Holy Cow, it’s Everyman’s First Birthday!

This may be the coolest alarm clock for polyphasers ever.  Maybe I’ll get one to celebrate!

It’s so strange to think that in a few more days (the 23rd), it’ll be One Year on Everyman.  Being polyphasic has really become part of my lifestyle now; as recent events have sharply shown, it would be a serious effort now to try and go back to sleeping "at night".  My schedule’s become less regular over the last six months as opposed to the first, when I was focused on keeping things strict so that I could adapt — now it’s more like my monophasic schedule used to be, where I kept to a general schedule, but the details could vary by day. 

That’s a strange development in itself, because it feels so normal to be polyphasic now.  I mean, it doesn’t feel special anymore, like it did when I did Uberman for six months, or during the first six months or so of Everyman.  Is it just the first six months that feels "new" or strange?  Can, as my grandma used to say, a body really get used to anything, even hanging? 

Well, far be it from me to argue with my grandma (who, at the age of eighty-something, has told me before that she sleeps more like me than like a "normal" adult, with just a few hours at night and several short naps).  Yay grandma!

I still want to experiment more, too.  I want to go from Everyman to Uberman and see if the transition is any easier than flopping straight into hardcore-napland from scratch.  I think I’ve got a good handle on the exhangeability of naps and core-sleep — for instance, I missed a nap yesterday because of work, and I felt okay for the most part, but by later in the evening I told my husband, "Dammit, I’m going to have to sleep four hours tonight."  I could just feel it, and I was right.  (That’s not to say that a missed nap *always* translates into an extra hour’s sleep — other factors are important, like stress-level, amount of work versus play going on, and whether the other naps were good and timely or not.  If all else is fine, then I can usually miss a nap with no penalty except a few yawns about an hour after I should have napped.  But sometimes missing a nap will make me crushingly tired an hour before I normally sleep, and experience has taught me to just go to bed a little early.)

I also want to do more looking into the best ways to organize a polyphasic life.  There’s a lot of subtle things to it that didn’t really become apparent to me until I’d gotten over the getting-used-to-it phase.  Caffeine was relatively easy to figure out — I don’t feel it’s effects too much anyway, and my 1-3 cups a day never bother me as long as I quit about an hour before I need to sleep.  But food is trickier.  It’s easy to see that eating right before a nap isn’t a good plan — you wake up really groggy — but I haven’t yet worked out when is the best time to eat, and when, for instance, it’s best to put your "big meal(s)" versus snacks.  (I usually have 1 bigger meal, 1 or 2 small ones, and 1 or 2 snacks, if you were curious.  When I was on Uberman, though, I ate more than I do now, which isn’t really surprising.)

I also want to do some controlled experiments with light — natural and artificial and none — because I can sense that I feel different when I get more/less sunlight and when I sleep with lights on versus off, but I don’t really know exactly how that’s working yet.

However, all of those experiments will have to wait for a better environment.  I’m still rather amazed that I pulled off this schedule at all, given my living situation in a tiny one-bedroom basement apartment with two other people and no kitchen to speak of.  (That was actually probably the biggest challenge I faced, and it gave me new respect for just how important a controlled living space was for making this sort of thing work!)  However, it does look likely that I’ll have a room to myself soon, and that it’ll be above-ground and give me some room to do things without having to constantly tiptoe around in the dark when I’m awake at night, and sleep in my car because other people can’t be quiet enough during my naps.  (Not their fault, really.  One of them is four!)

Of course, another of my goals is to finish the Ubersleep book, which I sense is still needed, even though a few articles about polyphasic sleep are finally beginning to surface.  An article simply can’t answer all the questions people have, and that’s if you ignore that the quality and thoroughness of the articles I’ve seen so far hasn’t been that great.  (No offence to anyone personally.)  I would like there to be a cheap book available to people who want to know more, and not only so they can stop emailing me with gigantic lists of questions.  ;)  Maybe, I keep thinking, once I move, I can switch over to Uberman and use the extra couple hours to work on that. 

Yes, there’s an important lesson I should mention:  Your activities do expand to fill your time.  Rather automatically, once you adapt and keep a schedule like this long enough.  My 20-hour-day feels almost as "barely enough" as my 15-16 hour day did before, and I still can’t tell exactly where in the process all that time got used up!  It feels like it’s always been this way, now!  And that’s all good, but it leads me to advocate, tentatively at least, for prior planning and a good idea of how one wants to spend one’s time beforehand, at least if you don’t want it to fill up with "more of the same" like mine did.  (For my part, I don’t mind it, really; I needed more time to fit in what I was already doing.  But I do wish I had more writing time, and if I had my own space to do it in — right now I not only share a room, but also a computer desk! — then I think I could pull that off.)

