Sleep Polyphasic
     A site about people with alternate Sleep Schedules
Gerry Leonard's Blog (June 2009):

Night 37

6/30/2009
Sorry I missed night 36. I guess I lost a day in my life. But, I am quite sure that I slept extra and did not only nap.

Yesterday, my wife kinda blew up at me about my sleep schedule. She was upset because (a) I was not actually holding to it, so I didn't get anything extra done at night, or at least nothing she cares about, and (b) having to work around my naps gets annoying sometimes. So, as she saw it, there were only negatives and no positives to the way I have been living. Keep in mind, this is with the extra sleep I have been getitng every night. I have not been holding to only napping. She is actually correct.

So, I decided to be a little more flexible in my napping yesterday becuase we were slightly busy doing other things. So, I ended up getting a nap at about 2:30pm, one at about 6pm, and one at about 11pm. Then I was up until after 1am, maybe it was 2am or so. I went down for a nap and never woke up until 6:30am.

So, this morning my wife and I talked. I said I would stop trying to do a modified schedule because that obviously wasn't working. Either, I would do a true Uberman, or I would do a true Everyman. In other words, I would stop trying to do some schedule I made up and go to something "normal". The advantage to Everyman, I said, was that the naps were more flexible. But, I would need a few hours at night. Even though the sleep times were flexible, I would still have set times that I would shoot for. But, when it didn't fit into our schedule, then I would move them as needed, rather than try and alter our schedule much. Then, I looked at what my schedule would likely be. With Everyman, one takes 3 naps, roughly 5 hours apart and then a core sleep at night. I figured, OK, so I'll keep a similar nap schedule: 5 hours would mean 12pm, 5pm, and 10pm, with a core sleep from about 3am-6am. Boink! It hit me. The reason I have been having trouble staying awake at night is because I have really been living on an Everyman schedule during the day. And, an Everyman schedule during the day will mean my body will want an Everyman schedule at night, and that means a core sleep. That's why I'd been having issues. So, I presented this to my wife and asked if she would support my going to a true Uberman scheulde instead. She agreed to try it out and be supportive.

So, startting today, I am going to be doing a normal Uberman scheudle. I picked 2, 6, and 10 as my nap times, which is pretty standard.

Night 35

6/28/2009
My parents' sump pump went out a few days ago They are also leaving for a trip soon, so yesterday they needed to get Everything out of their basement that was now water-logged. So, I went over there to help them out last night. They stayed up late even though they were gwtting up for church in the morning. I, on the other hand, took a couple naps and was then fine to drive home. I really appreciated the fact that I was able to do this.

I took my 10:15 nap a little late. Then, I took my 1:15 nap about on time at their house. When I got up, I said goodbye (they were about to go to bed) and drove home. Once I got home, I stayed on schedule and went to sleep at 4:15 as I was supposed to. Unfortunately, I did not get up at 4:45 as I was supposed to. I forget the exact detils now, but I remember that I did indeed take another sleep.

Anyway, so I am contemplating going to a real Uberman, but I really want to make a very big effort to make this schedule work. As such, I am going to set some rules for myself for this week.

1. No naps other than the ones I am supposed to take. (The rest are to assist in this)
2. Spend only 10:45-1:15 on the computer (at night, meaning not the 1:45-4:15 timeframe)
3. Play in the 10:30 Hold 'em tournament to insentivize staying awake until 1:15 nap
4. Do something physical: cook, clean my room, etc starting after the 1:15 nap.
5. Excersize right after the 4:15 nap, then do my cleaning/chores and finish getting ready
6. All naps, especially during the day, need to be started and ended at exactly the right time.

Night 34

6/27/2009
OK, first off. Last night, I did not hold to it. I slept quite a bit. I was exhausted while watching the Colbert Report around 11:40. I kept myself up for a little while, but then fell asleep. Partly because I lost the willpower to stay awake. I woke up, or rather was woken up, when my alarm went off at 3:40. I stayed up for a little while, but was foolish and did not attempt to do something very active. So, I ended up falling asleep from about 4am - 5am. We had to leave for my brother-in-law's graduation about 2.5 hours away a 5:45. So, I got up when my wife did around 5am.

So, I am frustrated that I have not adapted more. I think that it is my own fault. I still think that the schedule I am trying is possible, at least something similar is. But, I'm not sure. So, I am going to go back to six naps. Uberman, which is six naps, has been proven time and again. SO, I was going to switch over to a straight Uberman.

But, I got to thinking. My wife is currently always complaining about how annoying it is when we're out that I need to go take a nap. That's while they are 5 hours apart. The 4 hour apart naps could be really annoying. And, once I do get a job again, I will probably not be able to do the true Uberman schedule. So, I decided to go back to my original scheudle of 6 naps: 3 of them five hours apart and 3 of them three hours apart (at night). I will be starting this tonight.

Night 33

6/26/2009
Harumph! I think I am making progress and then I have a night like this. I don't know what happened, really from my 10:15 nap until about 6am. I know I was awake for part of it. I remember waking up from both of the naps actually. I remember watching some TV. I remember playing some poker and doing other things on-line, such as righting the blog entry for the night before. But, I don't really know how much time I was awake and how much time I wasn't. I tried to do stuff on the computer only, again. I didn't have another activity lined up. I should know better. And, I should push myself to go clean my room in cases like this. My room is a mess. I'd like it to be cleaner anyway. So, I should really probably have this as a default activity any time I feel like I am getting tired. I think the issue is that I wait too long. I wait until I am feeling sooo tired that I do not have the will power to keep myself awake. I just pretty much fall over and go to sleep. Before I get to this point, I need to go upstairs and work on cleaning. That should, hopefully, wake me up at least a little bit.

