Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wrapping up the first 30+ days

I haven't really had anything to add about my experiment in a while. I tried to keep a consistent schedule for over 30 days, at which point it became clear that I'm not able to do that every day. I think it's really necessary in order to make a plan with a short core sleep work.

Days where I had no choice but to give up my morning nap or where I didn't get high quality sleep during it were hard, and after several days of that in a row, I decided to give up on forcing any schedule and just sleep as my body felt like for a while, with the caveats that I take a nap every day (whenever I could work it in or felt like it, no certain time) and that I keep an early wake-up time to stay in the habit of getting up and staying up when I first awaken. There are many benefits to getting up early, which I won't outline in detail today. I settled on 5 am; I think this is a commonly picked time for a reason. It's early and has you waking before dark, but not several hours before daylight. It's easy to maintain without extra effort.

I've been staying busy and haven't given much thought to sleep schedules lately, but I want to take some time to see how much sleep I seem to "naturally" want after a few weeks of adjusting to this program of the daily nap and waking up at a set time each morning. With that information, I'll decide what I'd like to do in the future. Right now, I seem to be sleeping about 4-6 hours at night, plus a nap of 30-90 minutes.

I still think that napping at least once during the day adds a lot of benefits, and sleeping shorter hours at night makes one more likely to take the nap and get the most from it. However, with not being able to get a nap at a consistent time, 3 hours is too little for the core sleep. I think I need at least 4.5 hours in order to not get fatigued if I miss my nap.

Anyway, the summation of my 30 day experiment: the 3 hour core plus 90 minute nap is adequate, if you unfailingly take it everyday at around the same time. However, expecting to be able to do that seems to be unrealistic. I don't know if I would continue attempting it in the future, even if I could fully set my own schedule, because it is too hard on you if some unforeseen event causes a significant deviation. I'll have to do some more thinking about whether I'd like to attempt any other schedules. Right now, I'm not feeling that "gaining" a lot of hours by sleeping less is worth it if I risk fatigue.

Although I haven't gotten the least bit sick since starting this experiment, I've had some days when I felt bad, and I questioned whether having that kind of stress on a regular basis is healthy. When dependent on regularly scheduled naps, getting really worn out is a daily possibility. Even if I got all of my sleep, just spending all the extra time working seemed to leave me more tired.

I think more recovery time is necessary, although I still think that taking all your sleep in one 9-hour go is not ideal either, so I am not advocating giving up polyphasic sleep. I just think some other scheme than what I was doing would be better for those who don't have a regular daily schedule.

Anyway, I'm just doing whatever comes naturally to me (with those two restrictions) for a while, giving that a try, and considering whether I like that or if I want to attempt something else. Experimenting has been fun, but I don't think it's realistic for something long-term at this time. My main goal is to add to my health by taking more naps, and not to cause myself fatigue by doing something that results in missed sleep. I'll evaluate what works for that, and plan a new course.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29: Breakthrough?

I'll get straight to the subject of the title: I woke up from my 3-hour core sleep tonight before my alarm went off. It's after 5 am, and I've now been up for over 2 hours without feeling sleepy enough to go back to bed. I even tested it by reclining on my bed for a while, and I didn't feel at all in danger of dozing off. This feels like I've made a genuine breakthrough in adapting. It's a little exciting.

Now, I'll go back over the days since my previous update:

On the night of the 25th, I slept my core from midnight to 3, as has inadvertently become my habit. For some reason, it still feels "early" to go to bed before midnight. I woke up at 3 feeling good, but also yawning and sleepy. I had to be out at my usual naptime around noon -- and I was feeling a bit tired then. I tried to doze in the car while someone else drove, and I got a little rested from this, but it wasn't adequate. I finally got a chance to nap at 15:00, and I decided at this time to just lay down and see how long I naturally slept, as I was really exhausted and figured I might need some extra sleep to make up for the lateness of the nap. I slept for almost exactly 3 hours, and woke up just after sunset feeling a little surprised that I woke up in the dark and was wide awake. I always find it a little eerie to wake up at that time, because it feels like waking up at dawn, except the light is vanishing.

