Welcome to CounterClockWise
This little site is devoted to BETTER SLEEP and BETTER THINKING.
And WRITING STORIES. I'm on a life-mission to write good, thoughtful fiction, and if you're here, you get to read as much as you like!
For Better Thinking, look ye to the right –>
That list of articles is some of the best tisane of the membrane (WHAT) that I've collected over the years. Enjoy, and feel free to drop comments on anything!
For stories, well, they're sporadic and poorly-collected for now; but hey, if you'd like free fiction once in a while, maybe sign up for the mailing list? (Top right, see the box? I NEVER spam, advertise at you, or share your info in any way.) One of my goals this year is to actively give away more of my writing, instead of just shyly showing my friends, so if you'd like to be part of that experiment, I welcome you!
For sleep, oh man there's a LOT here, but to get started, keep reading…
I've been polyphasic for many years now, and back in 2001, I was one of the first people (ok, to the best of my knowledge, actually THE first) to write about doing it long-term online. I've been experimenting with it since, talking with everyone I can about it, and have collected a ton of information over the years on my experiences (see the huge list of important articles below), as well as organizing it all into a handy and inexpensive book for anybody who wants a detailed manual.
I've helped a lot of people with choosing and adapting to a polyphasic sleep-schedule (it's not easy, especially with the very strict ones — it's rather like switching to a strict diet, only with sleep). I continue to offer my help as much as I can, through the Slack channel, and by offering private consultations to those who want them. But I'm not interested in building a cult of personality on it. (I am not a personal brand, and you can keep that shit, thanks. :P) I also find that I disagree with a lot of what other people — most of whom have not actually slept polyphasically for any length of time — want to conclude about it, especially when they're specifically aiming to sell it or put their name on it. I don't speak up about what I agree with or not very often, and I don't intend to, really…it's unpleasant, and I have better stuff to write. :D
(NOTE THO: When it comes to taking credit for polyphasic sleep…*Most* humans were polyphasic for ages, and much of the world still is — sleeping less at night and napping regularly is "news" to, like, the industrialized modern world and nobody else, lol. And if anybody gets credit for experimenting with being polyphasic as a modern lifestyle choice, it's the scientist Buckminster Fuller, who died in the 80's and was on Uberman/Dymaxion for at least two consecutive years, documented and seen by doctors, so everybody can just sit / calm down now. You're not the prophet of this, and neither am I.)
So here, before I even get to the real info, I feel I have to offer a few words of warning to those who are interested in this topic, especially if you're interested in maybe trying polyphasic sleep for yourself. Your "Internet research" phase is going to be tricky, and laden with bullshit; sorry. I have done my best to offer good information, but I can't out-yell the hucksters. :) SO, if you're interested in polyphasic sleep, PLEASE:
– Demand and check ACTUAL SOURCES for all claims that don't *clearly state* that they're personal opinion — and if they're personal, that's fine, but remember sleep is very individual, and also people can and do just make stuff up. See the last point about not believing people with no experience. Also, do good research in general, carefully experiment with yourself, and take sensible-sounding advice over broad claims. Take notes, listen to your body, and make your own conclusions — other people do have some good information, but they also have a lot of bad information. Keep your eyes open.
– RUN AWAY if people are misusing scientific language or making claims that science supports OR disproves polyphasic sleep — in fact, there hasn't been enough scientific research on it yet for "science" as an institution to have drawn any conclusions. There just is not a lot of scientific work done yet on polyphasic sleep, though there is enough to know for sure that it CAN work, for the right people and circumstances. (There is actually scientific study showing that adaptation to polyphasic patterns happens. However, there's also ummm centuries of non-science showing us that people have been polyphasic forever, so we don't really need science to tell us that, either. The scientific questions people I talk to most want answered are things like "What are the long-term health impacts of polyphasic vs. monophasic sleep", and there is NO factual information on things like that yet, because there have been so few studies that focused on polyphasic schedules period.)