On the bright side, I did not take a nap during the day.

No real new news on the thought process side. Every time I oversleep, I contemplate whether this schedule is even doable. I'm not talking about polyphasic sleep itself. I have a friend that indicated he did indeed adapt to the uberman schedule in college and obtainted the nap rythm that is described on-line. SO, I know this is possible (I'm 100% certain he is not bluffing me). But, I am not certain about my 5 nap schedule. It is unproven. But, I would like to prove it. During the week, for me, this is, and when I get a job still will be, a great polyphasic sleep schedule that could fit into the rest of my daily schedule. A lot of people, including myself, usually get a lunch break. So, I can and would take a nap then. As such, I just cannot be available at work from 7:15-7:40am and 5:15-5:40pm. For me and my schedule (roughly 8am-5pm), this is rarely going to be an issue. Of course, the possibility of this Nieman schedule (named after the man who helped think it up) working is not proven. I really want to adapt. And, I am getting more and more concerned that I haven't yet. After this week, I am most definitly going to switch to uberman if I do not feel adapted. That will be interesting.

Night 32

6/25/2009
Yeah! I finally held to it last night. It took a little effort, but I did it. I baked sugar cookies last night; that really helped.

Unfortunately, this lack of nap last night made me more tired during the day. I ended up falling asleep around 2:30pm today. Arg! I was on the computer and my wife and daughter went down for a nap of their own. The next thing I knew I was dreaming and then I woke myself up. It was about 4pm. So, I got a full cycle. I am concerned that before when I was successful at staying up and not napping was when I had six naps instead of 5. Hmm. Well, as indicated before, I am going to stick with the 5 nap schedule for the week. If I have not made progress by next Monday, I'm going to change to something else. I'll probably go to straight Uberman since I am on lay-off. Yeah, I need to talk to my wife about it some more to make sure she's on-board. But, I think it's a good idea. It's proven to be adapted to. That's really the reason why. We'll see what happens.

Night 31

6/22/2009
So, I made a commitment last night to stick to the schedule. I didn't. I did go to bed at 3am with my wife. When the alarm went off, I heard it (as did she) and got up. But, I didn't make it to 7am. Rather, I fell askeel on the couch at about 4, maybe 4:15. I slept until after 7. The problem, I believe was that I did not (a) have a backup timer running, (b) did not have non-computer activities lined up, and therefore (c) attempted to spend my time on the computer.

OK, so I really, really want to commit to the next week on this 5 nap schedule. As such, I am going to be leaving soon to go and get a AAA battery for the kitchen timer I bought a couple days ago. Secondly, I am going to try to make cookies tonight. And, I am going to make sure that I have some activities lined up for every night this week that does not include the computer for between 3:30 and 5:30. I am going to be excersizing from 5:30 till ~6:15 or 6:30. At 6:30, I really need to start getting ready because we are leaving to help at VBS/VBC at our church (VBS/VBC = Vacation Bible School/Vacation Bible Camp).

Hopefully, this activity will keep me awake without issue.

I mentioned to my wife today that I don't know for sure that this will work. I do not know for sure that the 5 nap schedule is really doable. So, I really want to try and do this for the next week, but after that I am going to give up and switch to Uberman. Right now I am not working. This is needed for me to be able to do the Uberman schedule. My thought is that I would convert to Uberman during this time, then once I have the productive napping down, I would attempt to move to the 5 nap schedule I am trying now and adapt it as needed to be possible.

I have not talked a whole lot about how I feel lately. The last couple weeks have all been about the same. Most of the time during the day I am reltively fine. I can feel when a nap time gets to be about 30 minutes away. All the time, throughout the day and night, I am obvioulsy exhausted because my one eye will kind of twitch. A couple times when it has gotten really bad, I have theorized that my brain is essentially attempting to fulfil REM functionality while I am awake and this is causing the eye to move rapidly as it would if I was asleep. Eh, maybe not, but it's a theory. Anyway, I am always able to function during the day. But, sometimes, when I don't get REM especially, I will wake up still groggy. But, that usually passes prety quickly and then I am pretty good until the next nap gets close. I think my mental capacity is not as amazing as it was before, especially if I were to try to think a whole lot. But, for normal daily activities, I am just fine. Of course, nights are a lot harder. Since the switch to the 5 nap shedule, I have been relatively alert until 3am. Often, I have a little trouble staying awake right after I wake up from the 10:15 nap for longer than usual. But, other than that, I am pretty good with one exception: 3:30am - 6:30am. This is just my devil time. As noted, I am going to be excersizing starting at 5:30. If I really have issues staying awake, I might add a nap at 5am, obviously until 5:25. Excersizing right after the nap should help wake me up: assuming I do not turn off all of the alarms. If this is difficult, I may bequeth my wife again. But, she is lible to turn me down to the idea of waking me up twice in a night only 2 hours apart.

Well, as usual, pray for me and wish me luck.

Night 30

6/21/2009
Harumph! Last night I had a problem again. Again, I did not hear the alarm. I even set two alarms. Yesterday, I purchased a kitchen timer to use as a secondary alarm. Unfortunately, when I went to use it last night, I found that ti takes an AAA battery: not included. We don't use AAA much, not like AA batteries, so we did not have any that worked, so I didn't have that alarm last night. So, instead I used the mircowave as a backup. I guess I didn't hear the microwave. And, it appears I shut the pohne alarm off wihtout waking up.

