Polyphasic Sleep - Day 10

I dreamt again during my 1pm nap today! I did not remember the dream immediately though, it took some 5 minutes of being awake before pieces came back to me. This amplifies my concerns that my naps might be too long; maybe I cycle out of REM back into SWS, making me wake up groggy and not remembering my dreams (if any).

After this nap, I seemed to alternate between feeling alert and feeling a bit tired.

I felt tired during a lot of the waking periods today. I guess no extra naps and not falling asleep by accident will increase my sleep debt again, which I’ll probably need to finish the adaptation.

Interestingly, I didn’t feel particularly tired during the 1am-5am cycle; I was able to watch a movie without nodding off. The 3am crunch wasn’t nearly as big as I feared.

Length of the adaptation: some perspective

Today I came across an old blog of puredoxyk, where she tells us of the second time she tried to adapt to Uberman. Unlike her first attempt, this time she oversleeps, has trouble adapting, and ends up experimenting with Everyman instead. Several of her posts in that blog indicate that the “should work within 7 days” part of Uberman might not be so clear-cut (especially in the face of oversleeping accidents, of course). She even writes

The lesson here is “don’t assume you can adjust in 4-7 days, even if you did before”.

And, as an example of how bad it can be:

[...] one of my role models, Heidi, who out-patiented her body for five weeks and won.

All this makes me feel less bad about not adapting after more than 6 days of perfect schedule adherence. Maybe there’s hope yet! Though I sure hope it won’t take 5 weeks…

Mind’s voice

For at least several days now, I’ve been finding it easier to not think any thoughts. Normally, my mind’s voice is rambling unstoppably, and getting it to shup up for three seconds is a challenge. But now silencing my mind’s voice is easy; if I want to, I can keep it quite for minutes. That might be great for meditation, I’ll definately try that later.

Steve Pavlina also noticed something similar (after his adaptation period):

[...] that my mind feels a lot less noisy. It has become exceedingly calm, like a still lake. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost the chatterbox in the back of my mind. Now there’s a feeling of mental stillness, like the background mental noise has been turned off.

I wonder how this will develop.

Falling asleep

I’ve never been great at falling asleep, ever since I was a kid. I remember visiting some therapist when I was about 9 years old, and receiving specific instructions for relaxing and falling asleep in bed. They only helped a little bit.

Usually, I keep thinking about things that recently happened, that are about to happen, or that I want to happen. I find it hard to stop doing that, and even when I think of relaxing things, I hardly fall asleep immediately. Laying awake for half an hour is pretty much the minimum for me when sleeping normally, and laying awake for an hour is not unusual.

It is no surprise then, that during the first two days of the Uberman adaptation, I was unable to sleep during my naps. Luckily, sleep deprivation kicked in soon, and then I could sleep. I seem to have gone through three distinct stages with my naps (in chronological order):

  • Not being able to sleep at all during the naps.
  • Laying away for about 5-10 minutes, sleeping for about 5-10 minutes, and finally laying awake again for about 5-10 minutes, waiting for getting-up time.
  • Laying awake for about 4-7 minutes, falling asleep, and being woken by external factors (alarms etc).

But for the last few days, I seem to have arrived in a new stage, where I fall asleep a lot quicker. I’ve found that if I get into the proper napping position, close my eyes, and don’t think of anything (which I can actually do now), I’ll usually fall asleep within 30 seconds! That is simply amazing for me; falling asleep was often a chore for me, but now… it’s easy :)

Of course, I’m still under the spell of sleep deprivation so it’s not surprising that I’m falling asleep quicker, but it’s an interesting change nonetheless. And it would be great if I could carry this ability to other sleeping patterns as well.

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