Polyphasic sleep: Declaration of success. Also, Day Four.
I got a bit sleepy after my 1:30AM nap last night, and fixed it with another 7:30AM extra. Is this fascinating, or what? Because other than that I have no new info about my adaptation process. Something over 80 hours into it, I feel pretty good.
I do have a few more things to say about polyphasic sleeping, and I’ll probably get to them eventually. But it’s already clear to me–low day-count notwithstanding–that this stuff works. So I’ll hold off for a while with the updates. Think about clever stuff to say. Maybe add a pun or two. And learn what I can as I go along.
A few thoughts before I (temporarily) drop the subject:
First, beware those who tell you anything at all about sleep schedules. For instance, the Polyphasic Society would have you believe that “No one has EVER adapted to Uberman without the help of others, often in the form of a human alarm system.” Um, I’ve seen many claims to the contrary. And then there’s me. It’s only been a few days, and I still get sleepy at times, but I’m sufficiently convinced it’s working that I’m ready to quit thinking about it and move on to the next project-thing, or at least consider candidates. Whilst napping every four hours or so. And next week I have some ambitious writing plans. Stuff goin’ on here!
Second. This has been ridiculously easy to do…so far. And of course I don’t know what factors have made it work out that way for me. But I’ll include my guesses, in case they’re helpful to anyone considering similar ridiculosities:
- I’m 45 years old. I’ve done lots of things before, and some of them were hard. I remember how difficult it used to be to do without food for even a few hours when I was a kid–and I might as well be considered an entirely different person by now. Who does three 36-hour fasts a week, and enjoys them. This is just my latest experiment-toy. It may or may not be a good choice for you, if it’s your first.
- I spent years being sleep-deprived after my daughter was born. And I’m a very light sleeper–my brother used to put one foot into my bedroom, on carpet, to wake me up just for fun. And laugh at me. So sleeping in larger chunks? Not really my thing. Never has been. I just never tried spacing out my shorter chunks instead of getting them all at once.
- I quit consuming caffeine about a week and a half before trying out a polyphasic schedule. It made naps possible. Even easy! Which was a heck of a revelation in itself. I used to basically count an entire day lost if something woke me at an inconvenient time–it was very hard for me to get back to sleep. Which is why I didn’t take naps. They just didn’t work. Turns out, if I’d just stayed sleepy and avoided caffeine, then tried again in an hour or three? I probably could have salvaged the larger part of my days. Good to know.
- The “light sleeper” thing means I don’t need to worry about sleeping through alarm clocks. It’s just never going to happen, unless I’m actually dead. Which, in this context, is quite handy.
- I’m in Alaska, and it’s summertime. Going outside into the non-darkness seems to invigorate me quite well. If I were trying this in December? It might be harder.
- I’ve been able to be by myself, with little chance of interruption, for the vast majority of my naps thus far. That may change this weekend, and if it leads to trouble I’ll eventually mention it–unless it leads to major trouble, in which case I’ll probably blog about it sooner.
- I started off in a very well-slept and healthy state, which I credit to my diet/exercise plan. But if that’s not your starting point…it may make a difference. Though what do I know? It may even help you. Ignorance may or may not be bliss, but it’s where I live.
I guess that’s it for now. Let me know if you’d like to try polyphasic sleeping yourself, or know someone who is? I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.
Either way–have fun out there!