Today is Father's Day. So, as a gift, I asked to have a week's worth of wake-ups from my wife. I asked if for the next week I could come to sleep with her instead of downstairs for my 3am nap. When my alarm goes of at 3:30, she is almost gauranteed to wake up (she is a light sleeper and, obviously, not trying to switch to polyphasic). If I don't wake up, then she has to wake me up and get me out of bed and the room. Naturally, she was not so keen on this idea. But, after only a little persistence, she agreed. So, for the next week, I am going to be sticking to my 5 nap schedule and my wife is going to be working with me to stick with it.

Thinking about it. I am not 100% certain that the3 5 nap schedule will work. It is unproven, as compared to a true Uberman schedule. But, I really want it to work. So, I am going to use my wife for the next week. And, once I am awake, I need to set the kitchen timer (I'm going to get a battery today), and a timer on my computer, to make sure that I do not fall back asleep. And/Or I need to stay up doing something. Cooking worked well before. I think I am going to come up with some recipes to work on during the 3:30-whenever timeframe. As I am supposed to be, I will always exercise around 5am, or as soon as is convenient with cooking. If after this week, though, I still have not gotten to a point where I am not just about dead, then I think I might change to a true Uberman schedule. As noted, I really want to get tot he effects of valuable napping. Currently, I do not always get good naps. In general, it is often difficult for me to fall asleep (during the day) and I do not always get REM. As such, I do not always wake up refreshed. This is what I really want to get to. Since I am currently laid-aff, this is a great time for me to adjust to a schedule where my naps will be this way. Once my naps are like that, then I would attempt different modifications to the schedule such that I would have the time in the normal day to go to work.

Night 29

6/20/2009
Last night, I did something that I haven't done very much in the last month. I just decided to go to sleep. Last night, I did fine with sticking to the schedule until 3am. Also, I should note that my naps were a little off yesterday. My 5:15pm nap was put off until about 6:30. Then, much to my surprise, though as described by others, I still felt tired at my normal 10:15 naptime. But, I didn't go to sleep then; I didn't go to sleep for another hour: 11:15. Then, I was awake from 11:40-3am. When I woke up from my 3am nap at 3:25, I felt really, really tired. I got up, turned off my bakup alarm on the microwave and went into the other room. A couple minutes later, I realized that I had pretty much fallen asleep just standing there. I was trying to figure out what to do. I didn't come up with anything. I wandered around for a little bit. I was at my parent's house, not mine, so I ended up not coming up with anything. So, I decided to just let myself have a little more sleep. I went back to sleep by about 3:45. I slept until about 6am. So, I got over 2 hours of sleep.

Of course, now that I am not "in the moment" I believe this was wrong. I am most definitly not adapted to the sleep schedule. The key to reaching this fully adapted state is simply sticking to it. I really, really need to not fall asleep at night. Or rather, not sleep past my time to wake up. So, tonight, I am going to set two alarms. I am also going to embrace and rejoice when it is difficult for me to stay awake. This absolute feeling of needing sleep is going to be what causes my body to adapt to the schedule more fully. Right now, I have essentially "adapted" to an Everyman scedule. If I was only trying to go to Everyman, I would probably say that I have adapted. Though I do think that I might want to do Everyman for long term, I also really want to get to that point where I can do uberman also and conk out anywhere, and stuff like that.

Night 28

6/19/2009
Last night, I didn't set a back up alarm. When I went to sleep at 3am, the primary alarm on my phone didn't wake me up. I woke up at about 5:30am. Hmm. For the rest of the day before tonight (I'm writing this during night 29), I had trouble sleeping. Well, actually, the 10:15 nap, which I actually had a little late, went pretty well. But, the 12:15 and 5:15 naps were tough to get to sleep at. I most definitly have not adapted yet. I think the longer naps at night are what has really been throwing me off.

The nights of 26 and 27 didn't go much better. I actually cannot remember the specifics, but I remember that I haven't been sticking to the schedule at night. I really need to make a point to blog every night. With so many naps, I forget what happens.

I don't know. I'm torn. I definitly know that polyphasic sleeping is the way I want to go in the future. But, I don't know exactly what schedule. On weekends, I definitly will want to be on an Everyman scheudle. During the week, in general, I have no problem sticking to the schedule, well, not from a psychological standpoint. I mean, sticking to the schedule does not effect/disrupt my life. But, during the weekends, I often have/want a more flexible schedule. It's not really convenient to have to go to sleep in the middle of the day at a very specific time. The fascinating thing to me is that I have not had a lot of the effects that I was expecting from my on-line research. My understanding was that going late on a nap or skipping one would really be hard. The answer is that it's really not. I mean, I usually feel tired. Though, not always, expecially during the 12:15 nap. Also, in general, though, I am not up to the exact same level that I used to be. The weird thing is that I seem to have a similar cognative ability, actually. Doing tests and things that would test if I have the same cognitive ability cause results indicating that I am really about the same as I was monophasicly. But, I definitly feel different. I feel like I am more tired than I was before I started this schedule. My unerstanding from the on-line blogs was that once really adapted, I would feel as alert and awake after a nap as was normal during monophasic sleep, if not even more. Since it's been like a month and I have not gone completely crazy, I know that I am getting REM on at least a somewhat regular basis. But, I am curious to know if I am really only getting it at night still. I know I really have to stick to no extra sleeping. Fully adapting and gaining all the benefits of the uberman schedule should be possible, but only if I don't get any other sleep. I know, that I have committed to this a dozen times already. But, I am going to do it again. For the rest of this month, I am not going to let failure be an option. I am always going to have a backup alarm. I am not going to do the poker thing becuase the other night I fell asleep during a game. Literally, I believe it was night 26, I woke up to find that I had been playing a poker tournament. I blinded myself out. Luckily, I didn't end up losing everything in that tournament, but I did lose quite a bit.

