Polyphasic Sleep: Lessons I’ve Learned the Hard Way

August 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s a quick list of things I’ve learned. I’m somewhat delirious right now so bear with me.

1) Try really hard to keep track of what day it is. The days tend to melt into eachother so once you get lazy about this it can get pretty confusing. I have no idea what day I’m on and little idea what planet I’m on.

2) Don’t skip naps. This is badbadbad. Or, it can be. There have been times I skipped a nap and been fine, but sometimes I’m not so lucky. Yesterday I skipped a nap, thought I’d make it up later by stretching out my next nap. Yeah, not so much. Not only did that cause me to oversleep, but now I’m as tired as I was back in the beginning. Not good stuff. Really, I’m barely functioning right now. Next time I’ll just move my nap schedule around rather than miss one entirely. There’s really no way for me to combine naps safely yet without ending up on the everyman schedule.

3.Eat eat eat. I know that I’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s saved my life. Sometimes the best thing to help me get up and moving is just a small snack. I like granola bars or quick protein like hummus spread on an english muffin. But really, anything somewhat nutritious and filling should help.

4. Be prepared for discouragement. People like people like them, meaning people who sleep normal hours. People tend to not like people who need naps every 6 hours and get cranky when they’re an hour or two past it. Adapting makes you a lot like a toddler, and about as fun.

5. Make sure that you ARE getting the amount of sleep that you planned. I had heard that you should just lay down for the amount of time you’re supposed to give yourself and get up at the right time even if you didn’t sleep at all. I’ve found this strategy to be completely counterproductive. I end up exhausted later on, where if I had just given myself an additional 10-15 minutes to actually get some sleep in I’d feel ok. Btw, exhaustion leads to oversleeping, which is worse than staying in bed an extra 10 minutes.

6. Pets are a pain in the ass- get rid of them. I cannot tell you how difficult my cat is making my life right now. I love the little bastard to pieces but right now he’s just in the way.

7. Roommates are a pain in the ass- get rid of them. You know all those things that would probably help a person stay awake at night, like playing loud music or cooking or doing the dishes that have been piling up in their bedroom or vacuuming? Yeah, I can’t t do any of that stuff past 11 pm. This, of course, is the time when I most need that extra stimulation to keep going.

That’s it for right now. I’ll continue the list as I go along and maybe make one long comprehensive one once I feel like I’ve got a handle on this thing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s almost my naptime.


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