Perhaps due to my new commitment to not oversleeping, the past 2-3 days have really been great. I had a couple light sleeps in my chair (<1 hour), but the overall quality of both my naps and my awake time continues to increase.
Today, for example, I haven't been tired for the past 24 hours. My minor oversleep of 30 minutes was because I was bored and just spacing out at my computer.
Each nap I've had in the past 24 hours was accompanied by an awesome dream, and naturally ended before my alarm clock. Usually when that happens I get another quick nap in before the alarm goes off, but when I woke up early on my most recent nap, I just got out of bed. The funny thing is that I was SURE that I overslept - I felt great and it seemed like I was in bed for hours.
It's amazing that 15 minutes is now a significant amount of sleep to me. When I was a hibernator, adding 15 minutes to my night would do nothing - now it can keep me alert for four hours. It just makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on. Can I do work this efficiently? How about exercise?
Before I take each nap, I say out loud, "I'm going to enjoy a really restful, deep sleep for the next twenty or twenty five minutes. I'll have an exciting dream that will make it an adventure, and when I wake up I will be totally alert and awake". Doing that seems to keep my subconcious in check and prevents oversleeping. I can't remember the last time I overslept in my bed - now I just close my eyes in my chair.
To combat those oversleeping incidents, I have a loud alarm that goes off every 30 minutes on my computer, as well as an alarm that goes off after not typing for two minutes. These alarms are automatically disabled when I'm on an "official" nap. I've also been playing relatively loud music 24 hours a day. Doing this seems to engage my brain a bit, making it harder to just drift off.
Oh, and check out this awesome pillow I ordered for mobile naps :
Cocoon Travel Pillow, Small
I overslept by 90 minutes. I'm not proud of this. In fact, I'm in a bit of a rage over the whole thing. I don't think most people out there understand the precautions I've taken to ensure that I don't sleep.
Well, here's the latest. I've put my very loud air compressor in my bed, a foot or two from my face. If I remain in bed for 10 minutes longer than the alotted 25 minutes, it gets turned on automatically. I doubt there's anyone who has successfully slept with an air compressor going off two feet from their face. If you look at the picture below, you can also see a crock pot in the bottom left. I was going to have that boil water and then have the air compressor splash it on my face, but that proved to be too complicated at the moment.
What's frustrating is that I'm not actively making the decision, "this is too hard". My own body is sabotaging me.
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.