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 Polyphasic sleep

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leonsumbitches
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Last summer, I became polyphasic.

Basically, during a two week to a month period, you acclimate yourself to a series of short naps throughout the day rather than a single long sleep period. During the first two weeks, your amygdala tries to kill you with severe sleep deprivation, but within a month you adapt to fill almost all of your sleep periods with REM sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes one to go into REM faster than normal. The acclimatizing period of hellish sleepdep trains one's mind to jump immediately into REM sleep to desperately try to recover from sleep debt.

After about a month, one's naps are fully functional, and sleep debt disappears. It becomes almost impossible to sleep more than about 1.5x one's usual total, and each nap contains what seems like an entire night's worth of dreams.

There are other side effects, such as an odd sense of time dilation (A day feels as long as a week), euphoria, and lucid dreaming.

There are many different schedules for polyphasic sleep, but very few either work, or are practical. The adoption period is pure torture.

But it's worth it if you want to have up to 22 waking hours per day, conversations with friends a world away, and an interesting reason why you're napping on the job. For baiting, it is very useful to be on everyone's timezone.

I'm currently on a modified Everyman schedule: a 1.5 hour core sleep sometime in the early morning, and 2-4 20-minute naps throughout the day as needed. This flexibility is impossible during the adoption phase, as a single missed nap will throw 3 days worth of sleep deprivation at you. Only after about 6 months will it become possible to shift naps around and skip them without much thought (the same way you may decide to sleep in after going to sleep late).

Oh, and once one has gone through one adoption phase, it becomes much, much easier to switch back and forth onto different schedules. Anyone who has survived boot camp can tell you how easy they find it to take a nap anywhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^Yes! That's what I do. I totally agree with the time dilation. It can become disorienting at first, and friends have suggested I wear a watch with a date thingie so I know what day it is. Bah!

I've napped at my desk with my eyes open. My co-workers think I'm 'thinking' and don't bug me until I'm up and moving again.

But every once in a while, I go down. Probably because of my busted wing, but I pull 18 hours of dreamless sleep, then I'm good again for another couple of months. And yes, lucid dreaming -- oooooooo.

Time travel is ours to do and enjoy. No patdowns or boarding passes! Thumbs up

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Funny - this just aired in NZ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hvvj1

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leonsumbitches
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

"He attempts to forego sleep for as long as possible" is one of the reasons why most people who try polyphasic sleep fail miserably a few days into it.

The goal is to make sleep more efficient, not to eliminate it. Those who have successfully gone polyphasic only did so by keeping an absolutely strict sleep schedule for weeks.

In fact, one of the biggest obstacles is that a few days into the adoption phase, one starts feeling episodes of euphoria. "I have transcended sleep. I am now a god among men!" Almost certainly, an attempt will be made to skip a nap or two, or play around with the schedule.

As with those taking anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, the feeling that naps are no longer needed is illusory and this very quickly becomes painfully obvious. It's not staying awake that's the hard part after a few days, but actually going to sleep when every bone in your body is screaming "Sleep? I don't need no stinking sleep. I am bullet proof."

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ahh yes. I tried a polynapping programme about 6 months ago, and what an absolute failure it was!

It involved listening to lots of white noise and bird sounds.

It's incompatible with my work anyway, but I was off for a few weeks and thought I'd give a go. Never again...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wish we could eliminate sleep completely. Most people lose a third of their lives being totally unconscious. What a waste! I could achieve so much without it. I'm down to five hours a day but even that feels like it's too much. It gets to about 3am and I'm thinking "Stay up another hour? Yeah, another hour, go on!" Only to realize that I'll pay for it in about 24 hours' time.

Oh, and eating, too. Way too much time is spent on messing around with food and preparation and everything.

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Morgain Le Fay
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@TheFae I have done the napping at a desk with eyes open; however it is problematic when you do that whilst driving. It happened to me a couple times whilst driving.

When I was a pre-teen my cousin once found me sleeping (totally asleep) with my eyes open. She said it was eerie. I did that into my early 20's AND would answer questions whilst asleep. My mother found that very helpful as I answered all her questions truthfully without Sodium Pentothal.

