ABSOLUTELY NEWEST UPDATE (June 2010): This post has my schedule recently — post-unemployment and all kinds of major shakey-uppy stuff — and some hints about the future of my experiments. Enjoy!
Note: Read the One Year Report here; the full Six Month Report here. A partial six-month report forms the basis for the "my settled schedule" section below. FYI, I started Everyman on or about June 23, 2006. For a month prior to adopting Everyman I'd been trying to get back on my original Uberman schedule, but the result of that experiment turned out to be the knowledge that Uberman doesn't work unless you have so much control of your schedule that you can be nigh rabid about your naps. (There's other information on Uberman, and the differences between the two types of schedule, all over this site. The search bar on the homepage is your friend. ;)
Further Note: The experiment with long-term Everyman lasted three years and five months, and it worked splendidly, but due to life-situation upheavals that will last several months, I had to give up the schedule as of January 2010. The writeup explaining the experiment's end (and my absolute intention to do it again asap) is here. More information about the first six months is below.
Further: That monophasic period lasted, all told, less than a month. I hated it! Read what Monophasic was like for me (ugh!) here. I'm polyphasic again, but it's gone from E3 to E6 and back again over the last few months, as I adjust to new stuff…see the top entry for the latest.
Here's the early evolution of my schedule, goals, and experiences in reverse-chronological order, roughly, starting at six months and going backwards….
My "settled" schedule – 6 months in: After almost six months of tweaking, this is what my Everyman schedule looks like: One core nap, 3 hours, 1 a.m. – 4 a.m. Three 20-minute naps, morning, afternoon, evening. I aim for 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., but these times are pretty flexible. If I "flex" too far, I get tired and wake up groggy from the next nap. If I miss a nap, I'll wake up groggy from my core. Sometimes I'll sleep four hours on my core if I get very tired by midnight (which sometimes happens after a particularly hard day, long workout, or if I miss a nap). However, I always wake up groggy after four hours, but hardly ever after three. Sleeping three hours at night has become pretty automatic for me; I often wake up without an alarm. Sometimes, usually no more than once a week, I wake up after 1-2 hours instead. Just rolling with that and doing everything else normally seems to work fine. Sometimes I do take "sleep days" and sleep as much as I want. I do this when I'm sick, stressed out to the point of getting symptomatic (I have some brain-issues that'll flare up on me if I don't manage my stress), or sometimes if I've missed a lot of sleep over the course of a week, I'll sleep in on Saturday morning. This usually involves a six-hour core, which doesn't seem to have any detrimental effects as long as I don't do it too often. (I aim for no more than once a week, except in cases of honest-to-goodness physical illness.) However, if I wake up after my three hours and then decide to go back to sleep, I will sleep for 7 or 8 hours, and wake up feeling awful, like a bus hit me (like a monophasic person feels after staying up late and sleeping 12 or more hours), and be tired for a good chunk of the next day. I try very hard not to do that, which sometimes means I'll decide to "sleep in", but then get up anyway, because my body just doesn't want to sleep in. The single most important thing I do to keep my schedule is to take my naps. I've discovered quite thoroughly that no matter what happens, if I make damn sure to lay down for 20 minutes three times a day (and stay laying down for 20 minutes, even if I can't sleep), my schedule will be fine. Note that this is true now that I've adjusted; during the first few months, mistakes did impact me much more than they do now. I sleep in my car during the day for the most part, and I use Placebo's Sleep Track on my mp3 player as an alarm, mostly because it's convenient and I like waking up to it better than to the beep of an alarm. At night I set one simple radio clock alarm to 4 a.m., and by the time I walk across the room to shut it off, I'm usually wide awake. (Note: I set two alarms for a long time, because waking up after the core tends to be the hard part of adjusting to Everyman.) Frequently, I wake up from naps and my core without, or just ahead of, the alarm.
