Woman Thrived on Just 2 Hours of Sleep Per Day
'I felt the best I’ve ever felt'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2016 4:31 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) Motherboard has an eye-opening profile on Maria Staver, the woman "who beat sleep" as a college student. A lifelong insomniac, Staver gave up attempting to sleep like a regular person in 1998. She and a friend—inspired by a 1943 Time interview with inventor Buckminster Fuller—developed the "Uberman" sleep schedule, so named because "they were accomplishing so much in a day that they were freaking people out; their schoolwork was done, their dorms were clean, they held down jobs, they made appearances at social events." They would wake up at 4am to study at Denny's then take 20-minute naps every four hours, getting a total of two hours of sleep every day. "I felt the best I’ve ever felt in my life,” Staver tells Motherboard.

Not that it was easy. The first two weeks of Uberman are an "absolute unholy monstrous biyotch," Motherboard quotes a 2006 blog post by Staver. That adjustment period can cause moodiness, chills, constant hunger, and worse. Regardless, Staver unwittingly kicked off a "polyphasic sleep" movement, with followers pestering her for information and advice. She eventually created a blog and wrote a book for people interested in Uberman. Nowadays, without the luxury of a college student's schedule, Staver practices the Everyman: three hours of sleep at night and three 20-minute naps. Sleep experts don't recommend either schedule, as they both fall far short of eight hours of sleep. But Staver doesn't mind. "My goal is just to be able to sleep in a way that works for me,” she tells Motherboard. Read the full story here. (This is America's most sleep-deprived group.)