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March 30, 2015

The Weird Sleep Schedule That Helped Two Entrepreneurs Launch a Business in One Month

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Steve and Ryan had every reason to find an excuse.

They were two "business guys" with a viable idea for a software company. Except they had a little problem ... neither of them knew ANYTHING about coding. 

So instead of making excuses, they learned how to code. Within one month(!!), they built a successful prototype through this unconventional methodology to get more done throughout the day ...

They experimented with biphasic sleeping.

For Steve and Ryan, founders of Lawnstarter, a biphasic sleep schedule allowed them to work in two shifts:

biphasi_sleep_example

From 9am to 9pm, they focused on business development, then slept for 3 hours. From midnight to 6am, they focused on coding, then slept for 3 hours (and started the cycle all over again). 

This sleeping model is flawless for starting a side business, but for simply maintaining more energy and improving memory, there's a less intense version - the biphasic siesta model

There are actually two versions of the siesta model:

1. 6 hours of core sleep with a 90 minute nap. 

2. 7 hours of core sleep with a 20 minute nap. 

Clearly, option two is the easiest barrier to entry, as most of us can sneak in a 20-minute nap. So let’s outline the steps for adopting this sleep cycle.

Step 1: Draw your schedule.

Draw a circle that represents 24 hours in a day. Pick your go-to-bed time (ex. midnight) and draw 7 hours afterward when you'll wake up (ex. 7am). Then draw in a nap 6 hours after waking up (ex. 1pm). 

Why 6 hours afterward? Because research shows taking a nap too late in the day can affect sleep quality. Here’s what your circle might look like:

siesta_sleep_example

Step 2: Log your hours.

Take notes once you start experimenting with your new sleep schedule. This way it's easier to adjust according to what your body is telling you. Here’s a template I made that you can use:

biphasic_sleeping_template

To use it yourself, just click File > Make a Copy and you should be set.

Step 3: Adjust and perfect your schedule.

We are all different. Analyze your spreadsheet and notes until you find the perfect mixture. Try changing your naptime or bedtime. Try 20 minute naps versus 90 minutes. There are no universal answers, because we all react differently. 

If you don't experiment with new methods, it's impossible to increase your daily energy. So it all boils down to a very simple concept - try something new.

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