Day 12 - Day 13

Published 03 Jul 2012 14:23

Published 1 Jul 2012

Still going strong. I've been experimenting with a few aspects of my daily lifestyle; here are some of the things I've noticed:

First, the best decision I've made this entire experiment has been to set my alarm out of arm's reach from my bed. I did this as a reaction to my falling back asleep for another 1.5 hours in a 5 AM nap a couple of days ago. When my alarm goes off, I'm conditioned to getting up immediately and crossing the room to silence it (it helps that since I live in a house with family, I've always tried to turn my alarm off as quickly as possible to avoid waking them up - plus, the alarm is my ringtone). This comes with a plethora of benefits, including not risking falling back asleep, spending less time lingering in bed dozing, overcoming sleep inertia quicker, and feeling higher energy levels throughout the day. I highly recommend everyone does this, polyphasic or not.

Additionally, I've begun to track patterns in my sleep itself. For instance, I remember dreams most often after my 5 AM naps. To me, this may change the science behind my schedule a bit, because in normal sleep cycles, people experience REM mostly in the last half of the "night", as they approach waking (meaning my naps may not all contain the same pattern of sleep cycles). Also, the "blink sensation" (that I wake up convinced I never actually fell asleep, but merely blinked away 90 minutes) manifests itself very, very regularly at my 10:30 PM nap. I think that the incongruity between each nap in the day may point to the fact that this sleep schedule conforms even more to our bodies than I once thought - it might even mirror patterns in monophasic sleep. I'll look into this some more.

Moreover, my diet effects the way I sleep. I've reverted from full vegetarianism back to a diet where I can eat one small portion of chicken a day, because I don't feel as though my body gets all the nutrients it needs without this little boost. Part of this simply is living in a household of non-vegetarians, who coincidentally buy and cook many of my meals. While I do make my own grocery run, I often find myself eating leftovers and the same snacks as earlier in the day, which I now try to avoid in order to diversify my nutritional intake. I sleep more soundly and wake up quickly when I have, say, fruit and nuts in the morning, a salad at lunch, and a little grilled chicken in the evening (as opposed to the same fatty snacks multiple times throughout the day). This manifests itself in my energy levels - I get tired closer to nap time when eating healthily.

Similarly, my exercise and activity levels greatly effect my energy and sleep quality. The more time I spend outside, the better I feel. A good workout also boosts my energy throughout the 24 hour day, not just the times between naps. This has always been the case on monophasic sleep as well, but triphasic sleep seems to have magnified the effect (or it may be that I'm just more diligently monitoring my energy levels). This is reason enough for me to retain a good diet and exercise routine, even when I eventually shift back into monophasic sleep.

Lastly, my productivity level also effects my sleep/energy. When I can go to sleep knowing I've made substantial progress in my projects and wasted little time in the day, I wake up feeling great. This has the added benefit of keeping me busy and awake throughout the day. If I go to sleep after having spent the entire time browsing the internet and playing games, I tend to make myself feel guilty, as well as feeling tired. This is good, but is a double-edged blade - get more done, but don't set extreme expectations for productivity because if you don't meet those high standards, then you'll still "suffer".

As an afterthought, everything is generally much easier when other people are holding me accountable (whether they know it or not). Having told a friend that I would talk to him at 1 AM makes getting out of bed easier, since I am scared of nodding off and missing it. It's not that people will punish me for failing to be awake; rather, my own sake cannot be the sole motivation for doing everything in my life (to clarify, it's not that I can't motivate myself, but that it's more effective to have external obligations). I guess that's part of humanity's tendency to be social - we do things better when we are at risk of letting others down. On the bright side, that means I have reason not to live life as a hermit!

tl;dr - this sleep schedule is helping me set healthy habits for life out of necessity.

Comments (0)

Add a New Comment
or Sign in as Wikidot user
(will not be published)
- +
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License