– DO NOT BUY AN APP. I've tried most of them, and they're garbage (here's a review, if you wanna wince a lot). You also don't need one — it can not help you decide on a sleep schedule, and normal alarms and timers and simple lists can do everything you need with regards to an adaptation, and are much more adaptable to your individual needs. I might say an app would be helpful for a long-term polyphaser at certain things, but of course long-term polyphasers aren't a big market, so people keep trying to make apps that will help you "become polyphasic", and they're uniformly awful. …Sorry if that's disappointing, but on the upside, maybe I just saved you some money. :)
– 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 did a lot of them for a while, hoping that the quality of the journalism would get better, especially as the publications got more well-known…but unfortunately, nope.) The polyphasic subreddit is like a graveyard where logic went to die of a brain-eating parasite, wow. And there have been a few good attempts at informational sites over the years, which the writers of should get tons of credit for even if they didn't always manage to be sensible either; but all of them that I knew of have been taken over by get-rich-quick-by-selling-you-a-sleep-schedule schemes. (And if you can't tell, I can't. even. with how dystopian and just WEIRD that is. We're selling timings of sleep to each other now? What relative of Orwell wrote this one? o.O)
ANYWAY, here, I'm done disclaiming and flailing; have some useful stuff!
THE MAJOR LINKS
- 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 :))
WHY IS IT SO GREAT? WILL IT WORK FOR ME? (A brief explanation)
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 — being well-rested is so important.)
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.
ARTICLES TO START WITH
There's a lot on this site, so here's a list I've been keeping of main/major/useful-for-beginners things I've written about polyphasic sleep. Some of them are pretty old! But do feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message anytime, if you have questions.
Here's my Overview on polyphasic sleep, what it is and my history with it.
Charts of Types of Polyphasic Schedules will teach you the difference between the different known-to-work schedules, as well as some theoretical schedules that seem like they ought to work.
If you're under 18 (or the legal age of majority in your jurisdiction), then please read Polyphasic Sleep & The Age of Majority before deciding whether to try it yet.
The most updated description of my current schedule, and my goals for the ongoing experiment, is here (though I'm not great about updating this often, and you should read the latest posts for the most current information).
Polyphasic Sleep and Sex – because you know you were wondering. ;)
Here's an answer to the popular question "Does adapting to polyphasic sleep hurt your performance?"
Read the Six Month & One Year on Everyman posts here — the Six Month one has a really good breakdown of what's different between polyphasic & monophasic lifestyles, as well as the differences from when I did Uberman for the same length of time.
Hibernation: The Agony & The Ecstasy is a post about what it's like to sleep "all night" from a polyphasic perspective; there's also My Week of Monophasic Hell, which is the report of my attempt to "switch back" to regular sleeping. I went monophasic one more time recently (September 2011) and decided that YOU ALL MUST NEVER LET ME DO THAT AGAIN — see the post titled POLYPHASIC UBER ALLES for that.
If you're adjusting to a polyphasic schedule, you definitely want to read Things you can do to Avoid Oversleeping and Tricks to Avoid Oversleeping. Also my PSA: These Are NOT Good Ideas While Sleep-Deprived!; and if you're having trouble, read Fantastic Advice for Troubled Polyphasers.
There was, early on, a pretty serious attempt to attack the viability of polyphasic sleep — read about it, and my response to it, in "an attack on polyphasic sleep". There have been many follow-ups, but this discussion is one of the best, IMO. (There has been speculation that "a reader" who started this discussion may have actually been Dr. Wozniak, but as there's no proof either way you'll have to judge for yourself.)
The unbearable lightness of falling asleep is a post about napping, which involves a learning curve for most people — if you're in that curve, this post may help you as well: Can’t Fall Asleep for a nap? Try This.
Some more miscellaneous posts of interest: Some new Polyphasic Questions, answered; The How and the When (good stuff for polyphasers); Schedule Hacks – The Five-Hour Swap; Sleep Drugs?; Is “Crazyphasic” the same as “Free-Running Sleep”?