Step 5: 2007-08-27

Picture of 2007-08-27
I'm going to start noting more detail, for recordkeeping purposes. This will probably be more boring for the reader, but of course you aren't required to read it all.

1AM nap: slept, awoke, showered, went to the grocery store and bought lots of ingredients, came home and made blueberry pancakes. Did a bit of tidying up, read a short novel (Sophy Cassmajor by Margery Sharp. don't bother). Matt is asleep now and I will nap again in half an hour. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm noticing in myself normal sleep deprivation symptoms, like difficulty concentrating, slight clumsiness, less balance, chilliness. It's hard to wake up but once I have done so I feel about the same as if I'd stayed up very late and gotten only 2 or 3 hours of sleep the previous night.

At some point in this trip we watched part of a Scientific American video about a sleep researcher's study of one man sleeping on this basic pattern for, I think, four months (the video had other things in it too). He slept on that pattern just for the study (I don't know how he was chosen for it). It claimed that there are three sleep phases: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep, and that a normal night consists of segments of each of those phases in that order but it didn't say how long each normally took. It claimed that the subject's half hour naps consisted of different types of sleep, each; that the normal proportion of sleep phases was being maintained, only spread out over several naps. It introduced us to the phrase, 'sleep pressure'. I am absolutely feeling sleep pressure.

5AM nap: Hard, hard to get up. Stayed in bed about 10 extra min eyes open just unwilling to rise. Finally managed it. No stretching, no shower. Moved bed to better napping location & changed the sheets. Ate half a grapefruit. Wrote some email. By this time the sky was getting light & I felt more awake. Biked to the ferry, the one earlier than I usually take, and was so hungry on board that I ate a really nasty bagel & cream cheese at the snack bar. I could easily have napped on the ferry (it's a 40 minute trip), but didn't. This was easy at first but unsurprisingly as I sat longer the sleep pressure mounted. Got to work an hour earlier than usual feeling reasonably peppy after the bike ride from ferry to tower. Biking wakes you up!

9AM nap: easier to wake up from this, as it was full daylight. In fact when I lay down it was foggy on Alameda, and when I woke up it was sunny, a strange effect. I was kind of slow for a while. I think I ate a granola bar, and I drank a couple glasses of water.

1PM nap: Took a bit longer than I expected to get to sleep, and it was unpleasant but not difficult to get up. Of course, this was partly b/c we all were going out to lunch in honor of billy's last day at Instructables. I ate a bento box of tempura and beef teriyaki. Later this afternoon I had a mildly upset stomach which I attributed to lunch as the same thing happened last time I ate at that restaurant. But I also had half a coke when we returned to the office and that could surely have had a similar effect.

I have not been a very effective worker today, prone to being distracted and indecisive about what to do next. However I am very cheerful and unusually sociable. Lunch was fun.

5PM nap: Set alarm for only 20 minutes in order to run an errand before 6. Woke up relatively easily feeling bleary but this passed off quickly, even before I started bicycling. On BART train with little to do I am not highly sleep pressured. Ate rice and a veggie stir-fry at 8 or so. Not feeling any sleep pressure at all - in fact I'm wondering if I will be able to get to sleep for my 9PM in half an hour!

9PM nap: Brushed my teeth, turned out all the lights, and fell asleep with no difficulty. Woke up in 20 min and it's mostly dark, and it was hard to get up again. I am sensing a pattern here. Throughout this cycle I've done various home tasks plus played around on the Internet, and I'm getting sleepier, and chillier despite my jacket. (Forgot to mention earlier that I've been cold pretty consistently during this experiment. Except for the last cycle prior to this nap.) I'll have to do something more active now.

Ha, I made a Thing which I'll post as an Instructable later tonight (here it is). Also have done some reading up on (you guessed it) polyphasic sleep.
you're doing great! just be careful to stay on schedule- you will feel like a zombie if you don't keep up with your naps and limit yourself! regardless of what the others are saying, everyone is different, and you will know by the end of two weeks if this is right for you. good luck!