That night, I had a little trouble falling asleep, and finally dozed off close to 1:00. I woke up at about 2:20, about 80-90 minutes later. I felt okay and was tempted to get up, but I decided to go finish the core sleep, as I'd set my alarm for 3 hours at 00:30. So, I woke up with the alarm at 3:30. Felt the same as the night before, sleepy but not exactly tired. I sat in an armless chair to relax and work without danger of getting too comfortable and dozing. I stayed busy all morning and then took my nap at 11:30. I was very tired by then, but I had a hard time sleeping and felt a little anxious about getting enough rest. I woke up at 12:30 on my own, after a few short dozes. I was tired but also felt decent. I went to bed earlier that night, and set my alarm for 2:30, as I was still wanting to move my core sleep back from 23:00 - 2:00. Anyway, when I woke up at 2:30, I was okay but still rather tired. I decided to take my morning nap early, and I had a hard time getting up from it. I slept 90 minutes, woke up exhausted, and slept 90 minutes again to try to feel better. I don't know if it was an accumulation of fatigue, or the fact that I took the first nap during my sleepiest hours, but I didn't really get rested. I felt better later in the day.

Last night, I felt a little tired around 23:30 and decided to run with that. I went to bed and set my alarm for 3, as that seemed to be working for me, and laid down and tried to go straight to sleep rather than laying in bed and reading until I'm ready to fall asleep, like I usually do -- it's difficult for me to get sleepy at that hour unless I'm just exhausted. I fell asleep before midnight, and then woke up at about 2:50, without the alarm, and feeling good. I got up feeling enthusiastic about waking up naturally, and have not felt like dozing off at all.

It's really a different feeling than I've had the last several days. I feel like maybe, *maybe* I've gotten over the morning sleepiness. I'm going to do my best to get in a good 90 minute nap before noon, and hope that keeps me going strong like this.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 25: So close

I'm starting to feel like I'm getting closer and closer to being adapted. I'm measuring this by how sleepy I am when I wake up from naps. If this schedule works for me, and I'm adapted, I'm thinking that I shouldn't get extremely sleepy between naps. My goal is to be up at 4:00 and feel normal, not like I could lay down and go back to sleep. Right now, I'm still experiencing sleepiness about an hour or two after my core sleep, and I actually dozed off at that time this morning because I made the mistake of sitting in my bed rather than getting up to use the computer. Otherwise, things are looking really good.

I'm consistently waking up from my noon nap feeling decent, and I've been getting it on time mostly. I did have a set back in that I went to sleep late Saturday night, as I just didn't feel like sleeping. I slept about 2-5 that night. Sunday, I was feeling tired because of this, and I took an extra nap in the afternoon, sleeping for about 80 minutes. I woke up from this feeling really, really good. That made me feel like I was making real progress and that napping worked. I slept from midnight 'til 3 last night, and again woke up feeling good and alert. And then I had the set back with wanting to doze off in the morning. I can't say that I was really tired, it was just the time of day, again. That's the hardest thing for me to struggle with right now. I think if I can go several more days without letting my guard down and dozing in the morning, I might be adapted. Right now, I'm feeling decent, and I think I'll be better later in the day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24: Brief discussion of polyphasing and diet

Since a lot of people who are interested in polyphasic sleep are curious about the diet/physical health aspect, I'll talk about my own experiences with that some.

I haven't felt a need to increase my food intake any since I started polyphasing, and this surprised me. However, I have been drinking more water and tea while on this schedule. I usually keep a drink with me at home and have some of it occasionally. With more time spent awake, I'm sure that I'm getting more to drink this way. I haven't had any days when I've felt dehydrated. Previously, when I've had days where I stayed awake longer than 20 hours and then had a long sleep period after, I'd sometimes wake up feeling dehydrated and maybe having a headache after 8+ hours of sleep. When I'm not sleeping any more than 3 hours at a time, I haven't been experiencing this.

I haven't been any hungrier or thirstier, and ingesting more liquid just seems to be a result of spending more hours awake while sipping some water/tea. I still don't eat much at night, and never have, even when I've stayed up most of the night in the past. I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and one or two snacks a day. It's rare that I have a snack after dinner. I know some people experience more hunger when they're awake more, or feel driven to eat to keep themselves awake when they're fighting sleep deprivation. That doesn't really ever happen to me. I typically don't become hungry between dinner and breakfast. The way I'd describe it is that my digestive system seems to go to sleep at night, a few hours before my typical sleep time, and it takes a while to wake up in the morning. The earliest I eat breakfast is about 6:00.

Actually, the previous description is probably inaccurate. What is most likely going on is that my hunger follows a circadian rhythm, and I've never developed a need to eat at night. I'm usually doing low-energy activities when I first wake up, too. When I take my nap just before lunch, I wake up hungry. So sleeping itself has no effect, it's the time of day.

