Fast Company reviews common ways that people try, unsuccessfully, to decrease the number of hours that they sleep each night and the reasons why cutting back on sleep may not be a good idea.
Some people try to sleep in smaller increments of time. They go to bed and then wake up after a few hours to get work done, and then going back to sleep. The problem with shortening sleep cycles is that REM sleep—that deeper dream sleep—is short-circuited, and this REM sleep is also essential. Without it, research shows that people experience more difficulties with mood, illness, and alertness.
Another common strategy is to try to make up for lost sleep. You may sleep less during the workweek and attempt to bank sleep during naps on the weekends. Now naps can be nothing short of a beautiful experience, but they, unfortunately, don’t make up for lack of sleep during the week. It’s just not possible to “game” your sleep, or make up for your “sleep debt” during the weekends without the negative consequences brought on by lack of sleep.