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.

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