OK. So, I am going to retripple my efforts. No more falling asleep. Whatever it takes, I am going to do it. By the end of the month, that's almost 2 more weeks, I want to have at least 7 straight days of not oversleeping.

Night 23-25

6/16/2009
OK, so night 23 went well. As noted, I wrote the previous post during the night. I stayed up as I was supposed to. I did indeed change to a nap at 3:00 only. This seemed to work out pretty well actually. I had only a small amount of difficulty staying up until 3am to take that nap. My assumption is the difficulty is because I have not been training for that for the last few weeks. And, when I woke up fro that nap, then I didn't start doing excercise right away, but rather after a little bit. I was concerned this would be an issue, but it really wasn't. I finished my excersize routine, cleaned up as I was supposed to, and then got ready for church. All in all, this night went pretty darn well.

Night 24, I had agreed with my wife I would take off. That is, I would sleep through the night in the bed with her, unless I just woke up and couldn't get to sleep. So, we went to bed together at about 10:15 and, as she expected, I didn't wake up until about 7:40. So, it was a normal night off.

Day 25, the day after the night off, though, was difficult. The big thing is that it was difficult for me to take a nap. I tried, but I don't think I ever got to REM. Not at my 12:15 or 5:15 naps. At 10:15, I did get to REM, but it took almost 15 minutes to get to sleep so, I probably only had about 5 minutes of REM before the alarm went off. As such, throughout the whole day, I felt tired. It was kinda odd, really. I would feel like I should takea nap when I was awake, but when I lied down for one of my naps, I couldn't get to sleep. Of course, it was a little bit of a challenge to stay up until 3am, but I made it. Unfortunately, I did not hear the alarm (or remember hearing the alarm) at 3:20. So, instead I slept until about 6am. Hmm, back to Everyman again. So, tonight, I am going to go to the store sometime and get a kitchen timer and use that as a backup. My computer is almost fully functional. (I had some issues with it before, see Night 15-16 for more info.) The one thing that isn't working is the speakers. I can listen to things if I plug in headphones. But, if there are no headphones plugged in, then I get absolutely no audio. Before my big virus, I was suing the computer as a backup alarm. Of course, this doesn't really work if I have to wear headphones. Hmm, I don't think. I guess at 3am, I might be able to fall asleep with headphones on. But, I might knock them off during the sleep. Hmm, I guess I could have that, and set the microwave. That should be enough back-ups. OK. New plan. For the rest of this week, I am going to have my phone as I always do, but for the 3am nap (which is the only one in the middle of the night now, which is the only time before when I had issues) I will also set my computer and wear headphones and set the microwave. I really want to do this right for the next week. I think by then I should be pretty adapted if I actually stick to it. I am really trying to teach my body to (a) wake up after REM, and (b) accept the fewer hours of sleep as acceptable.

Wish me luck.

Night 22

6/14/2009
Harumph! As I am writing this, it is actually night 23. This is the night I was supposed to be taking off (see last night's post). Unfortunately, I took last night off. Last night I was doing pretty well, I thought. I laid down at 1:15 and was planning on doing some work for a party today when I woke up at 1:45. The next thing I know, my wife is waking me up at 7:30. I never heard the alarm. Supposedly it went off, but then I found my phone (which is what I use as an alarm clock) tangled in the blanket I was using. My best guess is that the blanket muffled the alarm.

So, I'd say night 22 didn't go so well. As such, though, I am continuing with my plan from last night's post but with yesterday being my day off. I am thinking of taking tomorrow night off as well, since this was actually the day I was first going to take off but modified it for other reasons. But, regardless, tonight I am going to attempt, therefore, to not nap until ~3am. I'll probably go down a touch earlier, like 2:45 tonight. I might move it to 3 though if it works. If it doesn't work then I'll go back to the 6 nap schedule I have been having. I am concerned that this schedule causes me to sleep too much at night which means that I am not adapting to being awake at night as well. Of course, the whole point is adapting to being awake at night. The issue is that my 10:15 nap did not go so well. I didn't get down to sleep until about 10:30 and then woke up at maybe 10:50. So, it was a little short and a little unusual. As such, I don't feel rested now at 11:45 like I usually do. Hopefully I can make it to 3am.

Night 19-21

6/12/2009
Nothing much has happened in the last few days. I have still been taking an extra nap, of about 2 hours. Each night it has been at a little different time, somewhere between 2am and 6:30am. I also have not been working at staying awake really that hard. I have been trying to do stuff on the computer, which is what I want to be able to do long term. But, of course, this is not super condusive to staying awake.

Essentially, I have been living a defacto Everyman schedule. I have been getting a roughly 3 hour core sleep (with a very small amount of wake time in the middle). Usually I have slept about 2 hours inbetween two of the naps at night that only have 3 hours between them. So, if you just include those two naps, it's a total of about 3 hours. Aside from that, i have bene taking 4 other naps. So, this is pretty close to Everyman. Realisticly, if this is where I ended up, I'd be happy. But, I'd really like to get completely adapted and be able to do Uberman. Not that I would mind doing Everyman long term. I wouldn't; actually I've considered doing this regardless of if I do adapt to Uberman. At the very least, I would do one or two nights a week of Everyman.

