Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Polyphasic sleeping

Well, after a week of this experiment it is in for a little change. When I started this experiment it was for exploration and partly the random need to be different and try new things. Now that I have been doing it for a week, I have some really great reasons. My mental clarity has increased immensely. I have a lot more time in the day to get things done. I wasn't sleeping well at night so I didn't feel rested and my back hurt when I woke up because of so much tossing and turning. Also the extra time at night gave me the isolation time that my personality wants. This made me more friendly and extroverted(relatively) during the day because I filled my needs for solitary and then had increased needs of social interaction.

After much reading, I have come to a few new conclusions.

1) Dr Stampi doesn't recomend the 6x30 sleep pattern for more than 6 months without a recovery period. It is healthy and stable during that time, but it is designed for critical situations.
2) I read that the early mornings from 2-5 would always be a little hard because I am a 'lark' (Classically an early riser also one forwhom super short power naps are easy.)
3) Dr Stampi also believes that 4.5 - 5.5 hours is the healthy long term minimum for most people.
4) I felt a great sleep debt, that although I was still in the adaptation phase, I have an inkling that it won't go away.
4b) People describe tho 6x30 pattern as having no sleep buffer, and that doesn't sound healthy to me long term.
5) Everyone that I read about that continues long term on a polyphasic sleep schedule change to the power naps with a short core sleep of 2-5hrs at night.

(Note: Although I didn't record where each of these ideas came from, all my readings are documented in my public bookmarks.)

So my new goal is to take all the same naps(6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm) that I was taking before to get the mental clarity and sustainable energy benefits and then a 4hr core sleep every night from 1-5am. That will actually give me 6 hours a day of sleep. The naps are pure SWS (slow wave sleep), the most physically restorative. This sounds long term sustainable and not only will I be getting a few(1-2) more hours a day total waking time than normal, many more of those hours will be highly productive because of the naps.

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