Sleeping Over

Being polyphasic has made me a pain in the arse of a person to have sleep over.

I will try to put my alarm where I can get to it quickly but sorry it's going to go off when you're right in the middle of sleeping and then I will get up and there will be rustling and movement and lights though I will try to keep these all minimal thank you sorry

Yeah I brought some coffee because I'm going to be up and hanging around your place for like four hours before you guys wake up so if you don't mind I'll make some coffee while I do that and I promise I won't mess with your stuff

But where can I plug in my laptop and hang out please


Oops, that was me

Sssh, go back to sleep, sorry

::grumbles:: hibernators

Anyway, I REALLY like the company and it's super nice to stay over somewhere sometimes and get that change of scenery and thank you for inviting me

…and for, I guess, even though you didn't have to try or anything, staying the f out of my way for a few hours while I work on my novella.  :D

Posted in polyphasic sleep, writing | Leave a comment

It’s called the “Smart Sleep Polyphasic Planner” App, and here’s what I think of it

[I’m sick of thinking about this, so instead of writing a post on it, I’m just posting my letter in response to the company(?)’s second attempt to get me to endorse their product below, with some added emphasis and a link that always cheers me up a bit.  But while not perhaps as smooth as a real post, this does accurately capture my opinion, for those of you who were wondering.  Oh, and the site — I’m not giving them a link, but if you really want to see it — is at smart sleep team dot com.]

Hi Dmitry,

I'm not an iPhone user, but thank you for letting me know about your project.  Unfortunately, as before when you asked me to look at it, I still strongly disagree with your plan to market polyphasic sleep, and I think that especially your claims that it's "scientifically proven" (when it is emphatically not) are disingenuous and will make all of us who are fans of polyphasic sleep look bad.  There's no shame in our style of sleeping having not been adequately scientifically researched yet, but your unproven claims and attempt to attach scientific validity where there is none will push us over the line into pseudoscience.  I've worked really hard to avoid that, and to avoid making unsubstantiated claims in my own writing, so it's both disappointing and irritating in the extreme to see someone throwing accuracy to the wind and making all sorts of wild claims in an obvious grab for money.  You're making a lot of claims that, when they don't turn out to be true for many people and/or your app can't deliver them, are going to make polyphasic sleep seem less valid a lifestyle choice.  All so you can make money off it.  
Thanks a lot.
Your site is incredibly marketing-heavy and very light on facts, and missing a lot of necessary disclaimers (and oh yeah, any citations at all).  You try to prescribe schedules for people in ways that completely ignore individual variation, and in some cases seem outright dangerous (people with serious health problems should sleep in two 3.5h chunks?  Who are you to say that, besides someone who desperately wants to be sued??).  I also have a pretty good idea of what data is really out there on polyphasic sleepers, and unless you've been carrying out studies and not telling anybody, it's really scary to think that you must have used a bunch of forum posts, blogs, and reports from mostly-unsuccessful adapters to support your claims that you can solve all these sleep- and time-management issues for people, and to pre-build schedules for people that, again, when they don't work, are going to convince a lot of people, including hopeful polyphasic sleepers, that polyphasic sleep doesn't work.  I get that it's harder to monetize information, caution about scientific language, and individual variation than presumptively picking methods and coding them into something easy to get people to pay for. But I think good information is way more important than monetization.  I suppose it was inevitable that others wouldn't agree with me eventually, but it's still really infuriating.
You could have written an app that was useful to people who are or want to be polyphasic without making any of these claims.  If you weren't so selling-focused, you could simply provide good tools and information to help people learn, choose schedules, and succeed at adapting; but instead, you resort to claiming to have scientific backing for polyphasic sleep's benefits, and to having knowledge about how people's individual polyphasic schedules and adaptations should work, so that you have something to sell.  Well as it happens, I *am* as close to an expert in polyphasic sleep as there is right now, and I know where your (100% nonscientific) information is coming from, and I call bullshit.  (Even if you weren't bullshitting, to be fair, I'd probably be annoyed at the attempt to monetize a type of sleeping, of all things — capitalism ad absurdum, ugh — but as a bonus from the perspective of angry letter-writing, you're also full of shit, or at least your website is.  I especially like how your "schedule designer" has less than a year of polyphasic sleep under her belt, and your two whole testimonials are both anonymous.  That tells me more about this product than anything else you've written.)
I'm really disappointed to see polyphasic sleep being commercialized this way, especially with such an irresponsible amount of inaccurate language and unsupported claims.  I'd urge you to make changes, but I already brought up these concerns the first time you wrote me, and they certainly weren't addressed. It's obvious that selling people on polyphasic sleep as a product is more important to you than helping people or advancing alternative sleep schedules as an option, so instead of a cool alarm / scheduling system, which I would have liked as much as everyone else (if not more), we get a branded orgy of lifehacky marketing-hype.  (Your marketer(s) are very talented!  Please give them my greetings from Bill Hicks.)
You asked if I'd endorse your product or write about it…well, much as I'd rather not, I'm going to have to write about your product, if only so that my readers don't think that I endorse it at all.  And obviously I forbid you to use my name, my book, my website or the group adaptation project in any of your marketing materials.  You're kind of doing the exact thing I've feared most and tried my hardest to avoid tainting polyphasic sleep with.  You'll probably make a lot more money off of polyphasic sleep than I did, of course, being that that's your goal.  I just hope that in doing so, you don't cost those of us who are or could be really helped by polyphasic sleep our credibility.
PureDoxyk / Marie
Posted in polyphasic sleep | 2 Comments