But anyway, I do feel that I have gotten closer to adapting. I moved back away from the 20 minute naps. I feel much more rested with the 25 minute naps. And, that is why I was trying the 20 minute naps, to feel more rested. Sometimes, I do still have issues really feeling rested when I wake up, but I think that is when I am not getting to REM.

I do want to adapt to no core sleep. I am going to try and redouble my efforts. I'm going to make a commitment to not taking a core sleep for five days striaght. But, I feel like taking an intentional day off. So, tomorrow night, I am going to sleep the night as much as I want to. I might go to sleep at 10:15. I think I'll not set alarms starting from then until morning. We'll see how much I sleep. I'm really interested in how much I really will sleep without an alarm. Then, Sunday through Friday nights, I'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure I don't sleep. I'm going to go back to having a backup alarm on my computer at night that goes off every 30 minutes. Also, I'm not going to be on the computer starting from 1:45 until 7:45. I've considered going to the only 5 nap schedule that I had originally come up with. It seems that the big problem is right around 3am, so I thought it might be better with a nap around there. Also, I don't have any issues until I go to sleep at 1:15. I'm not sure of course, but I am theorizing that if I put off the nap until about 5 hours have gone by, then I will have less trouble staying up then.

So, after my night off tomorrow, I am going to attempt to take a nap not at 1:15 or 4:15 but only one at 3:00am instead. If that goes horribly the first night, then I'll go back to the schedule I've been doing at night. Otherwise, I'll stick to following the five nap schedule.

Night 18

6/9/2009
Yesterday, I had this bright idea. I like to play poker on-line (nothing big, like $3-5 tournaments). Well, I happened to find a particular tournament that started at 5:40, right when I should wake up from my nap in the afternoon. When I woke up, I went right for the computer to play the poker game. Ding! A light bulb went off. At night, I could register in a game that started when I woke up. I have to pay the fee for the tournament when I reguster for it. So, if I wouldn't wake up and play, then I would just be out the money for the tournament. I don't have a whole lot of money devoted to poker (especially now that I am laid off. As a side note, I got a call from my boss's boss yesterday telling me to continue my lay off and that I am going to get a separation package at some point, but they don't know when yet. Yeah! If anyone knows an opening for a Software Engineer, let me know.). So, having already paid, the incentive to get up and play would be pretty high. I tested the theory last night at 1:40. Actually, I enrolled in a tournament starting at 1:30 because that was the closest I could get. Regardless, it worked like a charm. At 1:40, I got up and started the game. The issue I had with it is that it tied me to the computer for much of that waking period. I ended up not starting a game for 4:40 because I thought I should get up and do something else. Of course, when the time came, I didn't actually get up and do anything. Instead, though I did not go back to sleep, I really didn't do much of anything.

I noted that last night I woke up not tired but not really refreshed per se. I am always able to get up. I don't really feel tired during the day or night. Sometimes I feel tired when awaking, likely because I was coming out of deep sleep. But that shortly passes. Still, I rarely feel really refreshed in the sense of being full of energy. I think that I am indeed getting REM, but my 25 minute nap is just a touch too long. I rarely remember any dreams, unless I am awoken early. So, I am going to continue the same schedule but chaneg the nap lengths to 20 minutes only. Or rather, the alarm times to 20 minutes. Of course, I do not always get to sleep right as I lay down nor do I always lay down exactly at X:15; it is often X:16 or X:17 currently. So, instead I am going to aim for X:20 and see what happens starting with my next nap which will be at 12:20 on day 19.

Night 17

6/8/2009
I was lazy last night. We got home at about 8:30, but it felt late for some reason. I stayed up until nap time at 10:15. I also woke up at 10:40, as I am supposed to. But, after not too long, I just lay down on the couch and went to sleep. For the rest of the night, I would wake up, sometimes do a little something and then go back to sleep. I probably got almost 6 hours of sleep last night, though it wasn't continuous. Surprisingly, I don't feel as guilty about it as I did before. It was not that I couldn't stay awake. I just chose not to. For whatever reason, I just did not feel like doing anything productive last night. I just felt like sleeping. So, I did. I think I shouldn't do that for the rest of the week. Based on how I felt this weekend in the room, though, I think that if I want to, I should have no problem staying awake. As such, I am going to set a new rule for myself. At the end of each wake period before I go to sleep, I am going to set a to-do list for myself for the next wake period. This to-do list might include some fun time, like playing computer games, but it will always include something, whatever that is. Since all of my sleep periods start at the 15 minute mark, I am going to be doing this scheduling during the 15 minutes before each nap.

Night 15 and 16

6/7/2009
I went to New York for a wedding this weekend. So, (1) I did not blog yesterday, and (2) I was trying to be polyphasic with my wife in the same room. So, what happened?

Night 15
We were in a new city, so I spent the time between 2am and ~3:30am driving around finding out where things were. We were there for a wedding, so I checked out where the church was and the best ways to get there. Previously, I had thought that driving at night would be a bad idea: I could fall asleep at the wheel. I found that the opposite was true. I think that I have adapted to the point where I am indeed getting REM sleep at most/all naps, so my brain is capable of staying awake for the wake periods. But, I have not adapted psychologically. I still "think" that I am supposed to be asleep. So, if I don't force myself to do something, then I don't do anything and fall asleep. So, overall. This night went well. I was able to fix my computer (Finally) also. If you are interested, I had the VRT virus. I was able to eliminate it by (a) formatting and reinstalling on my windows partition and (b) dleteing it with CrashBang Linux on a USB from the other partitions that it had spread to. Anyway, I followed my schedule all day and night on Friday, the 15th day.

