DymaxiUberEveryThingyMan - Day 2
9:30I 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 feel that I cheated a little.
However this got my thinking. My schedule currently looks more like the Everyman with that long nap and this is probably why I do not actually feel as bad as I should. The 2 hour nap would have meant I got in one full REM cycle.
The idea is that during the transition period to polyphasic sleep is that you are conditioning your body to fall straight into the REM phase of sleep. Normally it takes around 90 minutes to reach REM, so when you first start napping you simply do not get any REM cycles. This is why you feel so rough.
However, getting one cycle in (and the evidence is the first cycle has the most benefit) takes the edge off a little. So rather than doing the hardcore thing of toughing it out like a zombie, it might be easier to first adapt to Everyman before eking out those extra couple of hours with the Dymaxion schedule. This will be my plan going forward.
Another side effect was feeling unusually hungry during the night. I was expecting this as you are awake for longer with polyphasic sleep so you naturally need to eat more. However, I was not expecting it quite so soon. Maybe I was just hungry ;)
I am trying to cut out coffee and alcohol completely during as they both affect your REM sleep.
I spent some time yesterday reading around the subject so I could reacquaint myself with it. There is not much serious scientific research into polyphasic sleep that I am aware of, particularly on the long-term effects. This is problematic as it makes it difficult to separate the facts from myths and opinions and why I think journals of people’s first-hand visceral and subjective experiences are invaluable.
However, Dr. Claudio Stampi’s work with round-the-world yachtsmen seems to be a good source of more scientific enquiry.
It makes sense everyone has a preferred pattern. I wonder how you find out what yours is and adapt appropriately? Your circadian rhythm is correlated to your body temperature. I will see if I can get my hands on a thermometer and chart my body temperature during the adaption phase. Might be interesting.