There are different reports about how polyphasic sleep affects weight and stress hormones that might contribute to weight gain. Some seem to report experiencing release of these stress hormones from sleep deprivation, and having associated increase in appetite and weight gain. I haven't experienced that, so I would say that's a good indication that I haven't felt much sleep deprivation so far. I've actually lost some weight, but it's <5 pounds, such a small amount that I can't say for certain whether it's connected to the polyphasic sleeping or not. Lots of things can cause minor fluctuations in weight. Some report losing weight with polyphasic sleep due to expending more calories since they're awake more, and I'd say that's a possibility.

I definitely don't think I'm getting any increase in stress hormones. In fact, I would say that I've been more relaxed due to having a sleep schedule that I'm happy with and that, so far, I haven't had many problems keeping. Probably having some more time awake during the peaceful nighttime hours helps as well.

I haven't intentionally changed my diet any while changing my sleep schedule, and I haven't noticed a difference in what I want to eat, either. I briefly covered how I typically eat in my "about" section. Basically, I'm an omnivore (I have some of everything), but I try to keep my diet natural and avoid eating chemical preservatives and refined sugar. I eat a lot of dairy, vegetables, fruit, and white meat. I haven't intentionally eaten beef in about 12 years, since I first heard about madcow disease. That made me aware of how badly beef cattle were treated, the bad diet they're fed, and the sloppy butchering process that was contaminating meat. It also made me realize that I do believe in respecting cows for providing us with milk. I have eaten buffalo and lamb occasionally, as they're said to be healthier red meats, and the animals are supposedly treated better since raising them is not the big industrial operation that raising beef cattle is. That basically covers it. Oh, I also have a little caffeine every day from tea and decaf coffee, usually at breakfast and lunch.

Also, just to avoid confusion and for full disclosure and whatnot, I want to point out that I am female. I have that written on the blog somewhere, but I know that can get overlooked. I think it's cool that the internet is so anonymous that some people couldn't tell, and it's not a big deal to me if anyone assumes I'm male. I just wanted to point it out while talking about physiology here.

That's all I can think of for now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22: Futility of extra naps

Everything has been going well overall with the schedule. I'm having no problem with going to sleep at night and waking up 3 hours later, feeling refreshed and alert. I've even moved my core sleep back a few nights when I wanted to stay up late for doing something. I've gone to sleep as late as 2 and woke up at 5, and continued the schedule as usual, taking my 90-minute nap around lunchtime. I've actually been able to move my nap some as well on days when I had nothing to do in the morning or wanted to be available at noon for something. I originally wanted it to be about 11:30-13:00, but one day I did it about 9:30-11:00, and another day 10:30-12:00. No problems from this, so it seems that I'm getting relatively adapted and having some flexibility in my schedule.

Although I'm having no trouble waking up at night from the core sleep, I am still sometimes getting sleepy about an hour after waking up from the core. Like my body still wants to go back to bed at the early morning time when I'm typically sleepiest. So I have not yet overcome that urge to sleep then completely, although I am getting much better at waking up with the alarm.

I thought I might try to abate the sleepiness some by taking a 30 minute nap when I'm really tired. I've found that adding in short extra naps doesn't really do much for me, though. I wake up feeling just as tired as I did when I went to sleep when I nape in the early morning; evening naps are better and usually refreshing. I think that, again, this is just due to me being most sleepy in the morning. Taking an extra nap then doesn't really seem to do anything, and doing so probably just prolongs the difficulty of getting over sleeping then. The best thing to do is to just keep my waking time as consistent as possible and do something to wake myself up then, to make it clear to my body that this is no longer the time for sleep.

I know other people have said they had success with extra naps, but I'm now thinking that it might be a futile addition that doesn't really solve the problem. Perhaps it depends on the schedule. Those without a core sleep who are training themselves to always sleep for 20-30 minutes might do better with it.

I feel that I've made some progress in no longer being so groggy immediately upon waking from the core sleep (something that was a real problem for me with previous attempts), and I've at least trained myself to do something there. Or maybe this schedule just works out better for me. I feel like it hasn't been so difficult at all compared to trying to do other things in the past. There are many reasons that could be, and most of it probably has to do with having previous experience and having developed some skills in efficient sleeping and the desire to keep going with this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18

I want to correct an erroneous assumption I'd made in the past. I believe I've said in this blog something that I've often heard others say and that I'd previously thought true: sometimes it's hard to fall asleep because my mind just won't be quiet. I've determined that, although laying in bed with my thoughts racing is related to not sleeping, the unquiet mind does not cause the lack of sleep. Rather, it is being in bed, in a quiet, dark room, and unable to sleep, that causes my mind to wander like that. Sometimes being in this state will make me suddenly feel more awake as I think of something that I want to do when I get up, and I anticipate doing that. However, this is caused by and not the cause of sleeplessness. Because, truthfully, when I am really, really tired and sleepy, no amount of racing thoughts or desires to do something will keep me awake while I'm lying in bed. No matter how burning that desire is to just read a little more, or whatever I'm doing, when I'm genuinely sleepy, I can't do it.