So that’s where I’m at after almost a year polyphasic.  My health is good (much better than I normally would have expected considering my lifestyle — everyone agrees that I work too godsdarned much, often to the detriment of diet and exercise), I’m still loving my schedule and wouldn’t give it up for anything, and the world around me seems to have adjusted to my quirky ways with minimal fuss.  (My boss / family now routinely reminds me if they think it’s my naptime, and friends and acquaintances who aren’t as familiar with it seem to see it as more interesting and amusing than outright freakish.  This may be somewhat due to my suit-wearin’, all-respectable-like job, though.)

And of course, lest I forget, big huge thanks to everyone who questioned me, taught me, cheered me on (or jeered at me, which is another way of giving someone strength), and generally did their part to make this little piece of weirdness happen.  Hoorah for you!!

-pd

 

About puredoxyk

Word addict, kungfu/taiji nut, and life-partner to polyphasic sleep. Rabid fan of as many hobbies as the world will let me pry into its piddly fourth dimension (it helps to have knocked out the fourth wall).
This entry was posted in polyphasic sleep, site - about. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Holy Cow, it’s Everyman’s First Birthday!

  1. jaspet says:

    Hi Puredoxyk!
    Huge thanks for inspiration. I have found out about polyphasis sleep only three days ago, searched for any material available since then and today, it’s my day 1 :-)

    I’m going to attempt to do Everyman, with some personal tweaks to comply with my complicated work schedule. I’m also starting to blog about it, but unfortunately not in English. Good luck and thanks again.

  2. Squagglethump says:

    Hi,

    just wanted to say that I think your blog is great, I’ve got almost exactly 4 weeks before I go back to school, so am hoping to be ok-ish when school starts. I am a bit worried about being sleep deprived, but am hoping that it won’t be worse than how I feel at the moment after 10 hours sleep- which is still tired. How long would people suggest I stay at it, till I can safely say it works or doesn’t work for me- should I really give it 4 weeks?
    Sorry for the incoherence,

    • puredoxyk says:

      Hi Squaggle,

      It depends on the schedule. You should give Uberman about two weeks, and Everyman about four. If you haven’t made mistakes and you aren’t adapted by then, it probably doesn’t work for you (or it needs modifying). And if you did make mistakes and couldn’t adapt, then you should stop and re-adapt to a schedule you can handle so your body can recover from the sleep-dep.

      I hope that helps!
      PD

  3. jellykiller says:

    excelent post.

  4. puredoxyk says:

    Hi ziggy,

    Yes, I know about the error, and I’m sorry for it. I’ve been trying to hunt down exactly what’s causing it for months now — I can see in my logs where it occurs, but I can’t tell what file is referencing the nonexistent thing that throws the error, ARGH! Anyway, all your posts are still going through, and I’m terribly sorry about the annoying message. >,<

  5. ziggy says:

    Btw, every attempted post shows an error page after submitting: “The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.”

  6. ziggy says:

    Basically then not much has changed on those points, as anchored by your core sleep. I would guess on the Uberman it could be very different.

    Very interesting subject. Thanks for the quick reply!

  7. puredoxyk says:

    Good questions.

    I shower at about 4:30 a.m. (The :30 is from getting up, making coffee, gathering clothes, and sometimes hitting snooze.) I like it because nobody’s awake then, and there’s a lot of competition for the bathroom in my house. ;)

    Actually, I don’t have a morning coffee anymore, in the sense of drinking a cup right when I wake up, which is what I used to do. I put the coffee on first thing, put it in a travel mug at 6:00 when I leave, and I start drinking it at the office, sometimes with a few preliminary sips in the car. I stop about 8:30. Then I may have some more at some point in the afternoon, but it’s always nearer to the end of an awake-period, rather than right when I wake up. As long as I don’t drink too much (which for me is more than 2-3 cups at a time), it doesn’t bother my sleep at all.

    I like toast or something breakfasty when I wake up at 4 a.m., yes. This could be attributable to the fact that I’m in “getting ready for work mode” then. My meals are basically normal, with either a largish lunch and smallish dinner or vice versa, and a snack around eleven p.m. Sometimes some crackers or something small at 9-10 a.m.; I get hungry then sometimes, not sure why.

