Saturday, August 29, 2009

Polysleep

Before you ask, yes, I am completely crazy. I'm stark raving mad, I'm sure.

So 3 or 4 weeks ago I decided to try something I've always wanted to try ever since I first heard about it. That's right, I'm trying polyphasic sleeping. I sleep for three hours at night and (currently) four 20 minute naps spaced throughout the day (this is known as the "everyman" schedule). This adds about 4 hours of free time to my day.

I think it's obvious why one would want to do this; if you can't think of things to do with 4 extra hours then you need more hobbies. I had some additional goals; I've never been able to take naps and I wanted to be able to. I have always had a terrible time getting to bed and getting up in the morning, and I didn't like it.

As for how it works out at work, I take a nap at lunch time in my car. I bring food and eat it at non-lunch times at my desk. (4 extra hours = time to prepare food ahead of time.) I take a nap right before I leave home and right when I get back.

My wife doesn't seem to mind so far. Now she sees me in the morning when she gets up (I used to not get up for work until she had already left). I've been washing the dishes, which neither of us ever seems to get around to. I even make her breakfast once in a while.

The first week or so of the adaptation process was pretty hellish. Basically the idea is to deprive yourself of sleep until you're so tired that you can practically sleep standing up. Then your body will start taking advantage of the 20 minute chunks you give it.

It's supposed to take around a month to adapt to the everyman schedule. I think it's going to take another week or so for me to reach complete adaptation, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The 4:30 to 7:50 block of time has been the worst one for me, but today I felt fairly alert after being up for half an hour. It gets a little easier every day. So I'm now pretty confident that this is going to work out for me (and hence the blog post).

No clinical trials have been done of this, but many people have adapted successfully (yay internets, where were we without you). I feel pretty good, I'm not back to 100% yet but I'm getting there. Anyway, it's almost time for a nap. I'll take your questions in the comments. ;)

And yes, I'm crazy. I warned you...