I'd previously mentioned maybe taking a short, 20-30 minute nap this time of day on days when I'm tired, but I was unable to do it today. I am feeling rather fatigued, although I don't know if that's due to polyphasic adaptation or due to my workload/spending too much time busy. For me, being fatigued does not equate to being sleepy. I'm not sleepy, so I am unable to nap. Other than the fatigue today, though, I feel that I'm doing fine with my adaptation. I hope to get some good sleep during my core tonight and maybe get rested up. I had no problem waking up from the core this morning, but found myself dozing a little while I sat in bed. As I enter what should be the harder part of the adaptation, I need to be vigilant against that, and make myself get up and work on the computer at that time. The artificial light helps one stay awake. I'll reserve reading for daylight hours if I find myself getting too tired at night.

I'm not sure how long to test a sleep pattern before determining its efficacy. I'm going to say that 2-3 weeks should be a decent test. If after 3 weeks I am fatigued and sleepy for long periods before or after naps, this is probably a sign that it's not working. So I will try to pay close attention to my energy levels for the next couple of weeks and see if there's any improvement.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 16

I am back on the schedule and the adaptation path after two good naps today.

I learn the lesson again and again that I need to sleep on my back. I may start out feeling more comfortable in another position, but I will wake up with my head starting to ache after a bit, and keep doing so until I just sleep on my back. Sleep is much deeper that way.

I had a very interesting experience entering my morning nap today. I did not feel that tired when I laid down for my nap, but did feel like I could sleep. I relaxed and started to daydream, and the daydream just became deeper and more detailed until I was lucid dreaming. Very odd, but satisfying experience.

Not much else in other news. I spent my time this morning playing STO beta, which may be a waste of effort, but it was a lot of fun and a good motivator for getting up this morning. Probably not going to play it much except to check in and see what they're improving on it. It's a surprisingly enjoyable game.

As of this writing, I don't feel the least bit sleep-deprived, but of course that's to be expected with just getting back on the schedule after freesleeping for almost a week. I hope for a good nap again tonight, and some productive activity later.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 14 Update: Resetting

The spring school term began this week, so I've been rather busy and not thinking about polyphasic stuff too much.

The weekend prior, I decided to do some intense gaming to finish up some stuff I had been working on in an MMO and wanted to be done with before the semester started. As a result, I stayed up too late on several nights, not wanting to nap, and so went back to just sleeping when I was too tired to stay up. Of course, I can't keep a schedule with that and just slept whatever time my body felt like (which varied considerably, although I still always wake up around 8), and it's not very restful to do it several days in a row, but it's difficult to go back to sleeping normally again the next night.

It seems paradoxical, but when you stay up until you're exhausted, it's like you oversleep when you do rest, and find it difficult to sleep again the next night. I find that I don't feel 100% after sleeping the sleep of the dead, but I have a hard time going back to sleep at a regular time the next night because, although I'm tired, I'm just not sleepy. I've been freesleeping up until today this week, trying to feel more rested after the mental exhaustion of the weekend and this week, but still staying up late doing stuff online or reading because I was unable to fall asleep until the early morning hours.

Tonight, I'm going back to my designated schedule. My attempts to rest up and reset by freesleeping don't seem to be doing anything; sleeping without a schedule doesn't aid getting back into sleeping on a schedule, for me at least. If I'm unable to sleep at my preferred time again (before midnight), I will try staying up until my late-morning naptime (11:30-13:00), sleeping then, and then getting my 3-hour sleep that night.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Days 5 & 6

I was definitely leaning this way with my last post. I didn't want to give up my 3-nap schedule--which I liked so much in theory and believe could have had a chance if I'd had the time to have three equidistant naps and adapt to sleeping at each one--but it seems to be incompatible with my schedule. Looking back, very rarely did I actually take 3 naps. My schedule was such for days 5 and 6 that I was sure that I couldn't work in at least one of the naps, so I ended up taking a core sleep at night and hoping that I could get at least one nap. And since I'm feeling good with this so far (although two days certainly isn't enough to know if I'm adapting), I will continue.

