Polyphasic Sleep Log – Day 2

Day 2 of my poly-sleep experiment was, overall, characterised far more by aspects of what is known as the adjustment period to polyphasic sleep. I went to bed at 21:50 and it took me some time to fall asleep, and during the core I had to get up for a pee, which left me with a feeling that I had disturbed the effectiveness of the relatively short sleeping period. I managed to awake at 01:00. In an attempt to experiment with a 3 hour core, but the alarm went off mid-dream, so I’ll try a 3hr15min core tomorrow with an added 5 minutes to fall asleep.

I cursed the alarm clock, but managed to get up and go fairly easily. I headed straight for then molasses and by the time I was drinking it I was grateful that I stuck to my resolve to get out of bed immediately. The early-morning awake time was good – I meditated first this time around and had a good sit, and I only once felt drowsy during the 4hrs10mins I was awake – at 03:40. I played bass guitar after meditating, and thereafter wrote a permaculture-focused blog entry.

But then I didn’t sleep at all during my 5.10 nap. I’m not sure why; there were a few light disturbances that in other conditions I would have slept through. Then I missed my second nap. I was at a mechanic and just completely forgot to take the 9:10 nap i had planned to take somewhere random while waiting for the mechanic to finish work on the car. I didn’t even realise that I had missed the nap until 10:30, when I was sitting in a bank and the employee I was talking to asked me for my telephone number, which I forgot for the first time in memory. I realised I was starting to feel tired, and by the time I did take a nap at 11:15 ish, I could feel a strong sleep-dep buzz through my head.

Yet I lay awake for most of the second attempted nap; I did fall asleep towards the end but didn’t dream, and by 14:30ish I had to take my third nap early as I felt like a zombie. I fell asleep immediately for this final nap of the day and did dream, waking up feeling much better. I was still perceptually aware of the accumulated lack of sleep, and it manifested in a mild fogginess, but I was active and productive right through until 21:50, when I got into bed again.

So day 2 was much harder in the long run than day 1, but I’m not discouraged. With a minimum of 2 hours’ extra awake-time for each of the past 2 days (assuming that I would have slept 6 hours per night under the old regime), but more likely 3 extra hours’ extra awake-time per day (because often I would sleep for 7 hours or more despite aiming for 6) I’ve managed to add an extra 4 to 6 hours of usable time in total to the previous 2 days because I now sleep for just over 4 hours per day. 2 to 3 hours’ extra awake-time each day is still a very attractive concept. Sure, day 2 has not been qualitatively better than any of my ‘monophasic days’, but it is early in the adaptation phase and I expect this period not to last too long.