Thursday, May 7, 2009

Polyphasic Self-Experimentation: Day Zero

I said I wouldn't blog much about my personal life (because it's boring), but this could prove interesting.

After doing a little bit of reading on polyphasic sleep, I think I'm going to give Bucky's Dymaxion sleep schedule a whirl. I've gotten REM sleep during naps as short as fifteen minutes in the past, but didn't know that that counted as "real" sleep at the time (I just thought I had an unusually long-seeming dream during a short nap), so perhaps I have something of an advantage here. I get plenty of exercise riding my bicycle everywhere, and having two jobs means that my work schedule is pretty much set and my social calendar is fairly empty anyway (the major problems with polyphasic sleeping, from what I've read, seem to cluster around the fact that the rest of the world isn't polyphasic - but I don't really have to worry about that). So I'm going to try taking thirty-minute naps every six hours throughout the day, which fits nicely into my work schedule and leaves me plenty of time to do the things I like.

I've got a bunch of pros & cons to sort out here. On the pro side, I like being up at night, I like having free time, and I like the idea of doing the two-job tango while still having an active blog and having fun by other means. On the con side, I enjoy sleeping. Like, a lot. It's one of my favorite things to do, in fact, and I'm pretty much giving it up here. I also don't know how my other habits will interfere - I make liberal use of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and tetrahydrocannabinol. Between the four of those, now that I think about it, I'm almost always under the influence of something. I may have to give a couple other things up to make this work. We'll see.

Wish me luck!

2 comments:

Sharif Olorin said...

Don't Dymaxion. Apart from Bucky Fuller himself, there haven't been any successful recorded adaptions (to my knowledge). Uberman is known to work well; Tesla (http://tesser.org/sleep/teslapattern/) is closer to Dymaxion, and has worked for me in the past.

Also, regarding drugs, caffeine has to go. Alcohol is a bad idea during adaption; same for THC. The jury's still out on nicotine - shall get back to you on that. :)

Good luck!

--sio

D said...

Hey, thanks for the comment! Sorry it took so long, I haven't really written anything since October and have been busy with going back to school to finish my degree.

Anyway, I did Dymaxion for a couple months, and what I found was that about once a week, I would sleep for about four hours. I could not control this and it started to make me late for things, so I stopped doing the polyphasic thing.

I did find that the experience changed me, though, as it has changed some others who have gone polyphasic. I can get really good rest on short naps, but if I just let myself sleep, I can go for 16 hours (note to self: look up how long sleep debts can affect you).