My plan has now changed to sleeping 3 hours at night, getting a 1.5 hour nap in around lunchtime, and then taking a short nap when I get home at night as necessary. The most realistic times for me to sleep are 23:00 - 2:00, and 11:30 - 13:00. That gives me wake times of about 10 and 9.5 hours--very close to equidistant. The only hurdle to overcome will be falling asleep at 23:00, something that my body just doesn't want to do most days, unless I give it a couple of hours of cool-down time. Well, if it's the only way to get this schedule to work, then I will just do that.

I've been researching ways to deal with "delayed sleep phase," and it seems to be a difficult, but hopeful, situation. There are a few suggestions for how to get there without losing much sleep, but the basic goal is to just keep sleeping at the time I want to sleep and waking at the time I want to wake until my body adjusts--and it *probably* will. If gradual adjustment of this type doesn't work, the next step is to stay up until I'm good and tired, sleep at the desired time, and repeat as necessary. One can do this over a period of many days and gradually move the sleep time, or stay up 24+ hours and try to make the readjustment all at once. I've tried the latter before, actually, and I don't think it's very effective on just one repetition. The brain tends to go back to its desired sleeping schedule after its gotten sufficient rest. Perhaps many tries at it, coupled with having a supremely strict sleep schedule that includes time to prepare for sleep would work.

Since I *think* I finally have a schedule that nothing will interfere with greatly (and if it does, it shouldn't be by more than an hour on the average day, like maybe I'd move my noon nap to a bit earlier to go out for lunch or such), I'm going to give it my sincerest try, and hope that I will just adjust to it over time with nothing more than giving myself an hour or so to cool down before my evening sleep. I hope that, since I am sleeping at a time that I normally don't, and will be wide-awake when I'm normally sleepy, this will be enough to break me of wanting to sleep then, and I will get over it.

Too bad sleep experiments involve so much waiting to see what will work and what won't.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 4

Even if I don't sleep for all of my naps, I appreciate having time throughout the day to meditate/doze. It's mentally and physically restorative for me. I usually get up feeling awake and like my mind's been cleared. It gives me quiet time to think, and I often get up at the end of the nap time with a plan for what I'd like to do for the rest of the day, where I did not have a clear idea before. Perhaps this thinking/planning and anticipation of doing something later is part of the reason I don't sleep much during the nap (sort of like how I sometimes had a hard time sleeping due to dreading something I needed to do when I got up, or being anxious about a deadline), but it still has a positive effect for me.

I didn't sleep during my afternoon nap today, and I pushed my evening nap back to the point where there was no sense in taking it. Instead, I opted to sleep from 2:00-5:00, which I quite liked and will definitely be doing in the future if I decide to go with 2 naps instead of 3, due to my continued failure in scheduling them well. I woke up feeling awake and good... until I started feeling tired and kind of down at about 6:00, and laid down and dozed off and on until after 8. Someone else in my household has the flu, and I hope I'm not catching it. Other than feeling bad then, I've largely felt good and healthy while adapting. I was disappointed in myself for doing that, and I felt kind of lethargic for a bit afterwards.

It seems that getting a lot of sleep or a little sleep does not make a big difference in my energy level (at least in the short-term), something that I've observed before. It's more about sleeping well (good quality of rest, such as from sleeping in bed and minimizing background noise), sleeping intelligently (sleeping before I get exhausted, planning sleeps for the correct amount of time and at the right times), and being positive about sleep (resting with the thought in my mind that I am doing it to have more energy for later). When I dread sleep and put it off until I'm exhausted, this makes it worse. And sometimes I don't intentionally do this, I end up doing it because I can't fall asleep and wake up when I want to and I get frustrated with this. That's what I'm trying to remedy. Keeping the positive attitude in mind, that this is a part of health-maintenance that I'm doing so that I'll continue to feel good, helps me to sleep better. That's why my blog is "Sleep to Wake."

Anyway, I skipped the noon nap today, I really don't need it after that. I will try to take at least a short nap this evening. I think there are two ways that I can proceed while keeping my desired schedule. I can either A) keep the schedule of 3x 90 minute naps that I have been trying (however poorly) to adapt to, or B) accept that the evening nap is difficult to keep, and instead opt for sleeping 3 hours + 90 minutes + another 30 minute nap if necessary. In the latter case, I would sleep 2-5 am, have my 90 minute nap after working in the morning and before school, from 11:30 13:00, and then, if I'm tired, take a 30 minute nap when I get home at about 19:30. I still don't have confidence in the shorter naps, but I realize it is something that I should consider, because it is difficult to work in longer naps, even when they are fewer. I think it's hard to adapt to a sleep schedule in which one is taking naps with the intent that the sleep-cycle lengths of them will be different. In other words, if I sleep on 90 minute cycles for a core sleep and then take 20 minute naps, I'm expecting my brain to do different things at different times. That is the hardest thing to adapt to, and for this reason, I've kept away from doing Everyman.