    Yes, going out in the evening can be tricky, though I don’t do it that often (2-3 times a week, I suppose), and really it’s not that hard to compensate for. I can take my afternoon nap later (like, 4) if I know I’m going to want to stay up a little later in the evening, though if it’s going to be later than 9:45, it usually won’t work. I can also just skip the evening nap, and sleep 4.5 hours at night — from 11:30 to 4, usually.

    I drink every once in a while, a glass of wine or two, a beer or two, bailey’s in coffee. If I do it late at night (and have two drinks instead of one) it can make me tired, but that’s all I’ve ever noticed.

    Hope that’s helpful!
    pd

  8. ziggy says:

    An odd question, but do you shower after each nap/core? (That would be annoying.) I assume just the core, but do you need a shower to wake you up like a normal morning shower? Do you have a “morning” coffee?

    I’m interested in the eating as well. When is your big meal? Do you “feel” like dinner or breakfast foods at certain times?

    Schedule-wise, if you’re only getting up at 9:20pm, it’s a bit late for dinner with friends/family. And if you went out for dinner before that, you’d have to be home by 9, so very restrictive about ever having an evening out with others, no?

    How does alcohol (if you drink it) affect your sleeping?

    Thanks.

  9. Pingback: Polyphasic sleep - Personal Development for Smart People Forums

  10. puredoxyk says:

    Thanks Mark! I’m hoping to take things to an even better level this coming year too.

    Though I know I’m getting more done than I probably could have normally, this is definitely NOT a more “relaxed pace”! ;)

  11. mark says:

    Hey congrats PD! That’s excellent. Here’s to a productive and even more groovin’ second year. Sounds like your physical surroundings are about to get much better. I’m pretty amazed you were able to do it in a small apartment.

    I know what you mean about the time getting filled up. Hard to tell if I’m getting more done, or just living at a more relaxed pace.

  12. puredoxyk says:

    Rock on; thanks for the offer! I’m really surprised at all the offers of help I’ve been getting…wow, I may actually be able to pull it off! ;)

    You know, I used to tell myself, “The more you do, the more you can do” — some quote I heard somewhere that kept me going at times. But maybe the truth is more of an inverse — the more you do, the less you have time for, even if you manage to increase your total available time!

    Or maybe I just need to get off the ‘Net and take my freaking nap, eh? ;)

  13. JosephExplosive says:

    Hey! Congratulations. You are an inspiration.
    I found the same (about the days seeming too short on polyphasic). Which I thought was wierd and contradictory. The weeks have been a blur. I would think this is a lot to do with the ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ cliche ~ or perhaps there is a larger ratio of my waking life now to compare this time to, so the days appear to go by faster (the older you get, the faster the days go by). Or maybe because there is no extended period of indulgent rest…

    Ahhh…

    The best of luck with the book, and if I can help at all with it (spell-checking, reading, material contributions etc) give us a buzz.

    – Joseph

  14. puredoxyk says:

    Hi Brendan,

    Real quick as I’m having one hell of a hectic day…

    I tried not to move more than one thing at a time, unless it became quickly obvious that I needed to (i.e. I kept getting tired half an hour early for the same nap). Otherwise, this is like any other troubleshooting — move one thing at a time whenever possible.

    I “settled” on the 1-4, 9, 2, 9 schedule that I think I’ve mentioned here before…but one of the many confusing aspects of Everyman was that just as I got really comfortable (about 6 months in), I also stopped needing the super-strict naptimes and got better about realizing when I should & shouldn’t sleep based on how I felt and how the day was going. My core (which is more often 1:15 – 4:15, but I call it 1-4) is the most stable nap; it only fluctuates by minutes, for the most part, with the exception of some weekend days when I do more of a free-running thing (often necessitated by schoolwork). My naps are pretty stable at “morning, afternoon, evening”, though it’s not unusual for them to fluctuate by an hour in either direction. My afternoon nap especially can be as early as 12:30 or as late as 4. The others are more stable — 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. are what I aim for, and I usually hit it. Sometimes I also take an extra mini-nap at 7 a.m., because the long drive into work bores me into being tired sometimes. ;)

    Your schedule seems good on paper; the trick now is figuring out where, in practice, it’s conflicting with your biology and/or schedule. Keep in mind the answer might not be the same for you and your wife!

    Thanks for your offer for book-material; I may very well take you up on it! ;)

    Thanks,
    PD

  15. Brendan M says:

    Hi PD,

    Thanks for such a detailed reply, it’s good to know we’re not the only ones having ongoing problems at this point in the process.

