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Taking a Break from Polyphasic!

Sounds drastic, right? I've decided that I'm going to take a break from polyphasic sleep - probably 3-4 weeks. As of today I've been doing it for about 4.5 months, and I feel like I have a good feel for what it's like.

The truth is that napping during the day isn't hard to do, but it is definitely disruptive - especially to other people. For example, last week a friend from San Francisco was in town for South by Southwest. I was hanging out with him and his friends, when all of a sudden it was nap time. They basically had to sit around and wait for me to take my nap, or lose my company. If I was deriving great benefit from the schedule, it would be worth such social impositions, but I'm not really getting that much from it.

I don't really need the extra time right now. I thought I would make good use of it, but I honestly don't. If I was super busy, then I would be more motivated to stay on polyphasic sleep. Also, no one else is doing it with me anymore, so my options for what to do during the night are fairly limited. Because I don't really need the sleep, and usually don't have too much to do at night, I end up slightly oversleeping. This means that I probably sleep 4-4.5 hours per day on average.

Polyphasic Sleep - Week 1

On Danny Schmidgall

Ever since being introduced to polyphasic sleep in The Game and on Steve Pavlina's blog, I've been interested in trying it out for myself. Like most people, though, my school and work schedules made it basically impractical. That's changed recently as I became somewhat self-employed and in control of my own schedule, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's been a week so far, and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts for those of you curious to try it yourself.

I decided to start with the 'Everyman' schedule, which is a 4.5 core sleep and 3 20-minute naps. This is supposed to be easier and more flexible than the stricter schedules. If I miss a nap, or need to postpone it a bit, no big deal. Eventually I hope to shift to a 3 hour core nap and shave another 1.5 off of my daily sleep, but that can wait.

After a week, I'm right on point with the 5.5 hours of sleep per 24 hour period, but it definitely hasn't come in the desired schedule. Some nights I'd sleep 5 hours and then take two naps later that day, and one day I only slept 1.5 hours at night and needed another 1.5 hour nap later. I've overslept a couple of times, but not by much. Oversleeping for a nap means an extra 10 or 15 minutes, not the hour or two that I worry will happen. Overall, I can't complain because technically I've already gotten the results I'm looking for, but I'm definitely hoping to be a bit more strict with myself this week now that I know what to expect.

Over this has been easier than expected. The very first day was tough, but ever since I've been fine. Mental clarity hasn't suffered much, and the 20 minute naps are surprisingly refreshing. I'm expecting things to be even better this week after I've adjusted even further. The only major downside I've noticed is my eyes don't seem to be adjusting as quickly as the rest of my body. I've been using eye drops and don't wear my contacts as much as usual, which has been helpful. It's not much of a long term solution, though, so I'm hoping to see some improvements in the next few days.

My favorite part of the experience so far has been the unexpected side effects. Primarily, not only do I remember my dreams easier, but the dreams themselves seem to be much more rooted in reality. At some points it's almost as if I'm not even asleep, but continuing something from earlier in the day. Then, when I wake up, I barely even realized I had been asleep because the dream was so real.

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