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.

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