Polyphasic and Ultrashort Sleep-Wake Schedules: Relevance to Performnace in Extended Work Situations

  • Claudio Stampi
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 49)


In those situations where continuous and prolonged work is experienced, the usual human monophasic sleep pattern can rarely be accomplished, producing a sometimes severe decrease of performance efficiency. It is postulated that adult humans may have an endogenous ability to adapt to polyphasic sleep patterns, and that these may represent feasible and useful strategies for management of sleep in continuous work. Several phylogenetic, ontogenetic and chronobiological issues are discussed relative to this hypothesis, which is also supported by the findings of a number of laboratory and field studies in which ultrashort sleep-wake schedules have been experimentally imposed or spontaneously adopted. The factors relevant to the design and experimentation of such schedules are discussed by presenting a laboratory based polyphasic sleep study that is being currently undertaken.


Core Body Temperature Sleep Loss Continuous Work Sleep Episode Sustained Operation 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Stampi
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Neurosciences Research UnitUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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