@Otterfan I can eliminate sleep completely if I do not take a certain medication. It is not fun to be awake 54+ hours without sleep.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ I can eliminate sleep completely WITH a certain medication.

These days, I just leave my body but it's a bugger when you come back to find they've buried it. I hope it's not the crematorium next time Shocked

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I love sleeping, it is one of my favorite hobbies. You are all bunch of weirdos. Wink

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Had trouble with sleeping for decades now, part of the trouble is i dont wake to a 24 hour schedule - in my case it's more like 26/28 hours in total. This means i progresivley tend to want to go to sleep later and later and get up later and later and eventually come back on myself after about a fortnight. Most annoying.
When i was in a Medterranian country i messed with biphasic sleep - that realy suited me. Somehow the idea of a 'siesta' realy appeals to my internal rythyms more than anything - it's a shame most of the rest of the world doesn't function like a spanish holiday resort. Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

leonsumbitches: Why???

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

When I was in the Air Force I had to adapt to split shifts with some very strange hours and learned to stagger my sleep patterns. Back then we called it "catnapping." I would rather not go back to it.

There is a member of my household who is very adept at this type of sleep pattern --my cat.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thankfully, I can't do that kind of thing. I'll stick with my regular sleep of 7 hours or so at night.

From studies I've read, the brain needs a rest and regular sleep.

@lakeside77: I was also in the Air Force. I had to work weird shifts. Four 12-hour shifts. First two were days, next two were nights. Then 3 days off.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Lakeside When hubby was in the US Navy, those guys could fall asleep on the wing of an aircraft in a hangar bay.

@Fowan Nyne I am really happy when I wake up and find I am on this side of the grass!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Fartina: Because I could.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ this explains so much about you.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@piecrust, I want to kiss your avatar. On it's little snoot. Truly!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Shocked Wow, best offer i've had for nigh on a decade.

What i want to do to your avatar involves a shotgun and a casserole dish.

Oh, must be getting hungry. Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I find I have a "window of opportunity" when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. I get tired and drowsy for about an hour or so in the evening and if I'm smart I heed the call and go to bed. The time varies around the year, but if I ignore it and go to bed too early or too late the whole thing goes into disarray. Too early and I wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep, too late and it takes me a couple hours of reading before I can nod off.

I saw something years ago on tele where they reckoned because of it's then erratic orbit, the Earth day was 25 hours long at about the time life on Earth started and we've been trying to readjust ever since it was standardised to 24 hours. I blame Europe myself. Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wish that I liked to sleep, I find it rather boring. Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

i've read about this recently.

being in the military I know i'll never be able to adopt this sleep schedule.

but it sure would be nice. life would take 3 times as long to pass by I'd guess. if every day ran together like this.

I could start playing WoW and get level 85 faster than the people who had to sleep. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Nanny: Laughing

@leonsumbitches: This isn't good for you. More time to do activities won't help you when you're suffering health or mental problems. Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I love sleep too much to try this.

What I hate (like most people) is the alarm clock. If I have a couple of weeks off work, I find my natural sleep pattern reasserts itself, and I rise later and go to bed later - same amount of sleep, but at different times. It can be a struggle readjusting when work kicks in again - I have occasionally missed a night of sleep because of it. Being awake for 40 hours straight is a strange feeling.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ima: Sleep deprivation does have very annoying and dangerous side effects. However, after a month one does not build up either a sleep debt, or exhibit signs of sleep deprivation.

I think the biggest reason why people think polyphasic sleep involves constant sleep deprivation is because there is a Poisson distribution: the vast majority of people who visibly try polyphasic sleep, are still on their first few weeks when there is sleep deprivation. Maybe 90% give up after three weeks. So it's common to see a guy excitedly describe his new schedule, then watch him fall apart into sleepdep madness, but rare to find one who's been at it for over a month. This must skew the perception that being polyphasic is just a continuation of those first few weeks.

The sleepdep experienced in those first few weeks doubtless can have dangerous effects. Given, however, that the goal is to sleep on a schedule and not just stay up as long as possible, it cannot be anywhere near as dangerous as the average attempt to stop sleeping for a few days just for the hell of it.

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