Showing posts from October, 2012

Day 22 – Quantified Self

It has been a few days and I have some Zeo data to share.

It helped me almost immediately identify a problem with my core sleep. I had assumed the reason I felt so rough in the mornings was part of the adaption process, however the Zeo showed that I was trying to wake up during a deep sleep. Digging back through my sleep log helped me identify my ultradian rhythm and move the core sleep back into alignment with my body clock. The next day I felt perfectly fine.

The graphs show that I am getting between 60-80 minutes of both REM and SWS during my core sleeping hours (see below). The body requires 90 minutes of each and I appear to be making the remainder up during the nap time. This demonstrates that not only has my body adapted (I have a compressed sleep cycle that minimises light sleep) but that I am also getting a healthy amount of the right kind of sleep.

Unfortunately the Zeo does not upload the data for my naps, so I have to check this manually after each one.

By sheer serendi…

Day 16 – Hello Zeo

As you may or may not know, sleep is broken down into five different phases but it is the last two that your body needs – SWS (slow wave sleep where your body attends to your immune system) and REM sleep (where your mind organises your memories). The others are not required.
You need about 90 minutes of both SWS and REM to be fit and healthy. The idea behind poly-sleep is to optimise your time spent asleep to maximise SWS and REM and to minimise or cut out the others. The problem is how do you know if you are actually getting the right type of sleep or how you might change your sleeping patterns to get the maximum effect? I have been keeping a “sleep log” (below) to try and keep a subjective track of by sleeping and alertness patterns. However, I have now got my hands on a Zeo. This is a neat little box that will monitor your brainwaves as you sleep to tell you exactly what kind of sleep you are getting and will allow me to play with the nap times to see if I can improve the results.…

Day 12 – Recovery

It has been a few days and I have recovered from the crash. The sleeping schedule is back on track, I no longer have tired periods during the day and I finding that I am going sleep pretty quickly when I go for a nap and feeling refreshed and awake afterwards. There are still times during the night when I begin to flag and getting up after the core sleep is hard, although easier than it was. Several people have pointed me towards various articles on the effects of sleep deprivation on the mind and body. It is true that sleep deprivation is a bad thing; however the goal of poly-sleep is sleep optimisation. The idea is that by changing your sleeping routine you are conditioning your body to fall into deep sleep during that nap time and therefore you are still having the right amount of REM sleep. Unfortunately there is little in the way of scientific research into this area. However, one study by Dr. Claudio Stampi on the effects of poly-sleep specifically shows that memory retention a…

Day 9 - Crashtastic

So I had a proper crash the morning of day 9. I made the mistake of turning off the alarm and going back to sleep until the next scheduled alarm woke me (6 hours later). Things had been going well up until this point; I was beginning to feel tired when the naps were coming around and actually sleeping during them (although not deeply yet) and feeling generally OK during the day. After the crash I had trouble going to sleep during the nap time.

Hopefully this has not set me back too much and I can recover the rhythm in the next couple of days. I recall I had a couple of crashes with the Uberman that were much worse. With the exception of the crash I am down to 5 hours a day.

No appreciable differences on the mental tests. Note - I'm currently on day 11, this is a retrospective blog post :)

Day 6 & 7 - Euphoria

I also had a “euphoric” experience on Saturday morning. This was a period of about half an hour when I felt wide awake and alert. This was one of the weird consequences that I observed when I was doing the Uberman all those years ago, periods of a heightened sense of being alive. Considering the amount of sleep this was unexpected to say the least. I am waking up after the core sleep is easier and I am beginning to feel tired around when the nap times are due. This suggests my body is beginning to adjust to the new regime. However, I currently am doing a 4 hour core nap, so sleeping around 5 – 6 hours in total a day. I aim to get this down to 4 hours next week. Math 90%, 0:32 Vocab = 80% 1:02