Night 16
I did not stick to my nap schedule during the day on Saturday at all. They were all over the place. We had a wedding, so I adjusted the naps around that. I took roughly my normal nap at 12:15. But, the reception started at 5pm, so I moved my 5:15 nap back to 4:25. I woke at 4:50 (roughly) and went to the reception. I was getting really tired a the reception then by about 9:30. This makes sense since it had been about 5 hours since I had gone to sleep. But, my fraternity brothers wanted to do some stuff, so I ended up staying until about 10:45. I slept for about 5 minutes while my wife drove back to the hotel. Then, at about 11:15, I went back to sleep. I slept through the alarm I had set, but my wife woke me up at about midnight (thanks hon). So, I got up, went and played a game with my fraternity brothers in a different hotel room, and then came back to sleep at about 2:15. I woke at 2:40, stayed up until 4:15 and woke at about 4:40. But, I did not stay up until 7:15. I got bored (I guess I should have done this blogging, but, o well) and went to sleep with my wife at about 5:30 and slept until 7:30.

All in all, I think the weekend went pretty well, especially considering that I was in the same small hotel room as my wife.

Night 14

6/4/2009
Yeah! I held the line. I did not end up doing what I noted in my last blog, i.e. walking to the store. Right before I went to bed last night, my wife came to me and said she had a bad feeling about my walking the 2 miles to the store in the dead of night. So, I agreed not to walk to the store. Instead, I drove to the store. I had argued against this with her yesterday because I have been very tired in that night period and did not want to get into an accident. Actually, when she went to bed, I had agreed not to walk to the store and was thus planning on not going. Instead, I was planning on just cooking with what I already had in the house. So, I woke up at 1:4; I forced myself up and into the kitchen and started deciding on the exact recipe I was going to follow. I decided to try and make General Tso's chicken and fried rice. I thought we had everything I needed for this (with a few little things I would substitute). I went to the cupboard and found we out that we did indeed have rice, as I knew, but only about 1/6 of a cup. Hmm, well, I was starting to not feel as groggy. I decided to make a list and see how I felt. By the time the list was done with everything I might want to put in the recipe, I didn't feel all that tired (which has been unusual for the last couple nights). So, I did indeed drive to the store.

It ended up taking a whole lot of time to make dinner. (1) I was tired, so naturally everything takes longer, and (2) this was the first time I was making this so it always takes longer. Because of both of these and the fact that part of the point of cooking was to keep me awake, I decided to do steps serially instead of in parallel. I ended up spending 1:40-3:00am picking out ingredients at home from the recipes, going to the store, buying everything, and coming home. I then spent 3:00-5:30am actually making it (with a break in there for my normal nap at 4:15). By 5:30, I was not so much in the mood for Chinese anymore, a cinnamon roll sounded better, and I was tired of cooking. So, I did not experiment all that much with the seasonings. I tried it as-is and found it edible though not amazing. But, the goal was achieved. I stayed up all night.

I should note that yesterday, during the day, I felt tired. I was not nearly as tired as I often feel at night, but I was tired enough to definitely want to go to sleep. This continued to this morning after my 7:15 nap. I just woke up from my 12:15 nap and currently feel fine.

On that note, I went down for my 12:15 nap a little late, about 12:25 actually. I set my alarm for 12:50 and went to sleep. At 12:40, I woke up and felt that it was time to get up. I was not groggy; I was ready to go do something.

This fits with a hypothesis I have been forming over the last couple days: nap lengths are REALLY important. On the Sleep Experts Response page, I discuss a controversy over whether someone on polyphasic sleep goes into deep sleep. From my current experience, I believe the following to be the case. When someone who has adapted to polyphasic sleep goes to sleep, they spend a couple minutes in phases 1 and 2 sleep. Then, they move on to REM sleep, esentially inserting a REM cycle before deep sleep. This has been documented as happening for people that are REM deprived, as an unadapted polyphasic sleeper would be. This REM cycle lasts as long as a normal REM cycle, 15-20 minutes. If the person does not awake, then they move from REM sleep into stage 3 or stage 4 delta sleep. If awoken (or attempted to be awoken) from this state, people naturally feel groggy and tired and that they need more sleep. So, people who take a 30 minute nap are doing just that: getting into deep sleep. The 20 minute nap, on the other hand, is training the brain to wake up after that first REM cycle. Before starting, I had hypothesized that the five or six 25-minute naps would be easier than Dymaxion because I had less time between naps. I think the real issue is the time of the nap. Dymaxion sleep calls for a 30 minute nap. To really get adapted to this, one would have to train their body to either (a) push the REM cycle longer, or (b) not start the REM cycle right away. I'm not sure which one happens, if either one is actually possible. Anyway, so the goal for me should be to have shorter sleep periods, such as 20 minutes. Changing to this would (a) be a deviation from my original plan, (b) mean giving up on the idea of having 5 sleep periods a day, and (c) reduce my total sleep to only 2 hours or less. The REM cycle might might not naturally end until after the 20 minute mark. Hence, I had hypothesized that a longer sleep time, such as 25 minutes would actually be more optimal. At this point, I am not so sure. I think the 20 minute nap is designed around the 15-20 minute REM cycle.

