Day 2

Published 20 Jun 2012 12:41


Today went smoothly; during the day, there was almost no noticeable fatigue. And then I took my 10:30 PM nap. When I woke up, I felt extremely groggy. I took this opportunity to take a hot, then cold, shower, which definitely woke me up some. However, just like last night, when 2 AM hit, I received a good boost in awareness – comparable even to my day-time energy. During the day I don’t need to keep myself busy to feel fine, and at some points between 2-5 AM I don’t, but the gap between the night and morning naps is certainly the hardest time to stay energetic. It’s very likely that this is a result of me having been regularly asleep during this time for the past 18 years, so I feel that as my adaptation progresses, the early AM’s will become easier.

The most interesting aspect so far is the way time seems to be going much more slowly. Yes, I am spending 3-4 more hours awake, but the extension of the day seems much longer than this, even on a micro-level basis. I’ll look up at a clock, expecting it to be minutes and sometimes even an hour ahead of when I really am, which isn’t normal for me. Events before the experiment feel unusually long ago. I’ve heard of this happening to others on polyphasic sleep, and I’ve also minutely experienced it before during debate camps (early mornings, longer nights, and busy all the time between), but this seems to be more extreme. Since I’m not only getting more time awake objectively, my slower perception of time acts as a multiplier.

My 5:00 AM nap seems to have been refreshing (it’s only 7:20), and I woke up instantly alert, so I think I may be starting to fall asleep faster. However, I do feel like I will be tired after an hour or two, so this could be the true beginning of adaptation for me. Up to this point it’s almost been a cakewalk compared to others’ stories of grueling polyphasic sleep. If I never adapted, and maintained my current energy levels, I’d rank myself at about a 6 or 7/10 in awareness, and would probably need a “reset day” to pay off sleep debt. Some noticeable effects just while writing this include worse grammar, more spelling mistakes, and a less intricate and precise vocabulary.

If nothing else, this experiment has helped me stay “awake” for over 50 hours. I can count the number of times I’ve skipped a night of sleep on one hand, and it has never been pleasant, usually requiring a long crash afterwards. It’s easy to see that I’m not the best at dealing with such sleep deprivation, so it’s amazing that if I ever need some extra hours to finish a project throughout a week, I can simply stop sleeping at night and get it done.

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