The Polyphasic Sleep Group Adaptation…is All Yours!

Group Adaptation was a resounding success!

The Polyphasic Sleep Adaptation Group has been officially over for a month (give or take), and it helped a lot of people, and gathered a lot of cool data on the adaptation process! There are still quite a few active members, and much talk about what people want to do for another adaptation — a try-again for some people, and a new shot at it for others — starting in January (with a December ramp-up, since it’s been so helpful to start a month early and do planning together — one of many lessons we’ve learned.)

…But I’m Outie

However, as many people know already, I’ve decided that I can’t keep running the group, much as I enjoyed it. I thought I could justify it if I charged money for it, but as I got deeper into setting that up, several things were realized:

  1. It’s been a solid part-time job’s worth of work, and I already have a full-time AND a part-time job, the latter of which is getting more serious and time-demanding (in good ways!) by the day;
  2. While people have told me they’re willing to pay, they (understandably) don’t want to pay much, and I don’t want to charge much, and it’s a very thin margin; plus, the push-pull of trying to make enough money to keep doing it was, I think, going to be bad for the group’s goals of spreading information and helping as many people as possible; and
  3. I think we all like how much of a community it is; and that’s another thing that gets hurt by having to run it too much like a business. I’d rather have more people be involved, and not be getting paid myself, than be struggling to run a good enough group by myself, or feeling bad about accepting free help.

So…Let’s all just do it together for free, shall we?

SO, here’s the New Deal (hah):

  • I’m stepping down from “running” the group in terms of daily management, though I’ll keep ownership of the stuff I own so that it stays running, and I’ll stay on as one of the admins, and as a generally-involved person.
  • I’m promoting all of the currently-active Phase 2 people to admins. They/we will promote other admins, ban people who make trouble, manage / add resources, etc.
  • All you have to do now to use the group is to email — I’ve set that address to go to the admins. We’ll take care of adding you to Phase 1 and getting you started. YOU CAN GET IN ON THE GROUP AS OF DECEMBER 1, IF YOU’D LIKE TO DO A GROUP ADAPTATION!
  • There will be a calendar soon, I hope, showing when people are starting their adaptations so they can buddy up; but in the meantime, assume that some people are starting new adaptation projects on most or all firsts of the month. It’s really, really smart to join the group a month before you plan to start your adaptation: Planning is key!
  • Anybody who wants to hire my super-involved personal help for an adaptation can still do that. I’m cheap as far as lifestyle gurus go (yes, technically that’s what this is :) — $500 gets you a month of daily help. I can’t do this for more than 2 people a month though, because of how much time it takes, so make sure you schedule carefully and ask up front if that’s a thing you’re interested in. I will be around the group here and there, but I spend more time in Phase 2 than Phase 1, for several reasons.
  • Phase 2, if you didn’t know, is a private chat area where the long-term polyphasers ascend to. It’s a similar setup to the main group, but its channels are set up more to talk about living polyphasically than adjusting to a new schedule. Generally we “promote” people to P2 when they’ve had at least 2 weeks of unbroken polyphasic sleep and are showing clear signs of adapting, though promotion is by necessity subjective and up to the admins. The purpose of separating the groups is simply to provide a space for long-term polyphasers to talk and support each other in ways that wouldn’t be useful for people adapting to hear about. P2 is also where the administration happens, though not all people in Phase 2 are made admins: The admins decide to make others admins based on how helpful they are to the group.