NOTE: What follows is a chronological series of updates that I made while adjusting my Everyman schedule. It's here for your education or interest, or for you to totally ignore, if you like. The last update at the bottom was right before my six-month writeup. Currently, I've been on the "Everyman" schedule (3 hours of core sleep + four 20-minute naps) for almost 2 months. My schedule looks like this: 2:00 p.m. – nap (at work) 6:00 p.m. – nap (at home) 10:30 p.m. to Midnight – core sleep 3:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. – core sleep 9:00 a.m. – nap (at work) I take my work naps in my car, and they let me get away with it because I use the extra time I've gained from getting up at 5 a.m. to come to work by 7:30 in the morning. I determined after trying a 3-hour core at the beginning and at the end of the night that it was best to split it into two 1.5-hour chunks. I'm just too tired after sleeping 3 hours (weird, huh?), and whatever half of the night I take it during, I'm tired the other half. I have to be especially careful about not being tired in the morning, since I have a pretty harrowing commute to work.
Edit, September 28: I've moved the core back to three hours and put it between 1 and 4 a.m., after discovering that, oddly enough, I wake up very easily at 4 a.m. I still get tired at 6 a.m. (just like I did when I slept until 5…weird), but I'm dealing with that separately. I'm also doing the Boomstick Exercises to help me get up right when my alarm goes off, and so far (after about 1.5 weeks of them), they're improving things significantly. My goal is, once I've really got this schedule down pat (I'm almost there; most of the time I wake up from my naps in advance of my alarm), to reduce at least the core sleep gradually to a 20-minute nap. Transitioning from Everyman to Uberman (full-on equihexiphasic, baby) is still controversial, which is why I want to try it, but I'd be happy even keeping the schedule I have…four hours' downtime a day, with the ability to be up late and up early, is AWESOME. My hardest obstacles are the 6 a.m., when I want a nap and shouldn't have one, the $#%!ing snooze bar (though that's getting better) and not sleeping in on weekends. ;) I'll update this page as my schedule changes. -PD
Update October 3: I'm even less tired, have pretty much fixed the 6 a.m. problem, and usually sleep less than four hours per day, but my naps came "unhinged" a bit from the actual times I was taking them. I think I've figured out this week (last week of September) that Everyman, being a "roll-your-own sleep schedule" affair, is bound to fluctuate across clocktime, unlike Uberman which ties your schedule to the clock right off the bat. I will edit this entry to reflect those changes once they solidify a bit more (I want it to have been more than a week), but there is a full initial discription in this entry here.
Update October 8: Yup, I was right. But the "unhingedness" makes more sense than I thought it did, as does the difficulties I was having with "6-p.m.-is-too-early-and-10-is-too-late". What I was missing is that with a 3 hour core, I only need 3 naps! One happens in the morning (about 8:30-9:00), one in the afternoon (about 1-2 p.m.), and one in the evening (settling down to between 8-9:00). Then my core is from 1-4 a.m. Even when I recently slept a long time from being under the weather one day, I bounced right back into this schedule no problem. It also seems remarkably easy to maintain if work messes it up…it seems that I can skip a nap and make up for it by simply taking a four-hour core (12-4 a.m.), with no ill effects. I'll have to look into that last bit some more still, however. w0rd!
Update January 2: This may end up being the final update to this, as my schedule is pretty settled now. My October revelation was correct — with a 3-hour core, three 20-minute naps is plenty. (I'm sleeping 1-4 a.m., with naps at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. My naps can move by as much as an hour in either direction without causing anything worse than some yawning.) In fact, I've now missed a nap a few times and found that, while it makes me tired for a couple hours, even that doesn't warrant taking a longer core. I can do 3 hours + 2 naps if I need to, and it's no worse than waking up early for a day on a monophasic schedule was. Over the holidays, there was a lot of fluctuation (and some before the holidays as well; I had a bad cold for 2 weeks, which didn't make me monophasic again but did result in some extra sleep scattered throughout my schedule) — I learned a lot from that. Namely that Everyman is pretty amazingly easy to re-adjust to, that routines are important and make things tons easier (probably true for any sleep schedule, really), and that, weird as it seems, I really do feel more rested when I sleep 3 hours than when I sleep 4 or more. The 23rd of this month is my 6-month anniversary on Everyman, and it's looking like I'll have to give it a pretty glowing review…! ;)