Sunday, October 16, 2005

Claudio Stampi - Why We Nap

The following are some quotes i pulled from the Claudio Stampi book "Why We Nap: Evolution, Chronobiology, And Functions Of Polyphasic And Ultrashort Sleep." This book if your not familiar with it, is pretty much the only real official published research and discussion on Polyphasic sleep. I didn't buy the book which is a hard to find and costs around 155 probably if you can find it, but i drove an hour and a half to a library that had it and spent the better part of two hours reading what i thought where the relevant sections to the polyphasic experiment i would be trying.

"In summary the research and issues.....pose a challenge to the concept that adult humans are irrevocably tied to a rigid monophasic sleep-wake system. Rather, they argue in favor of the hypothesis that, if need be, adult humans may adapt without major difficulties to some sort of polyphasic behavior. Indeed, the ability for a multiple napping behavior in adult humans may be the behavioral expression of an underlying biological rhythm of daytime sleep propensity...........
However, the author would like to caution against misleading interpretations of these conclusions. What is being proposed here is not that polyphasic sleep is preferable to monophasic sleep, nor that everyone should now switch to a multiple napping behavior "panacea". It appears obvious that quasi-monophasic sleep --monophasic sleep plus occasional naps -- is what comes most naturally to the majority of adult humans and a few other species. If somewhere in evolution such species have developed the ability to sustain wakefulness for relatively prolonged periods, most likely this ability occured in response to some sort of important and advantageous adaptive pressure."

"Should adult humans be forced to reduce sleep by considerable amounts, polyphasic sleep may be more efficient than monophasic sleep. Unfortunately, experimental evidence for this hyporthesis is limited to a handful of preliminary studies; this, in turn, may allow for some speculation on the matter. "

The next quote is from Stampi's book but is written by Giancarlo Sbragia, who was an Italian actor into all sorts of creative arts who tried the cycle (20 min every 4 hours) for a while (in an uncontrolled experiment) in the 1960's i believe. His reflection on the experience was that he learned alot about himself and it was a life-changing experience becuase of the lessons it taught him. The lessons where that he had plenty of time to do everything he enjoyed in life and that he was not a super - human and genious that he thought he was and couldn't live up to Leanardo (an interesting conclusion). He also discussed at the time of the book of wanting to try it again but for different reasons (i think something about for the good of science, and to see if he could do it, or see would be like now or something). The trend of people wanting to try it again even after they fail (sometimes quite badly) the first time is maybe a testament to the cycle.

Giancarlo Sbragia - "I also experience a strange sensation that I only understood later. I missed dreams. I am a dreamer: I don't remember a single night in my life without the recollection of dreams: I have always dreamt.....As this nourishment (dreaming) was missing, my imagination and my artistic activity started to suffer."

This statement i found especially alarming, becuase one of my motivations for doing this was that i had heard that you actually have more lucid dreams that you remember completely. This is something that more than one experimenter has commented on, and the inconsistency with Sbragia's experience could be that he was trying to recall the experience from 30 years ago. The idea that you have more lucid dreams on polyphasic sleep i think stems from the idea that you are getting all REM once you have adapted to the cycle, and skipping the other less important stages. The Stampi project monitored the stages in the early 90's with two polyphasic sleep experiments and saw that the stages were just all shortened proportionaley to the 20 minutes. A result that at that time was disproving the idea that you only got the begining part of sleep and missed out completely on REM and stage 2.

These are a couple quotes from Leonardo Di Vinci that are in the book in Italian, and then my translation using altavista bablefish:

Or dormiente, than what e' sleep? The sleep has similitudine glue dead women. Or perche' you do not make adunque such work, than after the dead women you have perfect similitudine of alive, than viviendo it is made with the sleep similar to the sad ones died?

O dormiente, che cosa e' sonno? Il sonno ha similitudine colla morte. O perche' non fai adunque tale opera, che dopo la morte tu abbi similitudine di perfetto vivo, che viviendo farsi col sonno simile ai tristi morti?Leonardo da Vinci, Codice Atlantico, 76 v.a.

It is not worth fortune to who s' does not tire. Perfect don s' it does not have without great pain. The one who is made happy, and vertu' it investigates

Non vale fortuna a chi non s'affatica. Perfetto don non s'ha senza gran pena. Colui si fa felice, e vertu' investigaLeonardo da Vinci, Windsor Castle, 12349 v.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These translations make no sense whatsoever in English...

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sleep has similitudine glue dead women? LMAO

12:39 PM  

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