Day 1.5: Thoughts at a crossroads.

posted: 13 October, 2008

I was planning to only post once per day about my polyphasic experimentation, but I had a few things I wanted to mention even just from the past 10 hours.

First, I think it's getting easier.  I realised that I feel pretty good most of the time, except when i get these insane, tugging bursts of fatigue.  My partner and I went for a short walk outside tonight and went to a coffee bar (though I got hot chocolate - no caffeine for me now!).  Getting out felt good, and I got back to reading (currently Justine/Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durell) without any fear of falling asleep in public.

I've been situated mostly in front of the computer for the past 7 hours and I've kept myself busy on some web development projects.  I also rolled out some flour to make more pita bread.  I'm definitely not 100% with my own motor skills; I'm fumbling, and making more typos than usual.

I read that one of the strange effects when you eliminate non-REM cycles is that you start to crave grape juice - I guess grapes have some nurtrient that your body naturally replenishes during light sleep.  Even though I'm nowhere near that stage yet, I tried to buy grape juice but found it strangely hard to find in Finland.  I got a nice mixed berry concentrate without any added sugar so I've been drinking that a lot.

I still haven't really slept.  My midnight nap was the same frustrating experience as before.  I think sleeping on my back is the ticket, even though I usually fall asleep on my stomach.  My 4 AM nap was a little better - when the alarm went off to end it, I didn't actually know if I had been awake the whole time or not  - this is progress.

I've also been exploring the other Internet resources about this lifeplan.  Steve Pavlina's blog has some fantastic writing where he chronicled his adventure in Uberman.  I also found the Adventures in Polyphasic Sleep blog collection, which I just submitted this address to. And even better, twitter's #polyphasic hashtag seems like a great resource.

Pavlina actually advocates scheduling some additional naps to ease into the schedule.  I think I might try this at 6, as long as it doesn't go beyond 20 minutes - just to help me stay on this project, even if it ultimately delays my REM acceptance a bit.  I mentioned above how the fatigue is coming and going in waves; right now, since I started drafting this post actually, I've been pulled into a dizzy fit of sleepyness.  Watching the Giants lose to the Browns isn't holding my attention; I'm finding it physically very difficult to keep my eyes open.

When i went to Australia (to get married), the jet lag was the most severe thing I had ever witnessed.  It literally took me about a week to completely get over it.  A few days into my visit, I remember being on a crowded city bus in Brisbane and suddenly becoming so tired I felt like I lost control of my eyelids.  The way I feel rigt now is bad, but not as bad.  Again, this is only my second day so I'm really sensitive to effects of sleep-dep.

When I went to protest the Bush inauguration in 2000 I went about 40 hours without even napping.  This I remember as being the most extreme sleep deprivation I've ever had before.  That was manageable, but it was a totally different situation - it was exciting, kinda crazy, and a group experience.  This is as far from that as possible; it is solitary (though my partner expressed jealousy and might try and work some sort of 'everyman' schedule into her life) and I have spent an awful lot of time sitting at this desk.  I really want to lie down right now as I am just uncomfortable;  I'm gonna hold out 20 minutes and take a bonus nap instead.

I wonder if I am not going about Uberman entirely incorrectly - if I should be lying down until I fall asleep, even if it takes me half an hour.  from the point of falling asleep I shuld sleep 20 minutes, not from the point of trying.  I am probably being unnecessarily hard.  There have been times in the past day where I have been so insanly tired, yet somehow am unable to fall asleep when lying on a really comfortable bed....

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