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.

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