Friday, June 30, 2006

Polyphasic Sleep (Day 1)

After reading up a bit on polyphasic sleep, I thought I'd give it a try.

Normally, I like to get about 10 hours of sleep a night. A completely polyphasic schedule would mean adjusting to getting only about 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night (about 20 to 30 minute naps, taken 6 times per day).

The main disadvantage, according to those people lucky few who've actually succeeded, is that you're out of sync with the rest of the monophasic world. This is a not a huge deal for me, at the moment, since I really don't have many people I want or need to interact with at this point in my life.

For me the main question is how I can manage to sneak the necessary naps in with my normal school schedule, and if I'll be able to force myself to stick to the routine, which is very unnatural for me. Also, I'm not completely dedicated to making this work. This is more of a try it and see if I like it sort of thing.

Anyway, I've decided not to quit the monophasic schedule cold-turkey, like many people recommend. Rather, I'm going to try easing in to it.

So, last night after staying up pretty late (7am), I set my alarm for a 30 minute nap, and passed out. I woke up at 1:30, six and a half hours later. So much for that. But, when I started to feel drowsy again after eating, at around 6pm, I did manage to wake up after 30 minutes, thanks to putting my alarm clock far across the room and imagining myself getting up and doing something when it rang (though I can't remember what that important thing is now that I'm awake).

This nap wasn't all that restful, as I couldn't stay fully asleep the whole time. I noticed I did immediately enter a hypnagogic state upon lying down and closing my eyes, but I drifted in and out of real sleep several times, especially as I became analytical of what I was experiencing in my sleep, rather than just letting it happen. And I also noticed that I'd get excited when I started thinking about being asleep or awake, as that would get me thinking about the polyphasic experiement, and the excitement would force me awake again.

After I awoke I did feel kind of groggy and out of it for about half an hour. Now I'm feeling almost completely awake and alert, with just a barely perceptible residual groggyness. So this is how the start of the experiment is going. I think I'll actually see if I can sleep every six hours rather than every four, because I've heard that having to break up one's day in to just four hour segments can be annoying. So my next nap should be at around midnight. Will try to check in then.

7:07 PM
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