Week 2! What an interesting week for me! If you haven’t been following my series, I recently started a new sleep experiment called Polyphasic Sleep. Instead of explaining what it is like I have for my last two posts, I will ask you to go check out my previous posts and then come back if you’re still interested.
Alright, finished reading? Awesome, let’s discuss my new insights on the experiment! If I could name each week, I would call week zero the “Discovery” week, week one the “Intro” week, and this week the “Experiment” week. I tried to experiment with new sleeping patterns – even though I wasn’t accustomed to the current schedule – for one main reason. I realized I like to sleep. I still love the fact that I have to sleep less polyphasically, but I do enjoy sleeping when I don’t have anything to do or when I just don’t want to do anything. When I started the polyphasic experiment, I finally realized the power of sleep and how you can make your sleep more efficient and make it work for you. Not only that, but all the cool things you can do with sleep like dreaming and being able to control your dreams – also known as lucid dreaming.
I tried a few different sleep patterns that would allow me to keep my polyphasic schedule but also give me a little more sleep so I don’t feel so groggy by mid-day. Along with this, I wanted to extend my 20 minute nap times a little longer so that I have enough time to get to sleep and start dreaming at least a little bit. I like the idea of short naps to help me revitalize my energy as well as a way to practice controlling my dreams better.
Growing up, I began to lose the ability to dream clearly and it seemed as though I almost never got dreams or that my dreams were really blurry and uninterpretable. This may be because I slept less hours or just that I didn’t really think about it. As a creator, I strongly believe that you should have a vivid imagination and your mind should also be your canvas. I think I have lost that and it is something I really want to get back. I think being able to control and practice having more vivid dreams will allow me to do just that. There is a great YouTube channel I came across that talks about lucid dreaming called I Love Lucid Dreaming. You should really check it out if you’re interested in the mystery that is dreaming.
There are a number of different experiments I tried this week including having a longer core sleep, taking longer naps, taking more naps, and even trying a biphasic schedule one day. One thing to note about my experiences is that I only did them for a day each and I was not used to them so they are not realistic results you will see every day. These are my initial thoughts about trying each experiment and could vary for anyone else. So here goes…
LONGER CORE SLEEP
What I wanted to try with this experiment was to try and feel less groggy and tired by the middle of the day which was always the hardest for me. What I did was change my usual 3 hour core nap to 4 hours instead.
The results? No noticeable difference at all. I am the most productive after waking up from this core nap and spend several hours working on stuff left over from the previous day and even starting new stuff. I focus the best during this time because everyone in my fairly large family is asleep and I get undisturbed and uninterrupted time I need to get things done. Cutting this valuable time by an hour was not something I was willing to give up unless there was a pretty big difference – which there wasn’t. I’ll pass on this, let’s try the next experiment…
TAKING MORE NAPS
The goal of this experiment was to again feel less tired by mid-day and sleep more when I don’t feel like working on anything at the time. I also wanted to practice dreaming better and thought this might help. What I did was add another 20 minute nap to my day when I felt I needed it.
The results? I felt much better during the middle of the day. I actually tried this for two days in the past week and it seemed pretty cool except that University started again the past week and there was a long 8 hour gap from my naps and that just couldn’t work out unless I find a good place to nap in school. I mentioned in my previous post that I don’t always fall asleep in the 20 minute naps so that won’t help with dreaming much. The next experiment might…
The goal of this experiment was to actually give myself enough time where I could get into a sleeping state and start dreaming instead of lying down for 20 minutes until my alarm goes off. I also didn’t want to make the naps too long where I fall into a deep sleep and nap through the alarm. A good time would be 30-40 minutes I thought.
The results? I thought this was perfect! I applied a few tips on getting to sleep faster and used the app I briefly discussed in the last post, pzizz. This really helped me get into a sleeping state and the extra 10 minutes gave me enough time to start dreaming. Doing this more often would give me more practice dreaming and maybe make my dreams more vivid later on. I used a few of the tips by the I Love Lucid Dreaming YouTube channel and it really helped! I can’t wait to try this more often!
BIPHASIC SLEEP SCHEDULE
Like polyphasic sleep, there are multiple segments of sleep throughout the day, but only two. If you like to take longer sleeps and hate being woken up by an alarm, this might just be for you! After getting used to polyphasic sleep for two weeks now, I can wake up pretty easily from a three hour nap. A biphasic sleep schedule would be a two and a half hours of sleep twice a day. This gives you the benefit of polyphasic sleep in that you need less total sleeping time and makes you feel more awake during the day but at the same times lets you sleep as much as you like.
I tried this for a day and it really wasn’t the best experience for me. After waking up from the second long nap I had a bit of a headache and still felt tired. This was probably because I haven’t gotten used to it and gone through that important break-in period. I have read plenty of great reviews on biphasic sleep which say that it is like having two days in one and that there’s less wasted time. This might be great for people who work or go to school and can’t find time to take out for a number of different naps throughout the day. I am considering switching to this because it might fit in better with my schedule, but for now I will stick with the “Everyman” schedule for a bit longer and see how that goes in the long-term.
Thoughts on the past week
I think I will continue with this polyphasic experiment for a while longer as it has really helped me become much more productive and get things done. The things I learned from this week is that I don’t really have to stick to the book for everything to go well. Playing around with different things and finding what works best is good for just about anything you do and this is no exception. Out of the different experiments above, I think I will implement the longer naps into my schedule as they really help me achieve exactly what I want. I’ll do this until I learn to fall asleep faster and don’t need the extra time to get into that sleeping state.
Even though I’ve been doing it for two weeks now, I am still super excited for polyphasic sleep and trying new things with it. Looking back a month ago, I probably never would have thought I would be this interested in sleeping and dreaming, but a lot has changed since then. Sleep is a fascinating subject to talk about and I would love to discuss more on it!
If you’re half as interested in it as I am, let me know down in the comments! I’d love to hear what you think about this stuff and maybe we can get a discussion going! That’s it for me this week, how has your week been?