Per this hypothesis, if I am already adapted, I would feel like I was sleeping a long time when i took a nap, but still wake up groggy. If I am not adapted, then I would feel like I did not get any sleep. If the former is true, then it would make sense to alter my original intent to have only 20 minute naps or something shorter than the 25 minutes at the very least. Tonight, I am going to attempt to keep track of how long the nap felt. If indeed they seem long, such as that I have been asleep for a while more than 25 minutes, then I will probably
transition over to only 20 minute naps

Day 13

6/3/2009

Argh! OK, something needs to change. This time, I know I slept. It's just so desirable. I could hardly help it. I tried to resist, but at last succumbed. Last night, I was good for the first wake period at night, from 10:40pm-1:15am. I was hungry, so I had dinner. Besides that, I watched TV, listed to an audio book while making dinner, and went on the computer. After the 1:15 nap, though, I had issues. I had made a schedule yesterday afternoon to try and help me stay awake. I had on my schedule that I was supposed to eat dinner AFTER the 1:15 nap instead of before. Since I am really tired, my creativity and problem solving skills are horrible. Essentially, I couldn't come up with anything else to do instead of making dinner at that time besides moving on to the next thing on my list: cleaning my room upstairs. Naturally, I don't enjoy cleaning, though I feel it needs to be done, so I thought to myself, "I'll just wait until I am supposed to do that per the schedule". Secondly, I was cold. I have been getting cold at night lately, which makes me want to stay under a blanket. Both of these together spelled disaster for my staying awake. I ended up sleeping from about 2am-6am.

I woke up extremely depressed. This happened yesterday too. I was so depressed yesterday morning that I had difficulty doing anything productive. Today, I talked to my wife when she got up (which was soon after I woke up). She indicated that she had complete faith that I could stick to the schedule, not sleep, and fully adapt. I guess I needed that.

We decided that I was going to run to the store directly after my 1:15 nap. By run, I mean literally run/jog/walk to the store. The closest store that is open 24 hours a day is about 2 miles away from our house. Jogging there should take roughly 20 minutes each way. Since I will be tired, I would guesstimate another 45 minutes to an hour in the store. So, this should kill about an hour and a half to 2 hours each night. As should be obvious, I do not want to make this a habit long-term. But, if it will keep me awake until I am adapted, then it is definitely worth it. I am planning on not eating my night-lunch (a friend of mine came up with this term and I thought it was clever and better than "fourth-meal") until after the store time. I will plan on deciding on what I will make before my 1:15 nap and come up with a grocery list. Then, 1:45-3:15 will be going to the store. 3:15-4:15 will be making and hopefully eating my night-lunch. Of course, this is almost breakfast time, really. So, my guess is that I will end up skipping breakfast. In actuality, with a night-lunch of 4am and a lunch around 1 (as I had today), a dinner near 8pm would actually cause me to have 3 roughly equidistant meals. Actually, lunch should be at noon, but since I nap at 12:15 while I have been home from work I have been eating it later.

So, hopefully, for the next couple days, I will spend the entire time that I have been sleeping at night on dinner. This means I will have to not eat, or only eat something small in the 10:45-1:15 period if I am hungry. We are going out of town for a wedding this weekend, so this will only be for tonight and tomorrow night at first. We'll see how I am doing by Sunday night. If this works the next two night and I am not fully adapted by Sunday, then I will likely pick back up the practice for next week. After next week, though, when I will be going back to work, I really won't want to be spending 3 hours a night having night-lunch. Secondly, last night I had difficulty picking out what I wanted to make. I had down something similar to this for last night (except not going to the store) but didn't stick to it. I think holding off on eating, though, will be easier than holding off on sleeping at night, now that I know how detrimental eating early was last night.

Secondly, I discussed the use of my computer. See, amongst other things, I have been using my computer as a back up alarm. My phone goes off every time that I am supposed to wake up from a nap (7:40am, 12:40pm, 5:40pm, etc). But, during the night, I have been going to Timer Frog to set a back-up timer to go off every half hour or so. I never turn the alarm off, simply reset the countdown. So, if I fall asleep, then it will wake me up within a half hour. Somehow last night, I disabled this at some point because it was not blaring when I woke up. But, one of the issues is that my "home base" has always been my computer (at least for the last decade or so). So, when I don't know what else to do, I go to the computer. My wife believes this is part of the problem (and I cannot argue with her). It is far easier to fall asleep trying to do something on the computer. So, I am going to be obtaining a kitchen timer that works the same way as the countdown that I have been utilizing on the computer. Then, I am going to be shutting down the computer each night after I make dinner (the recipes will be on the computer). And, secondly, I will be moving the computer to the kitchen BEFORE my 1:15 nap and not moving it back until after my 7:15 nap. Finally, the entire living room (where we have our TV) is off limits except for nap time for this same period. When the alarm goes off, I am to leave the room immediately and not come back until it is time to sleep (on the couch) again. As a different, psychological effect, so far I have devoted time but not money to my conversion to polyphasic sleep. By purchasing the kitchen timer, even though the cost is not very high, it constitutes actually putting money down as an investment rather than just time. I am hoping this makes me think "I have to do this; I already spent the money."

Days 8-12

6/02/2009

My computer crashed a few days ago. I have been working on getting everything up and running again since then. I got some sort of Trojan horse that kept sending spam e-mail, along with tying down my system. When I tried to get rid of it, my system stopped booting altogether. It took over 36 hours for me to copy everything from the drive to be ready to wipe it. I should make more frequent back-ups; I know.

Anyway.