So things are the same, only the group is free and run by consensus. Yay!

The long and short of it is, things are the same as they have been, only I’ve opened up future decision-making to the group, and we’ll all be relying a bit more on each other to do the active running and maintaining of the place.

I’ll set up this information on the Polyphasic Sleep Information Portal page for future reference, and I’ll add other group-related things like FAQs to that page as they exist. I’m also, since I set up and am at least for now maintaining most of the resources, available as a point of contact if you have questions — but please be understanding, as I really have limited time to offer to this effort now. It’s been a fun three months, but it’s time to move on! And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated!!


Posted in better thinking | Leave a comment

Giving Thanks: Love is Help Napping

Ahhhhh, the Midwest — another Thanksgiving (we celebrate it early) in Michigan.  It's freezing cold here, but on the upside, there are no bike-lanes anyway, so I'm staying nice and warm — and stuffed to the gills with Mom's cooking; can't argue with that!

While I'm here, I'm enjoying a nice easy Everyman 3 schedule, sleeping from 1-4am and napping at 7am, 1pm and 7pm — the schedule I've kept most consistently for years, and which I feel gives me a nice amount of extra time to get things done without taking too much time from my family, or requiring too much effort.  Woohoo vacation!

One of the many nice things about my family is that they're super accustomed to my sleep-schedule by now, so I never have to explain or push for my naps:  People even remind me if it's getting close to naptime and I haven't mentioned it yet!  That's a benefit of long-term polyphasic sleep that I'm always thrilled to hear about other people achieving, too.  It takes a while, but eventually the people closest to you get used to it, and then instead of being an extra challenge, they become an extra assist.  

I have some friends in Boston now who are super awesome about helping me sleep, too!  They let me crash at their place on my way from work, if I'm going directly somewhere else and can't stop by my house; or if I stay overnight with them, they make sure there's a place for me to be awake and work at 4am, and forgive my early alarms.  It's pretty wonderful!

Like most people, I have a milion things to be thankful for this holiday season.  And while the naps themselves are great, and I still boggle at how valuable the extra -4h a day they give me is to my life, this year I want to shine a light on all the people who go out of their way to support my decision to sleep and live this way, and who selflessly help me keep to the schedule that keeps me happy and healthy.  Love is when you care about someone's happiness and health more than about what they do for you, and I am so fortunate to see real love reflected in so many people's williness to accomodate my polyphasic schedule(s)!

There's a lot more to talk about, but this post needs to stand on its own:  A moment of otherwise-silent gratitude.  To all of you out there, thank you for your many gestures of conversation and support as well, and may you have many naps and many excellent people to be thankful for too!  


Posted in polyphasic sleep | Leave a comment

Segregation in Sports: A bit of a wrap-up

A big chunk of my life was taken up recently with

a) feeling hurt because of some of the effects of gender segregation in my beloved only-team-sport of Underwater Hockey;
b) venting about that hurt on FB, which to my shock angered some powerful players and resulted in my being told I wasn't welcome to play anymore;
c) becoming the locus of a bunch of heavy conversations about it as a result of my public booting from my team;
d) at the request of several people, writing this huge piece on how and why the sport must desegregate in order to avoid being fucking stupid*
e) getting a bunch more email and having to back away from the topic for a bit, while gaining a whole new appreciation for how hard it must be on various disadvantaged folks to have others shouting questions and demands for explanations and education at them…wow, did I hit a special level of mental exhaustion there;
f) finally figuring out what I wanted to do, and publishing the below, which I now leave here for anyone who's been following this saga and/or is interested in this topic.

*note: this is a technical term now :P

The Deal With Underwater Hockey:

I just started a GIANT new project, so it may take a while, but I've decided that I will go back to ‪#‎underwaterhockey‬ practice soon. (I will also answer all the emails and messages I owe people, eventually.  There are, it feels, about two million.)

TL;DR: I am still planning to avoid all tournaments and events that are segregated. I am ALSO planning on CONTINUING to write about and discuss my thoughts about gender-segregation, here and elsewhere. Some people intimated that if I didn't apologize for what I've said and/or keep my mouth shut in the future (including on FB) about my feelings on segregation, I would not be welcome to play. I don't accept that, and I will not self-censor on something I believe in. If hockey doesn't like it, it can kick me out.


