Schedule Hacks – The Five-Hour Swap

Wow, what a week.  Construction and shopping and coordinating and coming up with money, mmm yeah.  But it’ll be worth it!  I can’t wait.  But I also can’t move for another month.  *sigh*

Stress is medium-high but manageable, but my schedule — like, daily living stuff — has been all over the place.  Since Saturday, I’ve missed a daytime nap every single day, because of work or appointments or something.  Thankfully, this seems to be pretty amazingly easy to fix:  I sleep 4.5 hours at night, and wham, I feel fine.  This even worked yesterday, when I missed my evening nap, meaning I was awake from 3:30 straight through until 12:30.  I was tired when I went to sleep, mind, but I woke up at 5 feeling like a dozen red roses.  Hm!

So not only is the 4.5 hour core + 2 naps schedule a viable one, it seems to be a pretty painless temporary addition to the middle of a standard (3+3) Everyman schedule.  Of course, we won’t know that for sure until I switch back, and maybe back and forth a few more times to be positive, but signs are good.

You know what?  After I move, I’m going to try switching to the shortened Everyman too — 1.5 hour core plus 4 naps — and see if that’s doable too.  Wouldn’t it be cool if Everyman was that variable??  (Plus, I’ll need the time to unpack!)

I was crowing about the success of the 4.5-hour core in keeping me from feeling like hamburger after the last couple days, and someone said, inevitably, "But some monophasic people only have to sleep five hours, so what’s the point of a 5-hour polyphasic schedule?  Why go through all the trouble?"

I’d love to answer that!

First of all, booyah for some people, but I’m not them.  On a monophasic schedule I’m exhausted if I don’t get at least nine hours’ sleep, or 7-8 with an afternoon nap.  So for ME to be able to sleep only five hours is still a big win!

Second of all, naps aren’t "trouble", at least not anymore.  Yes, they took some getting used to, and they take some attention, though not more than, say, brushing your teeth every day.  But I like my naps.  Taking a 20-minute time-out from the world a couple times a day is magic for your psychological health, trust me.  Even if it only saved me an hour every day, I’d probably still think my naps were worth it!

Darnit, this afternoon is not looking promising for me getting all my naps again.  *sigh*  Well, as much as I want to put things back together, I guess I’m going to have to officially Not Worry About It too much until after the move.  Then the patching-up of the schedule can begin in earnest, heh.



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 wall).
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2 Responses to Schedule Hacks – The Five-Hour Swap

  1. puredoxyk says:

    Yes, I wouldn’t force the 4.5 hour core. I can’t do it myself unless I’ve missed at least one nap that day, and even then, I wake up noticeably more groggy than I do after 3. It’s sort of a stop-gap measure for when things get whacky (which I do wish they would stop doing already!), but it’s nice to have it there if I need it.

    I did start with 4 naps, you’re right. When I started, I didn’t know that the 3-hour core would allow me to stay awake longer. But I still take the “4th nap” sometimes — that’s the “extra nap” at 7 a.m. that I’ve talked about before. If you have a “tired spot” around 6 a.m. and can fit one in, maybe that’s where you should put yours.

    Getting tired before your core (especially with a core that takes place early in the night, like ours) is normal, from what I’ve seen, and it may be more about what you’re doing than when you’re sleeping. On every polyphasic schedule, it’s a good idea to schedule “active” things to do at night, because your body’s natural rhythms have a downswing then. If you spend that time reading or watching TV, you’ll probably feel groggy at some point. I’ve been dealing with this more often than not since I started (this time; it wasn’t a problem back when I did Uberman), because I simply can’t do much at night…yet!

  2. Jack Cohen says:

    First let me say that you are undeniably the inspiration for my new polyphasic schedule – thanks for blazing the trail for the rest of us.
    I am in week 2 of an everyman schedule that is quite similar to yours: 1-4am, 7:30am, 2/3pm and 8/9pm. Like you descibed in your adaptation, I was having trouble staying up at 6am. One day I slept at 6 and then at 9 when I got tired again. After the 9 I felt great, but tried to combine the two naps into one the next day and ended up with a 7:30 nap – but I am very tired in the hour that preceeds it. Also, I have been getting very tired an hour or two before the core and I have been forcing myself to stay up.
    After reading the 5 hour hack, I figured I would try a 4.5 hour core last night and I went to sleep at 12am instead of 1am. Well the first thing that happened was that I woke up after 15 minutes (the length of time my body likes to nap) which never happened before in the core. I was still very tired though so I went back to sleep. I then woke up at 3am – after my usual 3 hours of sleep. I wanted to force the 4.5 hour core hoping it would give me more energy for the day so I went back to sleep and woke a few mintes before my usual 4am (for a total of 3 hrs sleep) feeling pretty good.

    You describe “fixing” the 6am problem but don’t really explain how. Any advice would be helpful.

    You originally started everyman with 4 naps instead of 3. How did you know exactly, that you could skip one and settle on a schedule with 3?

    Should I settle on a schedule with 4 naps and then once I’m adapted try to elimanate one?

    Any other insights you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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