    When you were experimenting with core timings, did you move your naps around accordingly? I.e., if you moved your core back an hour did you also shuffle your naps back?

    I realise now you’re actually quite flexible in your sleep times, but can I ask what the sleep schedule your finally settled on was? I know this is an individual thing, but given that it sounds like it was not too far off our current schedule it might be a good starting point for some experimentation.

    Otherwise, you know our schedule from the previous post (1-4, 8, 1, 8), is there anything that seems inuitivly out of place there? One thing i’ve been wondering about is the short 4-hour gap between 4 and 8am, as compared to the 7-hour gap between 1 and 8pm. Those timings work very well from a scheduling point of view and fit with the fact that 1-8 are our most wakeful hours anyway, but they might be too variable.

    I think you’re probably right about the longer 8 am not having the desired effect, but you can understand me wanting to give things a go at this point. Also, it’s a little less hit-and-miss than trialling new core-sleep times for 3 days at a time until we find one that works. Although that will have to be our next option.

    Right, time to get started on those next couple of recovery days…

    Brendan.

    P.S. Let me know if you need any material for your book that we might be able to help with. It seems to me that in today’s “I don’t enough time to be successful” climate, such a book could be very successful if paired with the right marketing and PR. Just hire a decent lawyer to make sure you don’t get sued when some idiot falls asleep at the wheel or some such nonsense ;-)

  16. puredoxyk says:

    Hi Brendan! That was a great post on the Group. My computer doesn’t want to let me reply to it there, so I’ll do it here (otherwise I might never get to it, and that would be bad).

    You guys have gotten some great advice already and look poised to implement it. The only person I don’t really agree with is Axel (this is normal for us) when he says to give up after two weeks. It sounds to me like you’re doing *mostly* very well, which means that all you need is some tweaking, and why give up when you’ve come this far and just need to iron out the wrinkles?

    The kind of thing you’re experiencing is exactly why I often tell people that, in the long run, Everyman is *at least* as difficult to really get the hang of as Uberman. In the short term it’s much easier, but the “tweaking” can go on for months before you really get comfortable. (I remember when I wrote the “six months on Everyman” post here, I had just started to really feel the groove (i.e. no glitches) about a month before.)

    The advice to move your exercise closer to the end of a nap, and further from the beginning of the next one, is good. Though I’m not familiar with HIT, I wouldn’t expect your workouts to be the problem. I work out daily, anything from Pilates to bicycling to martial arts, and it’s never messed with me except when I do it too close to an impending nap, in which case I sleep too hard and may get groggy that night (just like if I’d eaten too close to a nap).

    Your plan to tweak things over the next week is a good one, but I would add one thing: Seriously look at where your core nap is. I had tried variations on 12-3 and 2-5 for several months, all the while experiencing some variety of “floating tiredness” like you describe, before I realized that it was actually pretty easy for me to get up at 4:15. (Yes, 4:15. At first I switched to 4, and that helped a lot but not completely; recently I’ve realized that sleeping 1:15-4:15 is the magic spot.) I was having nasty, nasty tiredness in the early a.m. and grogginess in the late evening, and all of it went away over the course of a few days once I figured out the timing on my core nap. I’ve talked to others whose experiences were similar, too.

    Last thing: You’re going to be tempted to believe that more sleep, longer naps, etc. will make you feel more rested. You’re almost 100% certain to learn the hard way that that isn’t so. Watch things carefully and back off the extra sleep as soon as you realize it isn’t working, or you’ll fall into that nasty cycle where you sleep more because you got tired because you slept more because you got tired…Yeah.

    And I know what you mean about not being able to go back!!! ;)

    Best of luck to both of you,
    PD

  17. Brendan M says:

    Hi puredoxyk, Congrats on the upcoming milestone!

    Myself and my wife started Everyman a month and a half ago (you might remember leaving a “best of luck!” post on our blog) and we’re having a bit of the mid-adaptation blues. Problem is i’ve gotten so used to all the extra time (and fillinn up all the available hours) that I can’t easily go back! I’ve posted a query about it on the Polyphasic Sleep group, if you’d be able to lend some words of experience that would be really helpful.

    http://groups.google.com/group/Polyphasic/browse_thread/thread/e4549a2647bb6d5a

    Apologies for hijacking your post for personal gain ;-)

    Brendan.

  18. Chris Khoo says:

    Hi pd

    Congrats :-)… here’s to a lifetime of polyphasic sleep!

    Chris

    PS. any release date for the book?

Comments are closed.