Now there’s new SleepBGone, in capsules and tablet. Ask your doctor.

How would you like it if you could take a pill and not have to sleep more than 2 hours a night? Think of how productive and enriched you could be with a 22-hour day.

My friend Aaron blogged about drug developments in the area of sleep elimination recently (following a brief Popular Science mention). In the comments, one blogger related his own experiences with so-called polyphasic sleep, and pointed out the biggest barrier to him was sore eyes.

I’ve read (in Dr. Ferber‘s books among other places) that absent light and other cues, the natural human condition is a 25-hour cycle of monophasic (i.e., one big chunk o’) sleep. I think my own preference would be something like a 30-hour day: 20 hours of wakefulness and 10 hours of sleep. Unfortunately that’s just not realistic. I can get by with 5 hours of sleep a night for a week or so, but then need to catch up. Kimi really seems to need 8 or 9 hours. Sammy is cranky without 13 (11 hours overnight, then a 2 hour nap in the afternoon).

It seems like we’re probably still a few years off from a no-sleep pill being generally available, and even then it will come with costs. The extra hours will probably be only fit for “zombie tasks” since it appears creative thinking generally isn’t available during the period where you’d normally be sleeping except for the pill preventing you. And there are those sore eyes. I also suspect that long-term studies will uncover other problems, including possibly increased vulnerability to colds and infections, decreased motivation, increased depression (since the extra wakeful hours are likely during darkness and therefore prone to seasonality-related depression).

Still, imagine if, starting in high school, Sammy didn’t need to sleep. He would then in theory be able to complete high school, college, and an MBA in five years, and enter the work force with a high-paying job at 19.
Fiction reading homework assignment: Read the book Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress.

4 Responses to “Now there’s new SleepBGone, in capsules and tablet. Ask your doctor.”

  1. Causalien Says:

    Yep, someone will have to come up with special eye lubricants. Both me and other fellow polyphasic sleepers are mostly programmers and have to struggle with this quite a bit.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Wow, that’s a quick response, thanks for visiting. Guess the pingback worked. šŸ™‚

    From your blog I gathered you’re back to monophasic for now? Any intention to try out any of the pills?

  3. Causalien Says:

    I am writing the aftermath at the moment.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Hey Stephen! Just stumbled across this by accident. Coincidentally, I *did* assign Beggars In Spain to students in the new media course last semester! šŸ™‚

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