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Miscellaneous => General Chat => Topic started by: BP on February 20, 2013, 12:11:26 PM

Title: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 20, 2013, 12:11:26 PM
Lately I've been really sick of just how much I sleep and when. I'd stay up till 4AM, sleep till 2, feel like crap and like my day was wasted every day. And I'm not even convinced that the standard sleep schedule of 16 waking hours, 8 sleep hours, repeat even works for me when I'm actually doing it right; every time I would "reset" my sleep schedule so I'd wake up at a more normal time, I'd still stay up a long time. I feel like if I wanted to just sleep once a day and spend a third of my life unconscious, I'd stay up 20 or 25 hours and sleep 10, but the rotation of the Earth has other plans.

So I'm trying an Everyman sleep schedule. A core period of three and a half hours asleep (3:30 to 7 AM) and three 20-minute naps throughout the day (around 11AM, 3PM and 7PM). The appeal of this over the much more fascinating überman (in which you sleep for 20 minutes every three hours and forty minutes FOREVER and technically only sleep two hours a day) is the flexibility it allows. You can move naps up and down if you need or want, and it's less punishing if you mess up.

I hope this works out for me. I am excited at the prospect of only sleeping four and a half hours a day and not suffering from sleep deprivation. I'll have so much more time to do stuff. Yesterday was my first complete day of doing this and I think it's gonna be successful. Today, I struggled to make myself get out of bed at 7 but didn't oversleep. Then I had a nasty weird knot in my esophagus as my body interrogated me about what I was doing to it. But that stopped when I gave it some coffee, now I feel much like I normally do when I wake up at an AM hour.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BriGuy92 on February 20, 2013, 01:04:25 PM
I was actually thinking about this recently. Doesn't it have some kind of nasty health detriments to it, though? I'd actually like to try it for myself, but I'm a little afraid of whatever potential circumstances there might be.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: jdaster64 on February 20, 2013, 03:20:06 PM
Read topic as "polyphasic sheep", and was mildly disappointed.  I've thought about alternate sleep schedules like this from time to time, but I don't think I could adjust to taking naps on command, even if on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: WarpRattler on February 20, 2013, 03:34:38 PM
I've been wanting to do the Überman schedule for several years, but as we've already discussed in IRC, it'd just be ridiculous trying to run that schedule and have a real life. Maybe if you were a hermit...

The Everyman schedule still has the problem of needing those naps during the day, though, which isn't exactly doable if you have a job. In the best-case scenario, it'd work, but you'd be giving up your lunch break to sleep.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 20, 2013, 04:08:01 PM
Or slide them around as needed. Or opt for a longer core and only two naps.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on February 20, 2013, 05:14:12 PM
I have the exact same problem, BP. On days off, I'll easily sleep from 3 to 3. If I force myself to fall asleep at 10 PM, I'll wake up at 3 AM.

As for the Everyman Schedule, how would someone with a job manage to sneak in those 20-minute naps?
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Ym9iYnlzcTEzMzc equalsign on February 20, 2013, 05:43:35 PM
Lunch? It would be easier with an office job because that would be "Time when I don't have meetings."
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: PaperLuigi on February 20, 2013, 05:52:29 PM
This thread has reminded me that I literally haven't slept in 3 days.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BriGuy92 on February 20, 2013, 07:39:04 PM
Go to sleep, PaperLuigi.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Ninjap00 on February 20, 2013, 07:52:43 PM
Uhm. Jeez, how can you go that long without sleeping? I hope you're kidding.

go sleep now pls
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: PaperLuigi on February 20, 2013, 08:02:03 PM
I'm not kidding. And even if I wanted to sleep, I probably couldn't.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 20, 2013, 08:45:13 PM
That's not so good at all.

Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Sapphira on February 20, 2013, 08:46:08 PM
Insomnia, PL? Or life circumstances preventing sleep?

I know how you feel, BP. :/

I have sort of a semi-biphasic/siesta sleep schedule going on, and it kind of works for me.
It varies from day to day whether I follow that or the traditional "monophasic" schedule, but on biphasic days I have a core sleep period at night with a shorter nap--between 1-3 hours--around noon.

Thing is, I usually don't bother with a nap that's less than an hour long unless I'm incredibly exhausted. Mostly since it takes me a while to fall asleep. When it takes me at least 20 minutes to fall asleep, a 20 minute nap is pointless.

My daily schedule is different every day, with classes in the mornings 3 days a week, and work in the afternoon-evening 5 days a week. I have a few hours between school and work on two of those days, which is ideal for naps. On those days, I get maybe 4-6 hours of sleep the night before, so the nap really helps. On the other days I try to get about 7-8 hours, and if less, I just do without and try to catch up on other days or weekends.

I think this schedule works for me since I'm pretty sure I have some sort of circadian rhythm disorder ( I can force myself to be on a consistent sleep schedule for maybe a week or two, but after that it shifts to something totally bizarre, and it takes at least a few days before I can get it back on track. So being able to take naps is really helpful for me.

