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.

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