I've come to grips with just going to practices, so I'll be sticking to my guns when it comes to not attending any gender-segregated events (in hockey or elsewhere): This, I think, is kind of the least I can do to show my support for equality and the firmness of my belief in the fucking stupidness of gender segregation as a thing. For that view I will not apologize, and anybody who thinks they can out-argue me is welcome to try. (You might want to train up first; fair warning :))

I will also, as I always have, try to be nice to everyone in hockey, and not ruin anybody's good time — I've never gotten loud about this during a game or anything, and don't plan to — BUT now that I've had time to get over my shock at the multiple suggestions I received that I would "need to apologize" for causing bad feelings in order to come back, OR that I would have to censor myself here or elsewhere concerning my stance on gender segregation if I want to continue to play…no. NO. EFF NO. Ew, yikes, wow, really did we just say that. >,< I'm honestly embarrassed for all of you who took those stances…but I'm willing to let it go if you are. Shit's hard; I get it.

Look, my opinions are valid and well-considered (as I proved, I think, by writing a sensible, detailed, damn-near-publishable paper on them with 48h notice), and it's ZERO PERCENT MY FAULT that hockey has the flaw of being sexist, like so many other sports. If you don't want people complaining that your stuff is dirty, maybe focus more on cleaning it up than silencing the complainers? Eeesh. So yeah — no. There will be no apologies (unless something I said hurt *your* feelings specifically, in which case I'm *totally* sorry and please do come talk to me so I can listen and try to be better), and there will CERTAINLY be no self-censorship. Even if I wasn't about 99% sure I'm in the right, I'd still be opposed to censoring my own personal social media so as not to anger the poor sensitive hockey people. (Though…seriously ya'll…harden up. :P)

I do recognize that, while ‪#‎UWH‬ is better than other sports in many ways, its community is still composed largely of people (male and female) who are used to either supporting or tolerating segregation, and who may be made uncomfortable by my refusal to do so. (It is this general acceptance of sexism and segregation that kept me out of team sports most of my life.) All I can say is, yeah that sucks; I'm uncomfortable too. Maybe we can figure something out. Maybe we don't have to; maybe you can keep your segregation and I can just play in the practices and avoid tournaments — not great for me, but like I said in my writeup, I'm not a world-class player; I just enjoy playing; so while you're probably hurting *other* women with that view, it's really not much skin off me. I don't like it and it makes me feel really icky sometimes, but those are punches I'm willing to take, I think, at least for a while longer, to be allowed to play a game I love.

But if people want to fight for hockey's right to segregate without being called out on it by players (even on our personal FB pages), then they're going to have to kick me out. Like, actually kick me out; as in, tell me, publicly, that I must leave because my refusal to not talk about gender segregation is a kick-out-able offense in this sport. I'll leave then, and be happy about it, because any game that demands censorship and unquestioning support of its policies as the price of playing can suck my middle finger. …But for now, since so many people have pointed out to me that there's nothing stopping me from going to the co-ed practices, that's precisely what I plan to do — while continuing to argue against gender-segregation, here, and wherever else I choose to exercise my freedom to speak and write, thank you. Those who don't like it are, as always, free to ignore me.

(Be warned though — ignore me TOO well and I'll steal your puck like *whoosh*. :D)

Posted in better thinking, no more forced pregnancies, underwater hockey! | 1 Comment

Report from a 300-day polyphasic sleeper (and a new possible schedule: Everyman245)

Sam Rosenthal is a musician (with his band Black Tape For A Blue Girl), a record label owner (Projekt Records), an erotic novelist (Rye), & a half-the-week dad. What follows is his account and description of his long-term polyphasic project / experience, interspersed with some bits of conversation we’ve had over that time. Sam came at polyphasic sleep from his own angle, and did a lot of experimentation, plus gathered some cool data. Please remember YMMV, and this is just one person’s anecdote! I’m really grateful to Sam for writing it all up to share with everyone, though, and I know I won’t be the only one to learn a lot from his efforts. Here’s his report:

Day 300

I've reached day 300 of Polyphasic sleeping [as of the date of this post]. I think I deserve a prize, though I cannot decide what you give yourself for not sleeping much!

PD asked if I'd like to talk a bit about my experiences. So here it goes… Like many people, PolySleep* is something I got into to gain extra time in my day. Certainly part of why I still do it is to prove to myself that I can! To prove that I can win the struggle against my brain. PolySleep is not easy, and not everyone will succeed at it.

*NOTE: I shorten Polyphasic Sleep to Ubersleep; Sam calls it PolySleep.