Night 8 and 9

I am going to start referring to everything by nights instead of days because for me, this has been the only time there have been issues. In general, days are just fine. Some days I feel a little more groggy than others, but I can operate, drive, carry on conversations, and pretty much do whatever I want. I still feel that I am tired every once in a while. And, I can definitely tell when it is time for a nap. OK. So, going back a few days. I had hypothesized that if I took one core sleep, this might help me catch up on lost sleep and then allow me to begin sleeping better polyphasicly. I decided not to try it (on purpose) but that night (night 7), I accidentally tried it anyway. So, on night 8, I was interested to see how sleepy I was. I am am happy to report that I did pretty well on night 8. I still felt somewhat sleepy, but nowhere near what I had felt for the last couple nights. I was able to stay up all night while being on the computer. In general, if I can operate on the computer all night, I consider it a successful night, since computer time is most likely to put me to sleep.

Since I am writing in retrospect, I do not remember a whole lot about these nights. I remember that they were successful. I stayed up all night without any real issues. I did do some physical activity on night 9; I built some shelves for the basement. But, this was not because I absolutely needed to do something physical to stay awake. Rather, I just had it on my list of things to do and night time is as good a time as any to get it done. Also, as noted, by this time my computer had crashed I was working on backing up all of my data, so I could not do a whole lot of anything on the computer.

At this point, I know I considered myself to have relatively adapted to polyphasic sleep. I considered this very good because I wanted to be pretty much fully adapted by the end of the weekend since I was to go back to work on Monday.

Night 10

Of course, as soon as I indicate that I will refer to days by nights, I get to a night where the daytime activities are important. On Saturday (Day 10), I had a bachelor party to go to for one of my fraternity brothers. The plan was 2pm paintball, 7pm dinner, after that Canada. As I live in the Detroit area, it is relatively normal to go to Canada, especially for groups that include 19 or 20 year olds since they can legally drink in Canada. So, I took my 12:15 nap as normal here at home and then headed out to go paintballing. We were there until a little after 6pm and I did not break for my 5:15 nap. I gave someone else my keys to drive to the restaurant and attempted to take a nap in the car. I did get to sleep, but never got out of alpha sleep, that is phase 1 or possibly phase 2. We went to dinner and ate. It took a while due to the size of the group and the fact some people were late. We finally left for Canada around 9:45. I thought it would only take a little over a half hour, so I drove and thought I could nap when I got there. Well, due to lots of things, that wasn't the case. When we still weren't there at 10:30, I let someone else drive and again attempted to take a nap. Of course, 10 minutes later we were at the bridge to Canada and I had to get up. Since one of the other guys in my car didn't have a passport, the border control ended up making us go through immigration and get my car searched. By the time we go to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the people it was well after 11. I figured I would just have to make sure I got my next nap. This actually happened. At 1am, we were at a coffee shop that served alcohol. Since it had a coffee shop atmosphere, there was a chair in the corner where I was able to take a nap as scheduled. I was also back in the hotel room (though not everyone was) for my 4:15 nap later. After this nap, I left with the same people and came home feeling not too bad. But, after my 7:15 nap here at home, I never got up. I slept for a couple hours after the nap was supposed to end.

Night 11

To make a long story short, I slept through a wake period again. This time it was the one between 4:45 and 7:15. I actually woke up when my wife came down at around 7. I did not take my 7:15 nap since I had just woken up. My computer was still down. I had been using my computer as a secondary alarm. See, there is a website (http://timberfrog.com/countdown/) that has a countdown timer and an annoying alarm afterward. Last week, before my computer died, I was using this website to make sure I did not oversleep, or more accurately that I would be woken up after a maximum of 25 minutes (a normal nap length). Since my computer has been broken, I have not had this backup and have subsequently not made it through the night. At the end of this night, I thought I would be able to get the computer working by the next night.

I was also informed by work that my TLO (Temporary Lay Off) was going to continue for another two weeks. I was planning on going back to work tomorrow, but now I don't have to. I'm actually not sure if this is good or bad. If I was going to work, then I would start/stick to a schedule more ardently. But, this way, it doesn't matter if I am groggy or not rested during the day. I am still holding to the my 60 days. I am going to do this for 60 days. I am going to do what I can to actually adapt to this schedule.

Night 12

As I am writing, it is now day 13, so night 12 was just last night. On Monday nights, I often go and play poker with friends. We start around 8pm and often go past the 10:15 mark. Last night, though, I was already out by 10:15, so I left the house and went out to my car to sleep. It takes me 30 minutes to drive home, so I opted to sleep in the car. That didn't work out so well. I don't think I got very deep sleep in the car this time. I'm not sure why since I have in the past gotten good sleep, but I didn't this time.
So, I came home, said hello to my wife and started eating. After that things get fuzzy. My wife asked me this morning if I slept and I told her I honestly didn't know. I was trying to remember what happened and I cannot. I know I was awake for the whole period until 1:15. I know I woke up at 1:40. I know I did some stuff to keep myself awake during that period. I think I remember going down at 4:15, but I am not sure, and then the next thing I remember is it being about 6:15. This is kinda odd and scary. My wife indicated it was like I was drunk last night. This is not the first time she has indicated this. On other occasions in the last week, she has said something to the effect of: I'm acting drunk. I'm not sure how she would know how I would act drunk as I have never been, but you get the idea. So, tonight, I am going to (a) use the countdown timer on my computer after midnight until 7:15, (b) not do anything else on the computer, and (c) not lie down except at nap time and jump and stand up when the alarm goes off. I am going to redouble my efforts. I am not going to do anything that would stop my adaptation. I want this to work.