The E4 schedule is quite the opposite. It trades in 1.5h core sleep for an added extra nap. So this schedule has a 2h-2.5h core and 4 naps.