Whatever I end up doing, it's just going to be difficult to work in an evening, post-school nap, because my classes go until so late. Maybe I'll be so tired on those days that I'll have no problem with taking a 90 minute nap and won't feel like doing anything else. I don't know. Or maybe I'll finally get lucky with trying to fight the "delayed sleep phase" and fight the sleepiness in the morning, and be able to move my night sleep back to a time where it is easier to take only two naps a day, because they're evenly spaced. If I were to go to just two naps, it would be ideal if they could be from 22:00 - 1:00, and then 11:30 - 13:00. In the mean-time, I'll keep trying my 3 nap schedule. It might actually be a good way to gradually move to sleeping earlier in the night.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 3.5: the rest of the day

The regular nap times (even the ones that I barely doze off for) seem to be having the expected effects on my memory and energy levels. Although I have felt tired and sleepy sometimes, there has not been a period when I felt tired and sleep-deprived for hours at a time. I've had only a couple of times that I can remember being mentally exhausted and having difficulty functioning at a normal level. I've been doing mental activities such as reading and writing without any difficulty, even during my late night awake period. To my knowledge, there hasn't been any trouble with my memory. I'm remembering each waking period well, and remembering what I've learned in that time. I've been reading texts in anticipation of going back to school in about a week. Soon, I'm going to start studying language again. I've just been waiting until I really felt strongly about doing it, but I ought to just go ahead and start.

I went out for a long period around lunch-time, and as a result, didn't get to do a nap until 15:30. I was actually sleepy then, and had no trouble sleeping. I slept about 80 minutes and woke up naturally. Sleep was normal and I experienced REM. Too bad not all of my daytime naps are like that. However, I didn't feel like sleeping again until rather late in the evening.

In anticipation of possibly being gone for the day and missing my afternoon nap and delaying my evening one, I decided last night to just lay down when I'm tired and sleep until 5 am. I thought it was important to get an adequate store of energy before-hand, because I cannot anticipate taking any naps. I got tired at about midnight, and woke up at 5:00, during an REM phase, feeling really well rested. I sat in bed and listened to the radio for a while as I didn't feel like reading, and dozed off again shortly at about 6:30. I felt lazy for doing that, and will be sure to stay out of bed at this time until I'm more adjusted to waking up so early. -- Here is an interesting article on sleep that confirms that someone else has had success with doing something similar to what I am doing. If 3 naps fails to work out for me, I think I will go for the 3 hours + 90 minutes biphasic schedule. It seems I can definitely do a 2:00-5:00 core, although if I only take one daytime nap, it'd be more ideal for my core to be earlier, maybe 1:00-4:00. The only problem I have with that at this time is scheduling it around my classes, which are in a solid chunk during the afternoon.

If I could move my sleep to earlier in the night, it wouldn't be a problem. I've had difficulty with trying to schedule a core sleep in the past, and sometimes wake up groggy from it, but that could be a failure to time it well. I didn't do well with Everyman, and I'm not sure why, because I've often slept just a few hours at night in the past, so I should be used to it. I'm thinking it was probably the 20 minute naps that disagreed with me, I'd need a lot of time to adjust to those, and they are still difficult to schedule. Also, having my sleepiest period come early in the morning rather than during the night does not help with good scheduling.

I could try napping from 2-5 as I said, and then having another nap when I get home in the evening, but one of my aims so far has been to not interrupt the evening hours that I'd normally spend with the people who are important to me. The "delayed sleep" problem definitely needs to be fixed for me to ever have a schedule that I find acceptable. If I could have a really early core sleep, like 1-4 am or midnight-3:00, that would be perfect. However, that would also be less naps per day, so I wouldn't be serving my purpose of having sleep spread out throughout the day to promote wakefulness and memory retention. I have faith that one can adapt to more frequent naps, but so far, I seem to just be sleeping for two a day, and I keep having my evening nap really close to my morning nap. I don't know if having those two so close together does any good, maybe it would be better to just have one. Anyway, this gives me something else to think about.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 2.5, Day 3

