2 Days in, and I’m wide awake

May 21st, 2011 | Tags: , ,

So a couple of days ago I decided to jump into a polyphasic sleep schedule. I had mentioned it about a year ago (strangely almost do the day) but never had the opportunity to try to adjust to the different sleep schedule. But here I am, unemployed with plenty of off time on my hands (mostly meaning I don’t have anywhere specific to be at any given time) and now would be the best time to figure this entire sleep thing out.

I knew going into this experiment that it was going to be kind of rough. I know the kind of person I am with regard to sleep and I’m forced to psych myself up every time it’s naptime or core sleep time. I used chikuru’s sleep schedule and adjusted it a little bit for myself. I needed the schedule to work with a normal-ish work day (letting me nap during lunch) and giving me time to commute if needed.

Here’s the schedule I came up with (using military time):

Core (sleep): 00:00 – 03:00 (3 hours)
Awake: 03:00 – 06:45  (3.75 hours)
Nap 1:  06:45 – 07:15 (0.5 hours)
Awake (commute/work): 07:15 – 12:30 (5.25 hours)
Nap 2: 12:30 – 13:00  (0.5 hours)
Awake (work/commute): 13:00 – 17:15 (4.25 hours)
Nap 3: 17:15 – 17:45 (0.5 hours)
Awake: 17:45 – 00:00 (6.25 hours)

Now this schedule has been modified at least twice since I came up with the initial schedule. Mostly because I’m trying to work the schedule around an imaginary work schedule as well as work it around my WoW raiding schedule (yes this is important to me). Plus I like to be awake for more hours of the middle of the night, but even as I type that schedule up I’m starting to think I either need to move my core sleep around, or rearrange some of the naps.

So far I’ve not slept through two different core sleep times, not slept through two naps, and overslept 2 naps. In the middle of day 2 I started questioning my sanity and whether or not I had the guts to actually go through with this.

There is something about sleep deprivation that makes the brain go crazy. I’ve noticed that the alarm goes off and I wake up. I know that I should actually get out of bed, but I rationalize laying there in a half sleep as being similar to being awake. Except that I’ll lay there in the half sleep for an hour and it will negate any effort I made to get myself on the schedule in the first place. My friends have said that the first couple of weeks are hell. And I’ve read elsewhere that the Everyman schedule has a much longer adjustment period than the Uberman sleep schedule. This is not factoring in the fact that I actually like to sleep. I like doing stuff more though.

Another issue I’m finding myself suffering from is the “my brain won’t turn off” syndrome. I will lay there and worry about all sorts of things that don’t matter for that moment at all. It will keep me awake as my mind writes letters to people. Or I go over all of the information I need to keep straight for my upcoming unemployment hearing. My brain then starts to worry about all of the jobs I’m not getting and trying to remind myself that no matter what happens I am actually better off not working for the hospital anymore. I am also finding that all of the activities that I enjoy doing are pretty sedentary, leaving me prone to dozing off randomly. I will need to regularly get up and walk around or something to keep myself from letting the tired take over to the point where I just sleep where I’m sitting.

The first day, after I didn’t sleep through my core, I got up when the alarm went off and decided to go for a run. At 3am. I’m not even going to lie, it was the most exhilarating thing ever. I loved how quiet the world was. That no one else was awake. That there were no cars driving around, or kids screaming, or people wandering around. The handful of cars driving at that hour didn’t bother me. I had the track all to myself and I was able to run my Couch to 5k day without a problem. I was hoping that the exercise would help me actually sleep through my nap, but it didn’t. I was wide awake during the first nap, and found myself dozing off just before lunch time. Terrible.

Despite my failure at keeping to my own schedule I’m going to keep trying. I’m hoping that I’ll slowly be able to deal with the brain being always on issue (maybe lay down a little earlier for my core and read before midnight). I might also play around with when the core actually falls within the day, since I think midnight to 3 might not work so well for me just because I like being awake then.

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