Man, I wish we lived in a society where siestas were commonplace. Also, I hate having to waste a third of my life  just sleeping. But, unfortunately for the most part, anything other than a monophasic or possibly biphasic cycle is just impractical for holding a job. So yeah. :/
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on February 20, 2013, 08:53:47 PM
Maybe you ARE sleeping right now, PL.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: PaperLuigi on February 20, 2013, 08:55:27 PM
Insomnia, PL? Or life circumstances preventing sleep?

The latter. On top of having to do copious amounts of college work, I'm horribly depressed over breaking up with my girlfriend.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 20, 2013, 09:05:59 PM
I'm shocked at how well I'm doing the 20-minute naps. Today, the latter two of the three, I woke up, from real sleep, 20 minutes on the dot after closing my eyes. I'm keeping fail-safe alarms but I didn't need it for those two. To hazard a guess, it takes about three to five minutes for me to actually fall asleep for those, but they're working.

For this only being my second day, I feel pretty amazing. All energetic and alert and stuff. The naps kind of break the momentum of whatever I was doing immediately before each one, but if I'm going to have 19 and a half hours of waking time a day from now on I'll probably find myself looking for things to keep me busy anyway. When I do get a job, I'll still try to make it work (hurr). I do have about an eight-hour gap between the third nap and the core, if I could move things around a schedule it probably wouldn't be too hard or taxing... but I guess I'll find out what's problems when they become problems. I feel like I could lift a truckload of problems and throw them into space right now.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on February 20, 2013, 09:21:49 PM
How do you force yourself to sleep on command like that?
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 20, 2013, 10:13:20 PM
Same as when you're not tired but force yourself to go to bed anyway: decide it must be done, close your eyes, and try not to think too much. Only, I don't get in bed, one piece of advice I read said it's better to make what you do for the core and the naps physically different by napping anywhere but your bed and in your normal clothes. Like I said, I'm surprised it's working so well and so soon. It's not something I've ever been able to just do, I was expecting that gaining that ability would take a hellish, exhausting, frustrating week or something.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Koopaslaya on February 21, 2013, 09:37:04 AM
When I was in college, three guys tried the Everyman sleep cycle. The first guy quite after the first week. The second guy made it a month but was completely dysfunctional. It worked for the other guy, and it did all his work at night when everyone else was sleeping, and then proceded to bother everyone else during the day with all his free time.

I guess it depends on your disposition. I know I could never do that.

I don't get much more than 5 hours a night now, but it is plenty enough for me. Usually 12:00-5:00
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Markio on February 21, 2013, 09:47:39 PM
I'm the type of person that goes to bed between nine and midnight and usually wakes up automatically around seven.  I've had skin problems and irregular sleep makes me break out, so I can't stand staying up really late.  I'm lucky to be on the west coast, because we can post simultaneously and I can avoid staying awake in the wee hours of the morning.

I also cannot really go to sleep on command.  If I take a nap during the day then I will probably have trouble falling asleep that night.  What has helped me the most with falling asleep more quickly is to do a breathing exercise that allows you to relax and forces your mind to focus on counting: inhale for four, hold for seven, exhale for eight.  And earplugs.  I also work at 5:30 on most mornings, so I have to get up at 4:15 to shower and eat before riding my bike to work.  Doing that makes me tired enough by nightfall.

Also, this topic keeps reminding me of this:
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 22, 2013, 02:16:07 AM
Third day, I'm feeling fine. I still have slow starts in the morning but I've always been that way. I dunno if the first nap is placed well, it's hard to fall asleep for that one... maybe the longest waking period should be after the core and that one should be moved to the end?  I took the last one about an hour earlier than the previous two days so I could go hang out with some friends, and I still feel pretty good, awaiting my core in three and a half hours.

I can almost kind of actually feel it when my consciousness goes away for the naps. It's like a weird creeping fog behind my face that snugly wraps my brain from below and suspends my ability to control or remember my thoughts. If I could just make it happen on command...
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 22, 2013, 01:05:08 PM
Day four. Interesting new things are happening. I can communicate with animals now, hearing their thoughts as tiny voices in my head when I make eye contact. I'm getting all these striking premonitions of tragedies like plane crashes and terrorist attacks moments before they happening, scribbling numbers that match the death toll in blood on the wall. I'm convinced my father was replaced with a robotic doppelganger some time ago. I don't like Community anymore because it's just so obviously a thinly-veiled message from extraterrestrials, using hypnotic suggestion on the show's cast and crew; Chevy Chase is the only one who figured it out and that's why he quit, I know it. For all the extra time I have now, I have to share some of it with my new-found second personality, who is a Froakie, who is also black and mormon, so you better watch what you say or else we'll both get really offended... although on the plus side, I now find that I am perfect and the Froakie is to blame for any irresponsible or selfish actions I ever exhibit, so. And we can sleep while driving since there's only twenty minutes to a nap and there are lots of long straight stretches of road in the area. Our life has never been this great.

