So I decided to switch to the Everyman schedule. The essence of the schedule is that you have a longer “core nap” at some point, and this gives you the ability to be a little more flexible with the timing of your other naps throughout the day. The two main versions of Everyman are with a 1.5hr core (with 4-5 other naps), and a 3hr core (with 3-4 other naps).
One important part of a polyphasic schedule is that you don’t want to regularly spend longer than 6 hours without a nap. I had to come up with a plan for my naps, and I wanted to keep them somewhat regular so I could get used to napping at that particular time. For now, I’m going to try having a core sleep from 1am – 4am, then 20-minute naps at 8am / noon / 4pm / 8pm.
Everyman is supposed to take a little bit longer to get used to overall, compared with Uberman, I presume because your body might not want to get the valuable parts of your sleep during those naps if it thinks there’s potentially a longer sleep every night. In my case, because I’ve been attempting a purely nap-based schedule up until now, I’ve hopefully convinced that part of my brain to get its quality sleep from the smaller naps too.
Getting up at 4am last night wasn’t as hard as I thought, but making it to each of the other naps can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. As I’ve said before, once one is adapted to the schedule (which normally takes a week or two for the really hard part, and then another few weeks after that to fully adapt), then there’s no sense of tiredness or lack of sleep. A fully adapted person will operate with full function, and no sleepy / yawning side effects.
At the beginning of the week, I felt like crap almost all day, but currently there are only small intervals of time in which I feel tired. I can work through them by doing something physical and easy…washing the dishes, cleaning the apartment, going for a walk, etc. After a short amount of time, either the feeling goes away, or a nap time comes up and I’m refreshed by 20mins of REM.
As for my studies, my language time has gone back up substantially now that I’m no longer a zombie. I’m daily doing 5 hours of language activities (mosly German and Dutch right now), which is nearly the most I’ve ever done consistently. My day is 20 hours long though, so you can see that I’m still not using my hours as efficiently as I could. I still spend too much time surfing Reddit, Twitter, and language forums.
Something I’m considering trying is adding another language to the mix, just for some variety. If I subtract a bit of my Reddit/Twitter time, then I could easily add some more time for studying something like Polish occasionally, and still have plenty of time left over for the Dutch project. We’ll see what happens as I try to get more disciplined, and as I lose more of the drowsy time as I further adapt to the new sleep schedule.