Polyphasic sleep: day 3

Well, I seem to have passed through the toughest part of the day once more, without having overslept. For that, I have Chani to thank. She kept me awake a couple times as I started to doze off. I seem to be ill-prepared for such situations, so I would have failed due to oversleeping if it had just been me alone. I suppose I could adopt the strategy of going outside for a walk in such situations.

So, the primary difference between today and yesterday was the onset and duration of the “problem” hours. Yesterday I had a nap at 2am that was 4hrs past the previous nap, but during this nap my body decided to go into zombie mode, which lasted about 7 hours. Today however, I had the first post-midnight nap sooner at 00:30, only 2.5 hrs after the last one, and then another one again 2.5 hrs later at 03:00 and yet another 2hrs after that at 05:00. I felt good throughout much of the night, until starting to crash around 6:30am. I had two naps right after each other with the minimal 40 minutes spacing between them, and had serious trouble staying awake at all.

As I write this, it’s 9:20am and I seem to have mostly pulled through it. That means the difficult part was shortened to only about 3 hours instead of more than 7, which seems like progress. That tough part really sneaks up quite quickly, so watch out. When you feel it coming, you really need to start an activity that will prevent you from sleeping, such as washing some dishes, walking around the block, etc. I find a shower can help too.

Because I’m not attempting the “pure” Uberman with naps spaced every 4 hours, I find it beneficial so far to cluster my naps tighter during the night, and have a nap slightly before I think I need it if I’m nearing that “danger zone”.

Now that I’m in a comfortably awake time period again, I think I’ll try and up my productive time usage so that this week isn’t a complete write-off. I’m still very keen to work on Dutch, but I’ve been afraid that my listening and reading approach will tend to favour nodding off at certain times, so I haven’t been doing as much as I wanted to. Instead, I did more German TV watching, which seems to be easy to do in the “middle” zone between completely awake and partial-zombie.

So, things are still progressing, and it looks as though I may be able to finish today with around 9 or 10 naps by midnight, which would be around 3hrs total sleep. More to come later.

6 Responses to Polyphasic sleep: day 3

  1. relet says:

    Can you keep track of how much time you spend in zombie mode too? I know it is supposed to disappear, but the figures might be interesting while it lasts.

  2. Chani says:

    one thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes the key to getting out of zombie mode is staying awake *longer*. I’ll really really want to go back to sleep for the first half hour, but we have to wait 40 minutes between naps… and if I get distracted and make it a bit longer than that, the overwhelming desire to sleep goes away (not the tiredness, though).

  3. Dustin Johnson says:

    So far this doesn’t seem to really add any “productive” time to the day, does it? If you’re spending more time trying to stay awake, seems like the extra time is just wasted…

    Hopefully it doesn’t end up being like this article: http://www.supermemo.com/articles/polyphasic.htm

    Of course, don’t let me be a no man. If you manage to get the full extra time during the day AND you don’t just feel tired and sleep deprived that’d be awesome!

    • doviende says:

      The expected transition time is more than a week long, and is known to be difficult. People who succeed in converting to the schedule report that they don’t feel tired, they have no sleep dep symptoms, and they actually feel *more* alert and productive. Yes, I’ve seen the article by the supermemo guy, and he basically claims that all the successful people are delusional. Not very convincing.

  4. Dustin Johnson says:

    Well I am excited to see how it turns out. If the sleep deprivation is relieved then you’ll definitely have a lot of time on your hands. That would be extremely useful.

  5. JD says:

    I am currently on day 12 of Polyphasic sleep and I am using the Uberman method, well, for the most part. I actually find I have more energy throughout the day now. I don’t need coffee anymore, but I still drink it for pleasure every so often. Anyway, I keep a daily log at my site, if ya get a chance, please check it out.
    http://jdsportsonline.com/projects/polyphasic/polyphasic-sleep.html

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