Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update: Polyphasic, Night #12

The past week has seen some triumphs and some failures, though I must concede that I have not yet reached the true polyphasic rhythm. In preparation for an overnight visit from my mother on Thursday, I did an excellent job keeping myself busy all night Wednesday night cleaning the house. Then on Thursday, I let myself miss my 5:30p and 9:30p naps, to get in more visiting time while she was here. The result was a pure crash when I took my 12:30a nap a little early at 11:30p... the next thing I knew, I sprang awake at 600a. I think this may have been the key screwup that has my nighttime difficulties where they are now (as outlined below).

As far as the naps go, for the most part I do fall asleep quickly and easily. I think I am dreaming, at least a little, during most of the daytime naps. However, the nighttime naps are when I crash really hard -- dreamless sleep, and damn hard to make myself get up when the timer goes off. Several nights in the last week saw me sleeping straight through the end of my 12:30a nap and suddenly waking up around 5a or 6a.

My diet has completely reverted back to "normal", except I'm still off caffeine. I think I am indeed noticing my body sleeping harder, but no more restful, since resuming my normal intake of meats and animal-based food (mainly milk). It's been far too easy to eat "normally" when at home, and this was a three-day weekend that just ended. Now that I'm back to the office, perhaps I can make a better effort to resume the mostly fruit diet.

The key obstacle remains staying awake during that 12:30a-4:30a stretch, sticking to only those two naps. Having a plan for how to keep my body up and moving (i.e. list of chores) was all that was necessary the first week, but this second week has found my brain in a state of sleepiness that would simply shove the list aside when it came time to get up from a nap. I anticipate another difficult night like that tonight... I have my TODO list, but the hard part will be getting to my feet when the timer wakes me up.

I have generally been fairly alert between 9:30p and 12:30a naps, and have gotten online work and reading done just fine. So, I do at least have that extra productive time achieved. But to finally reach the polyphasic rhythm, I must improve over the next week on how well I manage myself during the night hours. I'm past the need to be prepared for the hardship... I'm to the point where I need to be disciplined to handle that hardship when faced with it.

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