Most people I mention it to adamantly declare, "but I like my sleep!" As if I'm threatening to take away something they cherish. Yeah, sleep is nice. But we only live once, and I'd rather have more time to be creative, and talk with friends, and pet the cat!

I'm going to describe what works for me, knowing full well you might discover something quite different works for you.

I think I'm (pretty) successful at PolySleep because I'm predisposed towards its requirements.

  1. I have no trouble falling asleep. Seriously! I've always been able to nod off within a minute of closing my eyes, heading immediately to REM and dreams. Some find this hard to believe, but when my son was younger and I was getting him to bed, I'd nod off during story time. He'd poke me and say, "Daddy, daddy, finish the story!" I fell asleep between words, and started dreaming immediately. And that was BEFORE I started doing PolySleep, where we are actively training our brain to go to REM. Good candidate, see?

    NOTE: Sam’s assertion that polyphasic sleep causes you to fall quickly into REM sleep is unproven, though it is supported by some individuals’ data. Also, it seems to bear adding that I used to fall asleep incredibly slowly, but learning polyphasic sleep taught me to fall asleep quickly, so while the predisposition to it is definitely nice, it doesn’t seem to be required.

  2. I don't have much trouble waking up. I don't need 3 alarms.
  3. I don't need the 7 hours of sleep I once required. I can survive on 4.0 – 5.5 hours a day.
  4. I am self-employed and work at home, so I don't have a boss wondering why I'm napping when I should be slaving to the man.

Sam’s Schedule

For my first month, I floundered about trying to find a sleep schedule. I was trying to cobble it together from things I read online; I was not really adjusting. Let me tell you, improvising a schedule is a BAD IDEA! I discovered PD's blog and read her book Ubersleep: Nap-Based Sleep Schedules and the Polyphasic Lifestyle, and realized my brilliant strategy could be, urm, improved upon! I went to a version of Everyman 3 with three (but sometimes four) 20 minute naps. When I got it working best, it looked like this:

4 – 7 am core sleep
11:30am 20 minute nap
3:00pm 20 minute nap
9pm 20 minute nap
1am bonus 20 minute nap, when needed.



If you don't do PolySleep, I am sure this schedule doesn't make much sense. But let me tell you: A 20-MINUTE NAP IS AMAZING. I fall asleep within a minute, and I nearly always wake up at the 16 or 17 minute mark, convinced I overslept my alarm, because of the sense that four or five hours had passed. I look at my timer, and realize I still have a few minutes left to sleep. Bizarre! 20 minutes asleep is an amazing rejuvenation: I fall right into REM and replenishing my brain.

I began with an earlier core sleep, around 1 – 4:30 am, but I found that my body required a core that allowed me to wake after sunrise. I needed that sense of "A new day beginning" which didn't happen with the core in the middle of the night.

Add to that the three (or four, if needed) naps, and I had the 4.5 hours of sleep I was aiming for. And while I adjusted, in the sense that I didn't feel sleep dep during daylight hours, there was still a problem.

Zombie Mode. Late at night (after the 9pm nap), I'd often find myself sitting in my chair, staring blankly at my computer screen. 30 minutes had passed in this half-awake state, often while I was working on a spreadsheet or trying to edit html. It's like a bad dream, where I was lost in some simple task; I was actually repetitively cutting and pasting text, but forgetting what I had just done, and going back to do it again. I flowed along, quite dreamily, repeating the task, and then I’d wake out of it for a moment and realize I accidentally delete what I was working on. Ugh. No good.

It never happened between 7am and 9pm. It cropped up many nights as the evening wore on and I got further from the core sleep.

This didn't happen every night, mind you. There'd be periods where everything ran splendidly, and I'd wonder if there was a reason these days were so good. I'll admit I don't stick to the schedule as precisely as I could. Sometimes I'd get busy and forget the first or second nap and have to pick it up an hour late, or sometimes I'd push the 3rd nap so I could go see a concert, or have a friend over. So yes, I am to blame for tweaking on the fly.

time worm

I keep a really detailed chart of my sleeping, using the "timeworm" I created. I am a graphic designer, and I wanted to represent time in a linear fashion. Time doesn't run around a circular clock; time flows ever forwards. My design keeps the look of a 24 hour clock, but it flows like water (or a segmented worm). The examples of my sleep schedule on this page use the timeworm, and here is a pdf so you can keep track of your own sleep.

NOTE: Wow, thanks for the chart / pdf, Sam! Those are awesome.