Day 5 – MiniCrash

So I had a mini-crash this morning. I slept for 5 hours rather than 2, making the mistake of not getting up when the alarm went off.
I am still struggling to sleep during the short nap periods. I have found I am beginning to feel tired around the nap times though so I think my body knows they are coming up. Instead of napping exactly on the appointed time I am going to try and go to bed when I feel tired. Hopefully this will assist the adjustment process.
Things are still much easier than my recollection of the Uberman schedule. But I seem to recall that by this time into the process I was sleeping during the naps, albeit not deeply. I guess I did not have much of a choice. I suspect the long nap period is giving me enough to go on during the day which is perhaps why it is taking longer to get used to naps. I feel generally ok overall. The night time periods are still a bit of an effort, to compensate I have taken to being more physically active at night. This is when I do all the ho…

Day 3 - Still Awake!

Waking up this morning was rough and I was in zombie mode for the next hour or so. I weakened and had a coffee to help. That said, the Everyman schedule is proving to be much easier than the Uberman so far. I am only lightly dozing during the nap time, although I it feels like they are slowly getting more effective. I have kept a log of my subjective assessment of my sleep quality and alertness levels throughout the day.

Blue being sleep time, the darker the better quality of the sleep, green time that I feel awake and perfectly normal and red times when I feel tired (dark red being very tired).
I aced the tests today, maybe the level was set too low as I was tired when I did them yesterday. One mistake on the vocabulary test, which was I word I did not know anyway. Math – 100%, 0:26Vocabulary – 90%, 0:48 Other than the issue waking up in the morning I generally felt good today.

DymaxiUberEveryThingyMan - Day 2 (continued)

I spent the morning reading polyphasic sleep blogs and found this interesting documentary on one of Stampi’s studies. Inspired by this research I am going to attempt to monitor how I am doing by conducting some simple mental tests at the same time each day.
I found this website that provides some suitable material I have chosen a 10 question test in Arithmetic Level 20 (addition, subtraction and multiplication options) and Vocabulary Level 40. These seemed to be about right in that they are reasonably easy, quick to do but still requires concentration otherwise errors creep in.

Ideally I should have done this yesterday before I started the process but the key is to see if and how this changes over time so it should be ok. Here are the base line results for today: Arithmetic 90% in a time of 1:02 Vocabulary 90% in a time of 0:49
I will also try and keep a sleep log as well, although the overhead may be too much. Generally I have felt …

DymaxiUberEveryThingyMan - Day 2

9:30 I have made it through the first night and whilst I am tired, not feeling too bad at the moment. Although I know this is just the foreplay and the next few days are going to be rough.

I have heard that it is harder to adapt to Dymaxion than the Uberman and I am beginning to see why. In the zombie phase you can barely keep your eyes open and all you want to do is sleep. You are desperately counting down the minutes until you your next nap time and fighting with everything you have got to stay awake until then. So with the Uberman you have to tough it out at most for 4 hours. Dymaxion the waking periods are longer and those extra 2 hours are going to be particularly challenging I think.

I must confess; I actually went for my nap early this morning, around 5:30am – still waking at 7:30 as planned, so I slept for 2 hours. This was partly because I became blocked on something I was working on and suddenly found I had nothing to do. So I…

Polyphasic Sleep - Dymaxion Day 1

It turns out that there are just not enough hours in the day1! However, I have a solution to add a few extra hours - polyphasic sleep.

Polyphasic sleep is a sleeping pattern where you take several short naps (20 – 30 minutes) throughout the day instead of the normal long sleep period at night (monophasic sleep). This means you can reduce the amount of time asleep from a typical 8-9 hours a day down to a mere 2 or 3. This gives you much more spare time and the obvious advantages that come with that.

This is not the first time I have experimented with polyphasic sleep. A few years ago I tried the Uberman sleep schedule, which is a 20 minutes nap taken every 4 hours. This proved to be very successful and I enjoyed the extra time I had for several months. However it was awkward socially as you can only go out and about for a few hours at a time before you need a nap.

This time around I am going to try the Dymaxion sleep schedule, which is a 30 minute nap every 6 hours. Whilst it is still …