All of those things were jokes because I think I am funny and am not going crazy, so everything's pretty normal with me. Except I think I have a brighter face and a springier swagger. Not because I feel like any more of a positive person, but because I feel overall less dumpy and sluggish than before. I also feel more compelled to use my twitter account, which had previously had no activity for over three months...
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 25, 2013, 12:14:57 AM
I accidentally slept two extra hours for my core today, took the first two naps on time and the third an hour earlier than normal... and feel the same. So it's flexible and forgiving.

Food is super important. Brain food. This would probably be much harder if I ate more junk food and less real food.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Godot on February 28, 2013, 12:20:51 AM
I'm not kidding. And even if I wanted to sleep, I probably couldn't.

We call that "being dead"
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on February 28, 2013, 04:26:45 AM
I accidentally overslept for the core on the two previous days, and on both days felt like purest garbage until taking the first nap at the same time I would have if I hadn't overslept and did the rest normally. On Everyman, readjusting after making a mistake is super-easy. Doing this is super-easy and super-rewarding in time and energy. Since waking up from my last core 19 hours ago, I stacked a wall of firewood my height and two cars long, vacuumed the house, cleaned the bathroom I share with an unbelievably slobbish sister, cooked pad thai, played a lot of video games, and worked on this awesome HTML document ( What else is great is that doing this, I don't have any insomnia anymore. Besides falling asleep really quickly for the naps, I don't have to do anything to make my thoughts calm down for the core. I don't wind down, I don't stay awake thinking uncontrollably, it's awesome. I feel awesome and this is just awesome. This is working for me and it's making me happy.

I've even noticed... something else that's interesting. I talk really fast, always have, but for the longest time it was mumbly and not very clear. I thought that was some horrible side-effect of becoming quieter, but it's just stopped all on its own since I started Everymanning. I talk no slower, but I naturally enunciate better and the words don't get stopped up like I've run out of them and need to make more. I guess I can attribute that to the general alertness boost. I feel like my memory's improved too.

I didn't decide to do this because I hate sleeping. I love sleeping. I just thought I was having way too much of a good thing, and maybe I was right.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on May 02, 2013, 12:39:46 PM
I'm almost always self-aware during my naps now. Not like I can hear or really think about anything going on around me, but I can feel it when my mouth is hanging open (and it usually is). At one point during this dream I just had, my actual real-life face smiled and at another I subtly shook my head. There was also a time that Dream Me was walking somewhere while deciding whether Real Me should close his mouth, deciding I shouldn't because the effort might wake me up. It's really really weird.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BriGuy92 on August 28, 2013, 03:36:54 PM
Are you still doing this crazy thing? I'm interested to see how it's working for you six months on.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: BP on August 28, 2013, 04:26:12 PM
Yes. I mess it up some days and oversleep a couple hours (still leaving me sleeping less than average) but yep.

Too bad I mostly spend the extra time playing EXTRA VIDEO GAMES
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Markio on September 04, 2013, 07:48:18 PM
I now work at a different coffee shop across town and take the night bus to work, which means I get up at 3:30am on days that I open the store.  Opening shifts last until 10:15, so usually I would return home and take a nap in the middle of the day, then get up and shower and spend the rest of the day like normal.

However, this week we've lost a few of our opening staff (resignation and a vacation), so I've had to get up at 3:30am every day.  Rather than nap after work during midday, I've committed to staying awake all day and just going to bed earlier.  This seems to work better, as I'm not really capable of sleeping soundly in the middle of the day (I just end up dreaming I'm still at work taking people's orders, which is really depressing).
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on September 05, 2013, 12:16:39 AM
I stopped having box-stacking dreams after a few months of working at the dollar store.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Kimimaru on September 05, 2013, 07:11:27 PM
I've always felt better when I got under 8 hours of sleep, so about a month ago I decided to take up a biphasic sleep schedule and it has been working very well for me. I get much more vivid dreams (and even remember most of them) and even got a few lucid dreams. I feel just as good as when I was on a monophasic schedule, and I don't need to sleep as long (a total range of 5 and a half to 6 and a half hours).

Unfortunately, the society I live in still operates on a monophasic schedule, so it's difficult when I have class/work whenever I'm supposed to take my nap and I can't delay it because my housemates all sleep around the same time. I still recommend everyone to try a different sleep schedule for at least a week or so.

I may eventually try the Everyman cycle and see how it works out for me. An extra 2-3 hours of awake time per day doesn't sound bad at all!
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on September 05, 2013, 07:49:00 PM
Normally I stay up until 3 or 4 AM, get up at 8, have a two-hour nap after work, and stay up until 4 again because I'm not tired, and repeat.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Tavros on September 05, 2013, 07:50:43 PM
I thought I was the only one here who stayed up that late. At least I'm not alone.
Title: Re: Polyphasic sleep
Post by: Weegee on September 05, 2013, 07:58:36 PM
We're together alone.