As many of you know, a week ago I decided to try out polyphasic sleep to give myself more free time and to be a more productive person. Yesterday, Tuesday April 23rd was officially day zero of my journey. On this day I decided to keep myself awake as long as possible in preparation for the harsh switch in sleep routine. Day zero quickly transferred over to day one and the transition phase was complete. Here is my story.
Day zero started early with me only receiving five gentle hours of sleep as I have been trying to prepare my body for the sudden change since last week. Waking up at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, I slowly approached my early morning shift at work. For the past week I have been scoping places out to get some shut eye at work and today I decided to try the floor in the back room. While not a pleasant experience, I was fortunate enough to develop a better strategy for next time (a closed off room upstairs). This will obviously be crucial to my strategy if I plan on sleeping 30 minutes every four hours, including during my 8 hour work shift. So naturally I arrived home around 3pm after work and decided to take an additional 20 minute nap to train my mind for what is a head.
I enjoyed a very productive and happy night, studying mathematics thanks to Khan Academy, watching documentaries, and reading. Keeping to my original plan, I have been eating an extremely healthy diet centred around green leafy vegetables and fruits, avoiding caffeine, foods high in salt, and any meat products.While I have always been a healthy eater, I have not had a diet this healthy in years. My body has certainly noticed these dietary changes and I believe it is one of the reasons why I am seeing early success with this new routine. Around midnight I decided to take another nap and that concluded day zero.
Sleep Schedule Day Zero
10:30am-11am Nap at work
11:50pm-12:20am – Nap
Total Sleep: ~6 hours
Day one was on its way with mixed emotions. I was extremely determined to give this lifestyle a shot. I have been very pleased with my discipline regarding my preparation and diet, but now was the real test. I knew going into this that the first week is a major struggle for people, but I felt my prior sleep discipline would make it easier on me. Roughly 2 years ago I worked on an over-night shift and was regularly sleeping from 8am to 4pm. In the past two years I’ve slept under nearly every schedule, any day of the week, but always religiously acquired my 8 hours of rest. Trying to stay awake with so little sleep in me was a challenge. I ended up taking a nap at 11:50 p.m. to 12:20 p.m. to start my day. My next two hours were spent productively reading. I ended up sleeping at 2:20am with the goal of waking up again at 4:00 a.m. Disaster struck as when I woke up the clock was claiming it was 6:04 a.m. How did this happen? I thought I had set my alarm. Apparently, I must have unconsciously turned the alarm off at 4:00 a.m., go figure. Anyway, two extra hours of sleep is not a problem going into day one, if anything, it is a continuation of my preparation for the next 6 months that I plan on trying this approach.
My day started with a trip to the grocery store acquiring an abundance of vegetarian items for me to consume during my struggles to stay awake. Around 11am I was tired enough to take my first real Uberman nap. A quick 25 minute nap from 11:00 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. featured some harsh dreams and a struggle to awake. I am finding out that this is going to be an extreme test of discipline. After sleeping for 20 minutes and being awoken by an ugly alarm every part of my body wanted to stay in bed, but I overcame it and after 5 minutes of droopiness I felt completely refreshed. These naps have a tendency to put me in a zombie state for a few moments immediately after, but I always end up feeling completely refreshed for the next four hours afterwards. Even just after one full day of this I am amazed at how much time I am freeing up. It is great not having to stress out about getting a full eight hours of sleep.
Sleep Schedule Day One
11:50pm-12:20am – Sleep
12:20am-2:20am – Awake
2:20am-6:00am – Sleep
6am-11am – Awake
11:00am-11:25am – Nap
11:25am-3:30pm – Awake
3:30pm-4:00pm – Nap
4:00pm -8:00pm- Awake
Total sleep: ~5.5 hours
End results for Days 0-1. (levels from 1 to 10).
Physical vigor: 6
Been tough for me to stay at my pre-polyphasic sleep energy levels. Will see if these changes as the routine goes on.
Need for Sleep: 9
This section will back backwards compatible. The higher the number, the more sleep I required. It was a struggle getting through the late night hours (past midnight). I often dozed off at my computer. I am going to need to build up my evening stamina for this to work out.
Mental activity: 7
Focused and alert. Interestingly, due to how tired I’ve been, I feel I’ve been able to focus more on the project at hand. The 20 minute naps completely refresh my mind for whatever project is next. I still would like to see more active learning before I rate it higher tho.
Daily Functioning: 8
No problems thus far. I have shopped, cleaned the home, cooked, read, and done all my normal daily tasks.
Productivity Performance: 7
Overall good, I read an entire book, gained over 200,000 energy points over at Khan Academy and wrote this blog. I am feeling pretty good about it.