It's been a while since I've reported on my progress with the everyman sleep schedule. One of the reasons for that is that it's actually going surprisingly good!
Warning this is a TL;DR post, but if you're thinking about doing the everyman I think there are some honest points in there.
One of the signs that you're adapting is the presence of dreams. I almost always dream now, whether it's during naps and core. Sometimes I've been dreaming for something that seems like ages but I've really only slept for 20 minutes. And that's the funny thing. My naps has started to feel like I've been a sleep for hours when I've really just slept for 20 minutes. I think this is a good sign.
After the last post I promised to start tracking different "feeling" parameters like:
- Sleep quality (scale 1-5)
- Dreaming (yes/no)
- Awakedness (scale 1-5 of how I awake I feel)
I was hoping to flush out some patterns of nap times, sleep quality etc. But the data is really quite random. Except that there seems to be a difference to when I'm going to bed for my core.
Initially I started by placing my core from 11pm-2am. However, after my girlfriend got back from her travels 2 weeks into the experiment it ended up being more 0am-3am. My awakedness score towards the end of the two months definitely seem to higher if I take the core +15minutes around 0am. If I'm one hour or late my awakedness is typically lower by 2-3 scores. This is good since it would seem like my body is adapting to the regular sleep times and that the period from 0am-3am is where I'm getting the most optimal sleep at the moment.
One good sign symptom that I haven't seen yet which quite a few other blogs report is waking up automatically after 20mins of sleep. I have seen it maybe 10-15 times in total, but it's not something that usually happens. Not sure what to think of that.
Finally after 2.5 months in I should be adapted. Do I feel like it?
Kind of. I'm definitely highly functional and extremely productive these days. But as you'll see in the following there are some symptoms that I'm not sure I should see if I was fully adapted.
Ok that was the status part. Now for a couple of (well, a lot of, apparently) general observations:
To the un-initiated an oversleep is when you unintentionally sleep more than you're supposed to - like sleeping for an entire night. I've had something like 6 oversleeps since I started and ALL of them has happened within the last 1.5 months and all of them during my core sleeps.
I know. It's bound to happen to everybody, but the first time it happens you're going to be so damn disappointed with yourself. How hard can it be to just wake up?!
I'm trying to pull this off while being an relationship and sleeping my 3 hours of core in the same bed as my girlfriend without disturbing her. That's kind of tough since I'm not exactly waking by myself after 3h of sleep. So as reported earlier I got a Fitbit Charge HR.
But quite quickly I noticed that it wasn't working. During some of my naps it just didn't wake me and I was awoken by my emergence sound alarm. Weird, I started googling the problem but found no solution and very few people mentioning problems with it. I even started to check on the app, on the armband itself and on the web if the alarms got synced and they did.
It took a while to figure out the problem until my girlfriend observed me turning off the armband alarm in my sleep one night. Turned out that I didn't even wake enough to notice it.
This is a huge problem - there's just no saying when this happens and since I can't really use a sound alarm in order not to wake her I have to start looking into other means of waking. I'm thinking about tying the armband to my foot. This way I have bend over to switch it off.
Also the armband only pulsates three times for each alarm and then stops forever. Which seems kind of stupid..
Until I find a solution the solution right now is that I sleep on the couch the night after I've overslept in order to make sure that I don't oversleep twice in a row and just take the oversleeps that's bound to happen with a grain of salt.
Another side-effect which is both good and bad is that I'm falling a sleep like craazy fast. 30 seconds or less and I'm out. This happens even after an oversleep. It's extremely useful since I'm training myself to get the most out of short naps, but has a couple of negative side-effects:
- Audiobooks are 100% impossible to consume unless I'm doing something active with my hands like cooking or just standing around.
- Movies similar to audiobooks are quite difficult to consume without falling a sleep. However, if the movie catches my interest it's usually not a problem.
- Public transport: If I'm not working when on the bus or in a train I fall sleep. Luckily you sleep horribly in a bus so I've only been very very close to missing my stop so far :)
- Passive meetings: Meetings where I'm more a consumer than a producer is also a problem. I haven't fallen a sleep yet, but close...
#3 No more hangovers??
Let's face it. I've been drunk with friends multiple times since I started my Everyman experiment. And although I definitely have a higher sensitivity to alcohol (2-3 beers and I'm flying) I don't seem to be getting any hangovers! I at least remember a particular trying case of multiple bottles of wine pr. person and a Singstar cabaret.
This is odd because I'm known for getting hangover-like symptoms after drinking 2-3 beers - while I'm still awake! Is the amount of core sleep correlating with the hangovers?
#4 Vacation is hard
Who would have thought it but taking vacation actually makes adhering to my Everyman schedule a lot harder! I think it's the "feeling" of vacation that makes it tougher. For instance this night, although I woke from my alarm but I just didn't feel like getting up and decided to oversleep on purpose.
However, typically it's not the getting up that's the problem it's the lack of opportunities to nap. When you're sightseeing in a strange town or only have a 60 degrees Celcius tent to sleep in it's just too difficult take that nap. I feel really sorry for the Überman-people. Vacation must be a killer for them. I found that by sleeping 4.5-5 hours and then taking no naps would allow me to easily get through the day. However, for my overall adaptation process I'm not sure this is a good idea.
The number 1 concern
Finally, the number 1 concern that I have is that what actually happens for people on polyphasic sleep is just that they train their bodies to become less sensitive to sleep deprivation. I thought about that after realizing that I can now very easy get by a day or two or three with only 4.5 hours of core and no naps.
Being less sensitive to sleep deprivation would definitely also seem like a valid adaptive response by the body. If I had to be up for evolutionary reasons - you know - hunting boars and stuff instead of compressing my sleep and sleeping more effectively the body could also just turn down my sensitivity to sleep deprivation so I don't really feel sleep deprived despite the fact that I am.
What is the truth here? And how can I uncover it? There seem to be a relation between my core sleep times and how awake I feel. And there's definitely a relation between taking my naps and not taking my naps with a 3hour core. Would those observations also be observed if I'm just de-sensitized to sleep deprivation?