Last year I have read the first book of Tim Ferriss, the “Bible of life hackers”, The 4 Hour Work Week(4HWW). Recently I finished reading one of his other books The 4 Hour Body(4HB).

I don’t know how much it is trustable, but I guess so. Especially given that he admits that its mostly about his own experience and there are not always studies and official experiments backing what he saw and felt. So hopefully he is sincere most of the time.

The 4HB is a long list of body hacks. How to achieve certain goals (weight loss, muscle gain, speed increase) with the least possible efforts or better to say with the least possible time spent on training.

Sometimes it requires certain drugs and vitamins, sometimes just - quite big - changes in how you eat, drink, sleep, etc. But sometimes it’s really just about how you charge your body.

I didn’t have serious intentions to play with my body as Ferriss did. Even though I fancied some of the ideas of the book.

Then recently stabilizing our lives became one of my biggest priorities after our second child was born. By stabilizing I mean getting enough sleep, some “me time”, stuff like that. And while I’ve been writing these lines, I’ve realized that I started one thing he wrote about. Actually, during the last weeks, I started practising polyphasic sleep.

I used to sleep 6-6.5 hours a day from 11-11:30 PM to 5:30 AM with no naps throughout the day. When we had only one kid, it used to be my wife staying with our daughter at nap time and in the evening bedtime too. However, during my paternity leave, I took over both duties. And the evening one has stayed with me even after I went back to work - it’s quite hard to put down a child to sleep while another one is crying in your arms, right?!

By the evening I’m so much tired that I fall asleep with my daughter and I stay there for at least half an hour, sometimes even one and a half. In the beginning, I was angry at myself, because I just lost a significant amount of me time. So I stayed up very late - sometimes even 2:30 AM to follow up on my things. But this obviously didn’t change the hour when the kids would wake up in the morning. So I also had to wake up at 7 AM at the latest.

What does this mean in practice?

During the last weeks, I used to have two naps:

  • One 15 minute nap around 2 PM
  • Another nap of an hour around 10 PM
  • A core sleep of 4.5 hours from 2:30 AM to 7 AM

This is a bit less than six hours total and I felt quite well given how much I worked during the day.

I think I could even optimize this if I could get up in the evenings from my daughter’s bed. A gently vibrating wristband could help probably. I think, sometimes I spend too much time “napping” in the evening. Or I could go to bed still a bit later.

On the other hand, I got back to work, and I will have to see how I could incorporate a midday nap.

Anyway, this is another story. The bottom line is that the 4 Hour Body has some interesting concepts in it, like the polyphasic sleep.

As during the next year, I’d like to gain some strength, I might open this book again.

If you are just curious about how to use your body more efficiently, it is an interesting book, but you might want to skip some too technical parts. The 4 Hour Body was well worth my time reading it.