Hello There!

cropped-crow-face.jpgWelcome to CounterClockWise

This little site is devoted to:

1.  BETTER SLEEP and better information about sleep, including choosing and changing sleep schedules — my personal expertise — and other ways to have enough time and be rested while living a modern lifestyle

2.  BETTER THINKING and better information about how to think, because thinking is a skill and letting your brain run away with you is miserable and causes terrible outcomes.

I'm here to OFFER QUALITY INFORMATION, PROVIDE USEFUL RESOURCES for people to help themselves and each other, and to LEND A HAND if I can.  This isn't my day job and I'm not a doctor (or lawyer, or any profession more useful than thinker-and-writer) — I'm just someone who's been plumbing the depths of personal experimentation with brains and sleep for a few decades now, who has been polyphasic for most of the last 10 years.  

I'm not a public person and I refuse to have a fskcing "personal brand", so just do not go there, please.  Most of the reason I leave this site and this information here is because I'm frankly horrified with the other information that's developed about polyphasic sleep since I started writing about it in 2000, all of which seems to be either trying to sell it (to sell. a sleep schedule. omG, modern West, are you kidding me right now) –or to take personal credit for it, which is weird but I guess not surprising.  (Nobody gets credit for it, BTW:  most humans were polyphasic for ages and much of the world still is.  If anybody gets credit for experimenting and being polyphasic as a modern lifestyle choice, it's the scientist Buckminster Fuller, who died in the 80's, so there.)

So for the love of Pete, if you're interested in this topic, please PLEASE:

–  Demand and check ACTUAL SOURCES for all claims that don't clearly state they're personal opinion (and if they're personal, that's fine, but remember sleep is very individual, and also people can lie — do your research and make your own conclusions)
–  RUN AWAY if people are misusing scientific language or making claims that science supports polyphasic sleep (there hasn't been scientific research on it yet, certainly not enough for "science" to have drawn any conclusions — and anyway that's not what good science does :P).
–  DO NOT BUY AN APP.  I've tried most of them, and they're garbage.  You also don't need one — it can't help you decide on a sleep schedule, and normal alarms and timers and simple lists can do everything you need wrt adaptation.
–  DON'T BELIEVE PEOPLE WITH NO EXPERIENCE.  And experience means *adapting* to a schedule, not just trying it for a couple days, getting tired, failing to sleep on-schedule, and then deciding that either it can never work for anyone, or that it's magic and you're the new guru of how to do it.  Adaptation takes A MINIMUM of 30 days — sleep patterns are habits, duh — so anybody telling you what's up who hasn't gotten past that point is some combination of "full of it" and "giving you useless advice".

I'm sorry to have to say it, but polyphasic sleep as a topic online is just a cacophony of people who have no idea what they're talking about — I stopped doing interviews and reading forums because I just couldn't take the bullshit anymore.  (Also, I apologize to the whole world, but if you see me quoted in a journalistic piece on this topic…it's probably bullshit.  I've been satisfied with the results of approximately 0.5% of the interviews I've done.)  I encourage everyone to just walk on by, if the advice you're seeing about polysleep isn't backed up by both personal experience and good sense.  Whether it's a doctor or journalist claiming that polyphasic sleep "can't work" even though they've never done the slightest looking at why it could, or an excitable netdude who's never succeeded at having any sleep-schedule for longer than a week telling you alllll about how you just need to blah blah blah follow their advice blah…Don't do it.  THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL FIELD, which means that you can *learn* plenty from people who've done experiments (hi), but it's all about using your common sense and faculties of reason and drawing your own best conclusions.  

OK, so, WTF is Polyphasic Sleep

A wordy explanation follows…Or you can also go to these places for other types of info (I like options ;) ~

  • The Puredoxyk.com blog archives (or just the polyphasic category) – tons of short articles; use the search function to narrow in on a specific question
  • The Book I wrote (Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules and the Polyphasic Lifestyle – use this link to go straight to it (and its five stars!) on Amazon).  It has a ton of info on polyphasic sleep — just like the blog, but organized :) — as well as a complete how-to for planning and adapting to a different sleep schedule.  
  • The Slack Channel (click the link to sign up) where you can chat with, get advice from, make friends with, and help other adapters and long-term polphasic sleepers.  Come on in!
  • A way to pay me for personalized help if you need it (but do look at the book first, it's cheaper and has most of the information you probably want :))

Polyphasic (multi-times-per-day) sleep is the one of the top-three best things I've ever stumbled on to improve my life.  (Hacking self-esteem is a close second.)  I've been polyphasic for most of the last decade, and I'll never willingly go back to sleeping in one chunk at night.  (I might be forced to, since being polyphasic requires being able to nap during the day, and there are certainly jobs and circumstances that make that impossible.  I hate those and avoid them at all costs now, though!)  

I'm *much* more rested on my nap-based schedules, and I need half as much sleep as I did before.   Half or less, actually.

Which may sound wild or impossible, but keep in mind two things:

A) Everybody is different, and different things work for different people (at different times in their lives, even).  Some of us love being vegan; others can't abide it.  It's just as important to recognize that you and everybody else need a sleep schedule and sleep habits that work for you, individually.

B) Polyphasic sleep is common among animals, including primates.  Monophasic sleep became normal for humans in recent centuries.  So it's not even a LITTLE true that monophasic sleep is the "only" healthy way to go for everybody, especially as people's lives change drastically yet again, in post-Internet times.

It's possible to learn new ways to sleep.  We teach babies to be monophasic, remember, and it doesn't kill them.  Switching schedules can make you cranky and tired while you adjust, but at long as you're consistent about it, and the schedule works for you, you *will* adjust to it.  (That part is backed up by some science.)

What isn't possible, I think, is for one schedule to work for everyone.  We each have different sleep needs, but I think we can all agree that whatever they are, it's SO important for each of us to get enough rest!  I DO NOT ADVOCATE NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP — which includes being "technically on" an 8-hour-per-night schedule and then not sleeping enough, darnit — I'm looking at you, modern American laborer.  The key, the key to *so much* life-improvement, is to be and feel rested.  I am more rested now, on a total of 4 hours' sleep per day, than I ever was trying (and usually failing) to sleep 8 hours per night.  It takes some work, but it's absolutely possible — and if you're intersted in learning more, I can probably help you out.

This website contains a huge amount of info on polyphasic sleep, collected over my 20 years of experimentation with different schedules, and of helping people find and adapt to schedules that work for them.  I've tried to organize it, and been, I think, moderately successful.  :P 

I AM NOT TRYING TO SELL YOU (anyone) ON A SLEEP SCHEDULE.  The only thing I believe in strongly enough to sell it is that everyone has the right to find and sleep on a schedule that works and makes them rested, just like everyone has the right to decide to be vegetarian if they want to and that works for them.  That's important to me.