I think PolySleep is a great way to learn about your brain. First off, you (the witness) get to struggle with you (the brain: the machine that runs your sleep). I understand that for many people, the brain kicks ass and wins the fight. Hey! I don't think PolySleep is for everyone. There is no shame in trying, and then stepping back slowly and surrendering, "Nope, that's just not for me."

There's also no shame in occasionally wanting to sleep outside the schedule. I’m not a purist: do what you gotta do to stay with the experiment. Do the best you can. Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. Get some extra sleep when your body demands it. As time goes on, I’ve discovered the benefit of taking a "hop" which I will explain in a little bit.

PD says the adjustment process can take six weeks. It took me quite a while.

Ok, related to Zombie Mode, there’s another thing I didn't like about Everyman 3: my brain's aversion to books. No matter what time of the day, I'd fall asleep within 1/2 a minute of starting to read. Even 100 days in, when I was not feeling Sleep Dep, my brain couldn't focus on reading. "Words on paper? Must be time to nod off!" I like reading books. It's one of the things I was planning on doing in my extra hours. But waking up to the thud of the book hitting the floor? It gets old after a while.

Now back to my progress. At day 169, because of the problems listed above, I decided I needed a switch. I read about Triphasic sleep, which is three evenly-spaced 90-minute naps (Leif gets pretty precise in his article, regarding sunset, sunrise, etc.). I figured I'd give it a try to see if these longer naps might be a better fit for me. But after a few days, I realized this schedule was even worse, and I was regressing. I really need a core sleep.

Making this switch I learned that my brain just doesn’t want to wake from 90-minute naps. However, the process did reveal my perfect nap lengths. I really think this is key: finding the points where your body wakes up with ease. These are linked to the end of your REM cycles.

Note: Again, Sam’s data bears this out for him, but the research isn’t really there to make the bigger claim scientifically. We can call it a really good guess, though! :)

I found there were two points that I’d wake naturally and feel rested and ready to go. The first was around 15 – 18 minutes after I lay down, the second around 40 – 45 minutes. I could wake up as late as 60 minutes after, and be fairly functional. But after 60 minutes, my ability to "nap" ended and my body was entering a 2.50 hour sleep mode. Most attempts to wake up between 60 – 150 minutes lead to turning off the alarm, swearing that sleep schedules are the tool of the devil, and plunging back to sleep.

And if I was able to launch myself out of bed after 60 minutes, it inevitably turned into Zombie Mode where my brain tried to round out the 2.5 hours of sleep that I had started, by sleeping with my eyes open while staring at a screen (or book). Bad brain! Bad brain!

I started trimming two of the three 90 minute naps, adding the saved time to the first nap to create a core. PD suggested we call this E245 (though I reserve the rights to come up with a cool altname). Here's what it looks like today:

4:00 – 7:00am Core Sleep
3:00 – 3:45pm – 45 minute nap (time fluctuates)
9:30 – 10:15pm – 45 minute nap

(Through trial and error, I found that having the first wake period be 8 hours long is really beneficial.)


It's 4.5 hours of sleep a day; the middle nap seems to work floating a bit. I feel the 45-minute naps give my body a lot more than two 20-minutes, as far as I am getting rest that allows me to remain lucid. I can float a nap up to an hour later, to fit my schedule. Or sometimes I’ll take a 20 minute nap around 7pm as a booster shot, if I'm sliding my 2nd nap to midnight because I’m going out (or staying in!).

I think this schedule could be effective for somebody working a normal job, because there's only one nap during the day, and you could do it on your lunch break. More experimentation is required.

Some questions from PD:

  1. You've been aiming for a total of 4.5 hours of sleep every 24. Do you feel fully adjusted?

    I feel fully adjusted in the sense that I don’t have that headachey, groggy, am-i-getting-sick? feeling anymore; which isn’t to say that I am free from bouts of sleepiness. (You’ll notice that I was having trouble staying awake the night of Day#237, above. I went out that night, with the plan of getting Nap#2 later, but I just wasn't able to wake up (the yellow and pink means sleeping in my chair at my desk), so I just said "Screw it!" and went to bed for my core at 2:30. As I said, you’re not going to be perfect). From 7am to 9pm, I am always fully lucid and productive; But 9pm to 4:30am can be hard. Some nights my body just demands sleep.


    I have discovered that a handful of trailmix (heavy on the nuts), and some pacing around (or a walk around the neighborhood) is a good pick-me-up at 2am.

