Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Uberman polyphasic sleep cycle and its economic impact

I recently came across this really strange idea where people can adapt their body clock to be able to go through the day sleeping only 2-3 hours a day. Now I'm currently setting up my own business and "hourly rates" seem to be a recurring theme.
So what would be the result if everyone started living life according to the Uberman sleep pattern? Well we'd gain huge amounts of revenue in terms of worker output (if of course Uberman results in longer working hours...which I think it would) and we would become as a country (the UK I'm talking about here) able to compete with some of the bigger countries who have bigger workforces.
But all is not hunky dory. At the same time there would be major losses due to the rise in the number of accidents. Insurance companies would have a field day as a result as they would be bringing out new products to cater for the accidents caused by lack of sleep. Roads would become more dangerous, as would anywhere involving high concentration. This would mean a mounting amount of costs for industries and businesses.
But at the same time the money attracted to the UK due to its artificially "large" workforce, would be paid out in workers fees. These same workers would then buy stuff and this would stimulate the economy further. There would be an increase in demand and we would become an artificially larger consumer base as more of us have more time to spare to use all these other products we are buying. But this is all of course if the law can be enforced.
In fact, it would be very hard to "enforce" the new law of uberman sleep as people love sleeping, and they can easily secretly hide away and sleep. In that sense, uberman being adopted would have to be entirely voluntary. Otherwise the costs would be prohibitive.
As you can see, there is a very fine line in improving worker output through increased hours, and decreasing output due to deterioration of work. And remember, even in Uberman we would have to have free time proportional to what we have now. Otherwise there wouldn't be enough time to spend our money, and then the economy would really suffer.

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LEICESTER, East Midlands, United Kingdom
Co-founder of DesignMolvi, Qur'an hafidh, graduate of Oxford University.

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