Day 2.5, 1:39 am

As I go on with my adaptation, the mental component of sleeping self-discipline becomes more apparent to me. It's amazing, the different that attitude makes in my success or lack thereof. Although I can't hypnotize myself into going to sleep, thinking that I am sleepy or should be sleepy seems to have some affect, and same goes for feeling awake. I took my evening nap a little early tonight, at about 20:30. I hardly slept at all, and that's probably due to setting the nap at a time that I have very rarely ever gone to bed at. However, I did sleep a short while toward the end of the nap. I was a bit sleepy when I woke up, but I resisted the urge to go back to sleep by telling myself that, even though it was night, I was awake and it was time to get up, and I'd feel much better about myself if I got up now and napped again at 3:30. I did get up, and felt awake and very alert within a few minutes. And now, it is 1:39, and I am feeling quite relaxed, but also very awake. I find myself occasionally thinking, "I should be tired at this time after so little sleep," and marveling at the fact that I'm not. I don't think that controlled thinking or a positive attitude bears the full responsibility for a successful adaptation, but it could make the difference in whether or not you oversleep. When I tried to adapt back in September and October to my Dymaxion-like schedule (I tried to do Dymaxion, but allowing myself 1-hour naps to try to assure that I had adequate time to fall asleep), my state of severe stress and my doubts about whether Dymaxion worked and whether I could do it probably made a difference in my lack of success in falling asleep and getting up on time. Now, I just need to figure out a way to relax more quickly to sleep. I think doing quiet activities directly before a nap often has an impact. One way I've been able to put myself to sleep at night in the past was to peacefully read something that wasn't too exciting. This seemed to make me sleepy if I was already tired, although it sometimes took an hour or two. Anyway, I'm going to spend at least an hour prior to my nap this morning reading a textbook or such to try to make it easier.

I hardly slept for my afternoon nap either. I took it rather late, after 13:00, due to being busy earlier. I'm going to say the failure to sleep was a combination of taking it too late and being disturbed during it.

Day 3, 8:07 am

I had no problems falling asleep at 3:30--except that I had an odd series of lucid dreams, and woke myself up in the middle of the nap. Lucid dreaming is not new for me, but waking up during a nap is. One of the dreams, the one I most clearly remember, was just a very vivid still life scene that I was experiencing. It somehow seemed more vibrant than just seeing it normally. I could see minute textures on everything. It was a closet that had some of my clothes in it that I was seeing, from an odd upward angle, but I don't think it was my closet. Very odd. I realized it was a dream and tried to change the scene so that I could see something else like this, and tried to picture a familiar forest, but it didn't work and I moved and woke myself up. I've had weird lucid dreams before, although not quite like that. It was rather like an image that I had seen during the day was stuck in my mind (although it wasn't exactly like reality). Prior to the dream, I had been trying to move, and I think dreaming that I was moving, but finding it difficult due to sleep paralysis and getting annoyed at this. I know I didn't move because I woke up in the same position I had fallen asleep in. I think that stories of astral projection are the result of lucid dreaming. I've had such dreams of getting up and moving around before, and actually one dream of finding that my body was paralyzed from sleep, so I left it and tried to go somewhere, but found that everything looked strange and it was hard to find my way, so I went back to bed. Many lucid dreams tend to be of real life things, so that may be where one could imagine it actually happened.

I slept from 3:30 to 5:00 without a problem, except the short awakening. I was very sleepy when I woke up at 5 and found it hard to get up. I set my nap alarm for 20 minutes and took another short nap, thinking this would lessen the sleepiness, but I was wrong. It did nothing. I won't be doing that again any time soon, and will instead just be strict about getting up at 5:00 and going on. After I did force myself to get up, I quickly felt less tired and had no trouble functioning.

It seems that my sleeping problems seem to be due to me being geared to sleep in the mid-afternoon and the early morning. I already suspected this, but the fact that I should be tired for my evening nap after a day of not sleeping much, and even then I never am, seems to confirm my suspicion. I'd say that I'm producing melatonin from about 2:00 - 8:00. I start getting tired around 2:00, I'm asleep within 5 minutes when I lay down at 3:30, and I find it hard to wake at 5:00 and will continue to feel sleepy off and on until about 8:00. When I free slept the day before, I naturally woke up at about 8. Now I know what difficulty I need to tackle if I am to ever be good at waking up early and taking naps at other times.

I realized that I've been always writing these blog posts in the morning, so they don't really cover the day listed in the title, just the day before. I'll try to remedy that by posting in the evening or during the night in the future. This one is already long enough, so I will publish it, and write 3.5 covering the rest of the day later.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2

I now also have a blog at For now, these two blogs are duplicates of each other. is a very nice community for information on the subject, and I like the community of bloggers that is developing there.

