Polyphasic Sleep v3: Days 10 and on
I've decided to stop blogging about my polyphasic exploits, at least until I'm in a position where I can give this blog the attention it needs. Each and every day I'm posting the same thing, "I overslept by an hour or so, bit of a setback, hopefully I'll stop oversleeping", not to mention the huge gaps I'm leaving between posts. Adjusting to polyphasic sleep requires things in your life to be settled enough that you can make it your number one priority, and right now that just isn't true for me. I've got a new job starting in the next few days and there's no way I'm willing to be a mindless, zonked-out zombie during it. I'd actually half-written a post for today, so I'll just include it (unedited) below:
As I stipulated a few weeks back, the universe may be against me. Whilst that does sound like a very passive stance to take, I can't help getting a little down sometimes about all the things that have gone wrong during my attempts to become completely 100% polyphasic (meaning no oversleeps, or at least very few). I went on a ski trip and overslept for 2 days straight (admittedly my fault). I got sick. And then again. I took a week or so off and had another crack, but that only lasted 10 days or so. And then this attempt was going OK until everybody at my workplace was instantly retrenched and I not only had the depression/extreme rage to deal with, but also had no motivation to get up at 3am after a 20 minute nap (that was normally the time I worked, and it was quite frankly depressing to wake up to nothing). Now that I'm starting the new job there's a lot of training to do and I don't fancy the prospect of being a zombie during my first few weeks of the new job. Not a good look.
However, it's worth noting I am actually doing polyphasic sleep right now (I'm just inadvertently oversleeping roughly once a day, by on average 1-2 hours). So where am I right now?
- I sleep, on average, 4 hours a day. Given before I was needing at least 8 hours (usually more) to feel "normal", this is quite an achievement.
- I'm able to achieve that without really getting tired anymore (unless I push the time between naps to 8+ hours). No more "afternoon blues", no more coffee needed to get me through the day.
- Instead of having the day/night dichotomy most people have, the entire 24 hours of a day seems the same to me. 3am isn't much different to 3pm (although I do feel more tired at 3am - my body is probably still used to its regular circadian rhythm). This means I'm able to work from home during the night and early hours of the morning, and then have the entire day to do whatever I please. Awesome. It also means if I feel like catching the sunrise at 5am, it's absolutely no trouble at all to be awake for it. There's no "Oh my god I have to drag my sorry ass out of bed at 4 in the morning..."
- I can move naps around and stack them if I have something important on. I went on an all-day rockclimbing adventure the other day and didn't feel tired at all (though I did make a poor decision to oversleep when I got back, but it's no big deal).
- I can sleep at the drop of a hat. Before I used to take an hour to fall asleep; these days I'm out within 3 minutes max (often within 30 seconds).
- I can sleep anywhere. I used to be the type of person who could only sleep in my own bed; I stuggled to sleep in a hotel room or anyone else's bed, and things like sleeping on a couch or on the plane were such foreign concepts to me. These days I can do all that and more. Hell, many of my early morning naps are spent on the hard
- In a way, because I've done been so lax and haven't really stuck to the polyphasic schedule as perfectly as I'd intended, I've trained by body/mind to be more flexible and just "roll with the punches". By that I mean all the delayed naps and subsequent oversleeps have meant I now take a nap whenever I feel like it, without ever thinking about how long it's been since my last nap. The whole day/night has opened up to me and I don't have any particular time I get most of my sleep. The biggest problem with polyphasic (apart from the near-impossible adaption) is how much it can disrupt your day-to-day activities. I don't have that; if I have something on, I don't even think about naps and it's no drama to go 12+ hours without a nap. I'm almost never tired and when I am, I can either take a quick nap or have some coffee (only takes one quarter of a mug) and I'm good to go for another few hours. Sleep is something I do, but it isn't part of my day.
Finally I'll comment on the poll I have down the bottom of each post. Here's the results:
On average, how many hours do you sleep each night?
8 or less (41%, 17 Votes)
6 or less (34%, 14 Votes)
3 or less (17%, 7 Votes)
10 or less (5%, 2 Votes)
More than 10 (3%, 1 Votes)
It's not surprising that most people who took the poll sleep "8 or less" or "6 or less" hours a night. What I'd be more interested to know is how those of you sleeping 6 or less hours actually feel each night? I bet you're tired as buggery. We also had 7 people saying they're on "3 or less" hours sleep a night (one was my vote). To you other six: what sort of polyphasic are you on? Whatever it is, I hope it's working out as well for you as my weird, hybrid style works for me. Before this experiment I was in the "10 or less" category and even that wasn't enough. I'm not either in the 3 or less or 6 or less category, and holy cow it feels good.
I've got other things upcoming/on the go, so look to this space in the next few days and weeks. Also check out and "like" my Facebook page for all my photography and personal news!
And if anyone else if polyphasic sleeping, I'd love to hear about it - drop a comment below!
- Handy Andy Pandy
Polyphasic Sleep v3 (Third Attempt) entries:
Intro to Polyphasic Sleep
Polyphasic Sleep v3 Prologue
Polyphasic Sleep v3: Day 1
Polyphasic Sleep v3: Days 2-3
Polyphasic Sleep v3: Days 4-5
Polyphasic Sleep v3: Days 6-9
Polyphasic Sleep v3: Days 10 and on