Friday, July 13, 2012

Biphasic Sleep: Day 29

Just a quick update after doing some thinking about sleep today.

  1. Staying up until 3:00AM on a work night still feels like irresponsible behavior.

    Even when I know I'll be able to get up on time and function at work with my 3:00 bedtime, around midnight, I start looking at the clock and thinking: I should start heading to bed soon. Of course, when I think that, I remember that I actually have another two or three hours until I need to start thinking about heading to bed, so I go and do things I want or need to do with the faint feeling I'm breaking the rules.

    Actually, I may be breaking the rules, if one considers the usual sleep dictates part of the rules.  If so, the rules have stopped making sense for me, and I don't mind breaking them (as I'm not hurting anyone, either).
  2. Many monophasic sleepers experience rough nights of sleep, too.

    Having a rough morning once in a while doesn't mean that my biphasic sleep experiment has failed, it just means that I had trouble sleeping or that an unexpected interruption has interfered with my sleep. For example, yesterday, I needed to get up at 6:00 to go to an event starting at 7:00*, so I moved my nap half an hour earlier. I had a terrible time staying asleep because I was excited about the event and nervous about waking up on time.  As I get more and more adapted to the routine,

    As another example of sleep impacts that cross sleep-pattern lines, K was ready to blame his persistent sleepiness on the biphasic sleep-- until he realized that his sleepiness correlated with the days he took allergy medicine!  He stopped taking it and felt better the next day.
  3. I don't know what I would do without the extra two hours in my day anymore.

    I feel like I'm getting so much more done. In part, this stems from having a part-time job with regular hours, but when I get home, I have time for job hunting, blogging, cooking experimental recipes, hanging out with friends online, playing video games, working on projects and exercising, and I don't have to resort to strict time management strategies to do it.  I just have to go to bed when I've scheduled my naps.

    I attribute part of this sensation of suddenly having time to the added structure as well as the extra hours.  Sleeping monphasically, I had an energy lull around the time I made into nap time, so I "lost" a block of time I never found particularly productive and traded it for time slots that I'm finding very useful.  In particular, the midnight-to-three pre-sleep period works well for writing and cooking, and I can take a walk with my mom or bicycle to the store as soon as I wake up at 6:30PM, activities that work well for me during those time periods.

    I don't think I could cram all the stuff I've been doing for the past week into a monophasic sleep schedule.
I gave a return to monophasic sleeping some thought today, but I think that even on a day where I feel sleepier, I wouldn't trade the extra productivity for a reduction in (a) weirdness and (b) occasional sleepy days. After all, monophasic sleepers have sleepy days, too.

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*Yes, I know I'm still probably in an adjustment phase, but we picked biphasic sleep because it's resilient to this kind of thing.  I guess I'm a bad example of good adjustment technique, but if I end up at a point where I never feel sleepy, it will reflect well on the sleep schedule as a whole.

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