Here's a link relevant to the subject of taking 90 minute naps:[8].pdf. To summarize, this is a study done on how taking naps that include both slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM was found to promote learning. Participants also slept an average of about 7.5 hours at night. However, those who included a nap between training sessions did significantly better than those who only slept at night. This lends support to my belief that breaking your day up with naps will promote better learning. I don't think the amount of sleep matters as much as the frequency of sleep. In other words, sleeping every few hours for up to 90 minutes is better than taking your sleep in one go. Of course, one also needs to not be sleep-deprived for this to be most effective, so that is the caveat. My purpose is to see whether I can successfully adapt to 90 minute naps spaced throughout the day without feeling sleep deprived in between.

Nap report: Yesterday, I was late getting to my 11:30 nap, but I still enforced the 13:00 wake up time, as that isn't really negotiable in my schedule. I woke up then feeling like I could sleep more, but feeling alright otherwise. However, I delayed my evening nap more than I wanted to, and didn't take it until 23:00. I was tired when I woke up from it, in part because I had a hard time getting to sleep. Last night was one of the coldest so far this season. I used an electric blanket to warm up, and initially had a hard time getting warm enough to sleep, but then woke up during the nap feeling a bit hot. From about 00:30 to 3:30, I did some reading on the computer, and then played a game for a bit, which is different than my usual nightly routine of sitting down and reading a book or something else quiet. I got to my next nap a little after 3:30, and could not fall asleep for it. Again, I was cold. I used the heating blanket, but didn't turn the temperature up so high on it, and it was rather slow to get me warm. By the time I was comfortable and drowsy, it was 5:00. I was feeling really sleepy at this point and knew I needed the rest, so I just laid back down and went to sleep without setting an alarm. I didn't really like doing this as I want to be strict with my 5:00 wake time as well, but I also didn't want to get too tired and crash later, so I felt like it was necessary. I slept for about 3 1/2 hours, at which time I woke up on my own.

I'm starting to wake up tired from my naps, so I feel that the hard part of the adaptation is coming up already, meaning I need to be strict with waking times, and do what I can to fall asleep within 10 minutes during my naps. I need to review tricks that I used to use to fall asleep to help me with that. Something I'll be doing tonight is pre-warming the bed with the heating blanket before getting into it, and not leaving the blanket on during the nap, which just makes it too hot. I also need to review some relaxation techniques, and definitely be on time for naps today. I have plenty of time between naps, so there's no reason to be late getting to them again. Perhaps being tired between them will help me sleep for tonight's.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1

I'm surprised that I'm not tired... but I'm not. I was unable to really sleep for my afternoon and evening naps yesterday -- I was just too awake and wired, although I did still lay down and rest for a few minutes each time to try to stave off mental exhaustion -- so I just stayed up until it was time for the morning nap, figuring I would sleep extra good for it and the next afternoon nap. I went for my nap a little early, about 3:15 (instead of 3:30), went to sleep quickly, and woke up at about 5:11. Amusing that my alarm worked, but it still took me a while to wake up. And I'm glad that my alarm still isn't bothering anyone.

Since it's probably been a while since I covered this, I'll explain: I discovered that I wake up to the sound my cellphone makes when it vibrates while setting on a hard surface, such as my desk, or even sitting it on a book somewhere works well. The advantage of this is that this is a gentler sound and I wake up without being startled by the blaring of an alarm (I hate the sound of one of my alarm clocks so much that I seem to have a conditioned response to turn it off as quickly as possible and sometimes do so in my sleep without fully waking), and it seems to be a sound that someone in the next room can't hear (unlike my alarm clock). I've yet to get any complaints about it.

Anyway, I woke up very tired, probably more tired than I went to sleep, so I decided to take another nap for the one I missed during the night. It was hard to stay awake and I wasn't in the mood to fight it, knowing that I needed the rest, so I took another nap from about 6 - 7:30. However, I found it kind of hard to stay asleep, and I kept waking up and dozing off again. I guess I had it in my mind that I was determined to be awake during the morning and I had some fear of oversleeping, so I did sleep and have REM, but I didn't sleep well. Perhaps I was also just too tired to sleep deeply, something bizarre that does occur with me, and something that I think precluded my adaptation to Uberman (which was probably doomed anyway because I wasn't a firm believer in the efficacy of the strict schedule). The too-tired-to-sleep thing can sometimes happen to me after working on a project over night, or even with extreme physical activity (although it's difficult to say in that case whether I'm too tired or too "pumped" to sleep), such as on days where I spent the whole day hiking.

I was feeling a little disoriented when I got up at the end of the nap period, and I simply rested a while, but I felt much better about an hour later. I am definitely taking my afternoon and evening naps if I can make myself do so. I think I'm doing good, but I need the rest to recover from not being able to sleep much yesterday, so it is important that I try to get it to avoid crashing.