  • Which schedule do you like best, and why?

    As opposed to e3 or Triphasic, E245 works better for me. I get the core sleep, and I feel the longer naps are better for my brain; they regulate me better and make my evenings more productive. If a 20-minute nap is the equivalent of 90 minutes of sleep. Then these 45-minute naps feel like the equivalent of at least 3 hours of sleep. I feel more lucid at all times. I can read, I can work, It's more functional.

    That said, the thing I loved about Everyman 3 was all those naps! Crawling into bed every 4 or 5 hours, and falling asleep? It was very luxurious. Very fun. And the weird perception of 4 hours passing in 20 minutes was pretty interesting!

  • How much time have you gained on an average day, and what do you do with it?

    I find on average, I sleep between 4 – 5.50 hours a day. I'll admit that quite often I ask myself, "Why don't you just go to bed at 2:30 and wake up at 7am?" It would also be 4.5 hours of sleep, without all the napping. But the problem – as we all know – is you really lose productivity on a 4.5-hour monophasic sleep. The naps throughout the day rejuvenate the brain.

    What do I do with my extra time? I run my own business, and I downsized about a year ago, and work at home. I feel that PolySleep is the main reason I can keep the business going. So I find I work too much. But I feel a lot less pressure during the "work day." I can go out and water the plants, or sit on the porch and talk on the phone with a friend. I try to walk 3 miles a day. I don't feel guilty taking that 45+ minutes break. I walk around the neighborhood at 2am. Cray-Cray?

  • You said you sometimes take "nights off" which you call "hops." Describe those please: How often do they happen, and how long do you sleep? Do you feel like you "crash" or are accumulating sleep-dep in-between them? Could you keep your E245 schedule without those nights of extra sleep?

    Sometimes I take a night off when I am seeing my partner. When they spend the night, we go to sleep together and wake up together. That said, I can set my alarm and get up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night while they’re asleep.

    Sometimes I'm just feeling wrecked from a stressful day, and I allow myself a 6 or 7 hours sleep. But even when I go off schedule for a night, I keep all the naps, so I am ready for the next night on.

    Funny thing. I was convinced that I read somewhere here on the blog that you developed a sleep schedule called "Everman-Hop," where you do Everyman, but some nights you hop out of it and do a normal sleep. PD says this was just my hallucination, but I like "Everyman Hop" as the name of the evening when you sleep through, whether because you just feel the need for some extra sleep, or because you're enjoying a lover's warm body in your arm.

    Personally, I don't really feel like I accumulate "sleep dep" on E245 the way I did in the early days of adjusting to Everyman 3. Right now it is 2 am, and I feel completely lucid and my typing is as error-free / error-filled as it usually is. I don't feel icky.

    Could I do E245 without a hop? I am not sure. There are just some nights that the sleep pattern isn’t working. And I think it’s fair to have the option of sleeping in once in a while, so life doesn’t feel so rigid and torturous.

  • What's the biggest difference, in your opinion, between an adaptation to polyphasic sleep that succeeds and one that doesn't? What are the most important things someone who wants to transition can do?

    Hmmmmm? I think you have to be good at falling asleep. I think that you have to be able to shut off the internal dialog of your brain, so you're not chattering through that 20 or 45 minute nap. Because then you're not napping, you're just looping on your to-do-list. It's a bit like meditation: you have to develop a way to let your thoughts slip by, rather than hooking your attention and keeping you awake. That's something most people have a hard time with.

    PD recommends that in the beginning you lay down for those 20 minutes, even if you cannot sleep. To train your brain, "This is the time you get, Use it wisely!" I agree with that. You are learning how to train your brain.

    You also have to be good at waking up. You have to learn when your "good wake-up times" are. On PolySleep blogs, I've read about people who set three alarms, with one out in the kitchen, because they are shutting the alarms off and going back to sleep. I have blown through alarms on occasions, of course. But I really believe the problem comes down to WHEN you are trying to wake yourself up. This will be personal to your brain, and I think it could be the biggest decision about what sleep schedule is right for you. Forcing yourself to try to do something that doesn't work for your brain will cause repeated failure, and you'll doubt the possibility of PolySleep. So, in my view, it takes trial and error, to find your good wake times.

