Sunday, March 19, 2006

I totally failed. I think it all started with some small scale personal problems on Friday, March 17th. One thing is for sure, I'll be trying it again, but not for at least another week and a half. I live in South Florida and this coming week is the Winter Music Conference. I'll probably be doing it up Miami-style (coke and hookers don't exactly fit with polyphasic for all of you virgin polyphasicers.)

I admit that the key is being extremely rigid about your naps - no doubt. The other key is learning from each of your failures. I really do believe that with some creative problem solving I'll be able to pull this off. For example, I think that not sleeping in anything that resembles a bed would help for my 1 am and 5 am naps (and even my 9pm if I'm specifically tired.) My afternoon naps are not a problem. I have found that any oversleeping past 20 minutes to be bad - really bad.

The caffeine nap is something I'd like to experiment more with. To do a caffeine nap to chug a cup of coffee right before you fall asleep. The idea is that you start to metabolize the caffeine while you're sleeping and you wake up with the benefits of caffeine on your side. I have had some problems with it however. The worst of it is waking myself up too much by the very action of administering the caffeine in order to facilitate going to sleep in the first place. I'd like to avoid the whole caffeine concept for as long as possible as I do believe that any substance with an upper-like effect to act against you. More broadly, anything that intoxicates you in any way is a huge no no. So, if you socially need to drink or can't help from drinking, you're going to have some serious obstacles to maneuver. I'm used to ordering water and being made fun of because I simply do not like to party when I don't have the time to do it right, but this may be quite difficult for those of you who have careers that center around that scene.

An interesting but weird side effect I found was that I became very dehydrated on the polyphasic sleep schedule. I had to religiously watch how much I was drinking and make sure it was about twice what my normal daily intake of fluids was while on a monophasic schedule. I effectively looked like I do when I get sick and am dehydrated - uneven skin color, things that look a lot like broken blood vessels, chapped lips. All of these things went away within about 1.5 days of drinking more fluids.

Also, I really thought that I'd be more depressed. I'm not depressed at all. But, when I sleep monophasically and get under 7 hours of sleep I want to die! I found I could get by on 2-4 on this schedule and feel more or less happy. I found this to be intriguing as well.

A strong positive about the schedule was that I eliminated stress headaches from my life. This leads me to believe that I must be doing something in my sleep that causes them. And, the first day I gave up and slept, March 17th, was the first time I got one since starting. Luckily I have not had another one yet.

Also, I was fully anticipating my whole inner vegetarian to come out and start dancing. It did not (thank goodness, she's probably not a good dancer.) I have found I do tend to eat better when I'm in general more stressed out but the polyphasic schedule didn't stress me out to that extent. I found myself to forget more often about eating, thus the dehydration possibly.

In summary, for next time, I'm going to buy a new alarm clock watch, a new Nalgene bottle, some no-doz, just in case, some cute work out clothing that really has nothing to do with sleeping, I just want it, and really try not to have any personal problems;). Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Today went to hell in a hand basket. It started out yesterday. I’m not really sure when, but I had been really quite good up until that point. Somewhere along the way I rescheduled my naps and even cut one completely out. Since then I’ve been deliriously tired and disoriented on and off. The fact that I may or may not be delirious at the moment, I think that I screwed up on my 5 pm nap and pushed it to 6:30 pm. I then wasn’t able to sleep for my 9 pm or my 1 am and ended up taking a nap at 3:30ish am and then at 8:30ish am. Most of it is a blur. I remember trying to work at 6:30am and effectively staring at my computer screen for 2 hours, doing about 2 minutes worth of work during that period. I then slept through my alarm that went of at 9 am and almost fell through on my obligations to pick my friend Megan up from the airport. I woke up at 9:30 am, jumped up off the floor and flew out the door to pick up her sister Dede and run to MIA. I got there late, at about 10:20 am, when she needed me to be there at 9:50 am. I wasn’t tired for my 1 pm nap and ended up taking that one at 3:30 pm. I skipped my 5 pm nap and took my regular one at 9 pm and predictably overslept until 10:45 pm.

One of the most uncomfortable things in the world is that feeling of uncontrollable sleep. From 10:45 pm to just about 11:45 pm, I was doing that thing where I was falling asleep and not even realizing it until I experienced a time warp. At 11:15 pm I went for a walk outside. That seemed to help a good deal, although I actually didn’t think it would. I am tired, there’s no doubt about that, but I am relatively coherent.

The moral of this story is, unsurprisingly, that you should not ever under any circumstances reschedule a nap, more importantly, you should never skip a nap, at least during the transition period.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Things have been going relatively well. I overslept on the morning of the 12th for about 2 hours. My 1am nap is really a killer this time whereas the 5am was the killer last time. As of today, that is the only time when outright oversleeping took place. One thing I really hate about the transition period is the overwhelming stomach sickness I feel. I noticed that during my last attempt, this went away about day 3 so I’m eagerly anticipating this.

I’ve tried to integrate slight activity into my schedule this round. I simply do not have the energy to jog so I went walking at 6am today and I just finished up one set of the beginner’s workout for “I Want Those Abs.”

One thing that never fails to make me feel better is the Juggernaut cartoon on YouTube (!) Because really, this never gets old.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I have created this blog for one purpose only - the threat of public humiliation.

Today is the first day of my second round in attempting to adjust to a polyphasic sleep schedule. For those of you familiar with polyphasic sleeping, the transition period can take quite a bit of creativity to get through. But, I think this new pink Timex watch with a vomit inducing alarm may serve as just the impetus I need.

I'm not really quite sure what I'm going to cover here. I've heard diet plays a big role in success (I am an awful eater.) I've heard discipline is key (I am severely lacking in that department.) I've heard in general, leading a healthy life free from substances such as caffeine and alcohol is absolutely necessary (no comment.)

Taking all that into consideration, one thing I can say I am not, is a quitter. We shall see how far that can take me.

And if I turn out to be a quitter, at the very least, people are funny when they're sleep deprived, so it should be an entertaining adventure all the same.