Craig Benzine, a.k.a. WheezyWaiter, is a YouTuber who has spent the last couple of years attempting a variety of physical and mental challenges in an effort to improve his overall health. These challenges have ranged from cutting sugar out of his diet for a month to making a longer-term commitment to working out every single day for an entire year. He tackles one of the most important components of our daily routines, one that has an unavoidable impact on the rest of our lives: sleep, in his most recent video.
His sleep schedule is “biphasic,” which means that instead of sleeping for one long period each day, as most of us do, he sleeps for two shorter periods each day. “It’s something I’ve been doing for a while,” he says. “The next morning, I woke up in the middle of the night and laid there…. Alternatively, I simply do not get enough sleep and nap later… So what I’d like to do is embrace the situation. When I wake up in the middle of the night, instead of just lying there, I get up, do some work, start the day, and then go back to sleep until I am tired again.”
A. Benzine wakes up at three o’clock in the morning every day with the goal of getting some work done and then going back to bed when he gets tired. He notices that his eating habits are being influenced almost immediately: Benzine’s earlier wake-up means that the hunger pangs hit earlier than usual. Normally, the body suppresses the appetite throughout the night with a hormone called leptin and then releases ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) upon waking in the morning.
Although he does not notice any immediate benefits at first, he soon begins to notice that he is able to complete a significant amount of work because no one else is present and there is nothing to distract him. He also begins to look forward to the second phase of sleep each night. He believes the second sleep is the most restful sleep. “My sleep is extremely deep. I’ve been having vivid dreams that seem to last forever, and I’ve woken up feeling much more rested.”
As Benzine’s social life, work schedule, and parental responsibilities take precedence over his nap time, his sleep quality improves even further. However, he admits that he does not manage to maintain biphasic sleep every night because his bedtimes vary due to his social life, work schedule, and parental responsibilities.
In his words, “I’m not going to schedule the biphasic sleep; instead, I’m going to lean into it when it happens.” “I think the most important thing I can do is to simply try to listen to my body as much as I possibly can.”