    Another bit of advice: cars are a great place to take a nap. I did that often when I needed to take my 20 minute, and my son was at a sport event. As many of us are self-conscious, and might skip a nap rather than risk getting "caught," I like PD's suggestion that if somebody asks you what you're doing, just say, "I’m feeling a bit under the weather; I am resting a bit." Don't try to explain your crazy-ass-sounding sleep schedule to the mall cop! : )

  • How long do you plan to be polyphasic? Would you do it always if you could? What do you think is the biggest obstacle to keeping it up indefinitely?

    I think the biggest obstacle would be if I was living with my lover; because sleeping together is much more sensual and pleasant than sitting here at my computer catching up on email.

    Polyphasic works fine for me as a single dad. Actually, I created my second nap to match the time I put my son to bed. So I can crash with him for 45 minutes as he falls sleep, then get up and have the third installment of my day.

    As far as how long will I keep at it? My son is very excited by the whole thing and my charts; when I groan that maybe I should give up and go back to normal sleep, he tells me to stick at it. Sometimes I think I'm doing it because it entertains him!

    But yeah, I like what I'm getting out of it, and I will stick at it because all-in-all, it's pretty interesting.

What I’ve described above is what works for me; it's very personalized. "Your mileage may vary."

…Speaking of personalized, for the three days since I started writing this blog, I’ve been wondering about that question I asked in the first paragraph: What do you give yourself, as a present for doing PolySleep 300 days?

An alarm clock? A sleep cap?

How about 3.5 extra hours a day? That's a pretty good gift! Thanks, just what I wanted!

-Sam Rosenthal

Posted in polyphasic sleep | 3 Comments

Ubersleep Group Rules & Guidelines

This is a sleep-modification experimentation group. It is attended and participated in by both people who are, and people who are not, adapting to a new sleep-schedule. The following rules and guidelines are intended to further our helping each other adapt, and to advancing the understanding of intentional sleep-modification and polyphasic sleep schedules. Where any of the following conflicts with that principle, the principle supervenes.


Means of Contact

Everyone who is a member should feel free to post thoughts, questions and conversation via Slack and other “public” channels. To contact each other one-on-one, please start with Slack’s “direct message” feature and move to other methods as you agree and get permission from each other to.


We encourage questions, attempts at answers, new ideas for tests, speculation, art, etc., related to your experience of sleep-modification in any way. The only thing we ask as a group is that you attempt to identify your biases and remind us (and yourself) when something is not scientific (which is not to say it has no use or validity). Everyone who sees our information later will benefit from the extra clarity, so thank you in advance!


Contact an admin-type who seems appropriate if you have a problem. The group is volunteer-run, which means that you should expect to a) be asked to handle your own problems when possible, and b) maybe have to wait a bit for help, and also c) possibly be asked to volunteer to help fix the problem you’re bringing up. Welcome to community living: Service costs money, but elbow grease is free, as my parents used to say. :)


This group is loosely moderated, in the sense that a moderator will step in and slap down any egregious offenses, and you can in fact be kick-banned from the group for serious violations, without appeal; but mostly you are expected to be able to handle yourself and be baseline-polite to others: Yes, even if you’re sleep-deprived. :) Most content is allowed by default, and unless it violates any of the Rules below, those who don’t like a thing are asked to please just ignore it; we’ve got room here for lots of different things.

Kindness about Sleep-Dep

Those who are in the group and not currently adapting to a schedule are encouraged to cut the Adapters extra slack and/or offer them extra help. Sleep-modification is a challenging undertaking and can be accompanied by difficult symptoms, so please be extra kind and forgiving to those in the middle of it.


Be respectful when asking for help and advice, and don’t get angry if you don’t get it, or don’t hear what you want to hear. It happens to all of us sometimes; we’re doing our best for each other, but we can’t hope to cover every question every time. Also, do your own research in addition to asking questions — it’s disrespectful to ask (especially all the time) for people to explain to you information you could easily just Google.


(Most of these boil down to a) don’t be a jerk and b) remember why we’re all here.)

Absolutely no hate speech of any kind is allowed. If you have a problem with any person or group of people, keep your anger to yourself or GTFO.

Don’t be a jerk to anybody. If you are a jerk accidentally or think you might have been, apologize. If you are apologized to, accept it and move on.

Do not share anyone’s personal information of any kind without their permission. That said, please understand that mistakes will happen, so if you’re very private about your information, please use means of contact with others that won’t make you super angry if accidentally leaked.

If anything about the group becomes a Big Problem in your mind, let an admin-type know privately. If your issue needs wider communication, it’ll get it; but out of respect for everyone, please avoid derailing and/or harshing the group unless it’s really needed.

Posted in better thinking | Comments Off