I've stopped counting exactly, but I'm around day 35 now.
How Steve Pavlina got on the schedule so quickly, I don't understand. I do understand why everyone gives up before they convert, though. It is hard. Especially that first week. I don't even think it's possible to get on it unless you refuse to even consider that you might fail. That's what I did this time, and it's made quite a difference.
Today we moved to Better Than Your Boyfriend, which required me to go through all of the old posts and edit them. At times it's easy to think that I'm not making much progress, but looking back at those old entries, It's like day and night (no pun intended).
Here's what it's like right now on Day 35:
First of all, when it's good, it's GREAT. Right now I feel just as good as I did before converting. I could go for a jog, write an article, have a conversation, or drive.
When it's bad, it's not SO bad. In the beginning of this transition I felt awful. When I realized I still had three hours until another nap, I felt slightly panicked, not knowing if I'd be able to make it or not. Now I feel uncomfortable. I'd rather be sleeping, but I know that by eating some food and taking a walk I can get back to being alert.
I don't oversleep anymore. No nap is difficult to wake up from. I don't feel great after waking up, but I don't feel bad either. A little fuzzy, I guess. However, I fall asleep almost daily when I'm not trying to. At first these naps would be 3 hours long or longer - basically until someone woke me up. Now I tend to wake myself up after an hour or so.
What's frustrating about those random naps is that I never see them coming. I'll be doing some work on my computer, and then next thing I know - BAM - I'm waking up and sitting on my couch. I literally have no idea how this happens. When I'm around other people I never do this - it's just when I'm alone.
An average day is composed of :
19 hours of alert productive time
2 hours of actual planned naps
.5 hours of time spent falling asleep
1 hour of being tired enough to affect performance
1.5 hours of unplanned naps.
Before my day was :
14 hours of alert productive time
8.5 hours of sleep
1.5 hours of being tired enough to affect performance (though less tired than the same category in polynapping)
Even if this got no better, I would still stick with it for life. It's a bit difficult to get through the tired / unplanned nap time, but the rest is great. Luckily, every day is a bit easier and a bit better.
If you are thinking about polynapping, or are trying it - DO IT. Commit to seeing it through to the end, no matter how unbearable the pain. It's a small investment to make for the benefits you'll reap in the end.
Every cycle has a rhythm to it, its own cycle. When I wake from a early morning nap (midnight - 7am) I usually start out a little tired, still wanting for sleep. That inevitably passes if I get up and start engaging my brain in something trivial like washing dishes or watching a tv show. Alertness follows for anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours. Eventually it comes back down, leading me back to sleep.
The sleep has its own cycle, from lying down to mental chatter, to unknowingly falling asleep, to deep dreaming, to non-REM unconsciousness, to gentle awakening. An alarm clock can interrupt anywhere in the middle of this, dictating the flow of the next waking cycle.
With the knowing that the tired feeling will pass if I just start moving, I now feel it's much easier to get up. I avoid productive work until the tired feeling is gone and replaced with alertness.
Wait. Maybe not. Let's think this through.
I just got an email from a reader. It's a variety I get a lot. It goes like this:
"I'm doing X-practical-thing, but I'm passionate about Y. I don't like that X takes up so much of my time. But... it's practical. WTF?"
It could be "college," but it could also be a stable salaried job or whatever. Actually, this particular email wasn't about college, it was about a really well compensated salaried job that wasn't the person's passion.