R e p e t i t i o n

The popular history of spaced repetition is full of myths and falsehoods. This text is to tell you the true story. The problem with spaced repetition is that it became too popular for its own effective replication. Like a fast mutating virus it keeps jumping from application to application, and tells its own story while accumulating errors on the way.

~ Piotr Wozniak from, https://www.supermemo.com/en/articles/history

If you’ve never heard of Super Memo, and you click over there, it’s likely to distract you for an hour. This article is both the origin story for Super Memo and for spaced repetition. I’ve read at least one other thing (I’ve not read this article in full, but I have read at least one other one), that is a comprehensive deep dive. Today, I’m sharing this in the hopes that you’ll glance over at it, skim around and realize that, since you will then be acquainted with Wozniak, I am not the most systems-crazy person you know of.


A synthesis of sleep

I’ve written a lot about sleep. But when I found this “article” about sleep from 2016— well, at 361 pages, it’s definitely not an “article.” Now that I found this article, I feel comfortable that in recent years I’ve not been writing about sleep. This topic is already well-covered.

And you really should go look at the PDF. Eight-hours a day? —wrong. Same time to-bed/to-rise each day? Wrong. Single-phase, biphase, … it’s all so complicated!

I hope that this article compiles all the basic ingredients of knowledge that are helpful in accomplishing refreshing sleep. As for the sacrifice, it is important to begin with the understanding that one cannot eat one’s cake and have it too. Healthy sleep may be incompatible with some modern habits, some cravings, or some lifestyle choices. At worst, refreshing sleep may be incompatible with one’s job or even long-term goals.

~ Dr Piotr Wozniak, May 2012 from, https://www.supermemo.com/en/archives1990-2015/articles/sleep