Polyphasic Sleep Log – Day 6

Days 3,4,and 5 were far more challenging than days 1 and 2. I must have emptied all the sleep reserves leftover from my monophasic days during the first 2 days, because thereafter I have definitely experienced powerful elements of zombie-mode.

On day 4, for example, I got up at 02:15 after a 3hr15minute core but could not focus on my planned task (academic work) at all – the words on the computer screen were blurry and I could hardly string a few words together. I did some light exercise (the 5 Tibetan Rites) to try and wake me up a bit, to no avail. I ended up having an extra nap at 04:15, which did the trick.

I’ve tried 3 hr, 3hr15, and 3hr30 minute core sleeps, none of which are obviously more beneficial than the other, yet. I always wake up indignant and wonder if I should just pull the plug on the experiment, but by the end of the day (even just after the 09:10ish nap) I’m always so relieved that I did not backslide.

The weekend social commitments did make it impossible to nap according to the planned times (see log of day 1 for the schedule), so I imagine my recent difficulty is partly due to such irregularity. I did, however, get all 3 daily naps in, and they were well spaced, with the final one not being too late, so there was no negative impact to my core sleep.

Regardless of the irregularity of nap times for the 2 days of the weekend, from what I read, adaptation is just plain difficult. Knowing this, I am motivated to keep going, but I’m not being too hard on myself. This morning (day 6), I woke up and deliberately took the extra 03:10a.m. nap, which helped immediately.

Come to think of it, I did battle to hit REM during naps at the weekend. I did dream during at least 2 naps, both noteworthy ones, which I’ll comment on below. Yesterday, however, I dreamt during all but one nap, and I have had vivid dreams during the core and the 2 naps (1 extra, remember) of last night and this morning. I feel very good now – I’d say 9 out of 10, where 10 is how I would have felt at this time of the morning during my old monophasic sleep.

Meditation before the 05:10 nap (assuming I’ve stuck to the originally planned sleeping schedule) has been impossible. It worked on morning 2, where I had that weird waking ‘dream ambush’ described in a previous post, but on mornings 3 and 4 I had constant dream-like activity drawing my attention away from equanimous awareness of present sensations. Strangely, nodding-off during these attempts is rare; rather, its like my mind is accustomed to dreaming during the dark hours of the morning, and I’m now slowly dealing with re-arranging this pattern. All part of adaptation, it seems. Meditation gets easier and easier later in the day; I had a 4 out of 10 sit earlier, where 10 would be as focused as I can recall being during a sit. This session started at 6 a.m. and I sat for an hour (I first tried at 01:30a.m. but this was a 1 out of 10!!); I am certain that tonight’s one will be by default a 7+, as my focus has just been getting clearer and clearer over the past hour.

Finally, the 2 notable dreams of the weekend were definitely rudimentary lucid ones. To have these in back-to-back naps is amazing, seeing as I can only recall having ever had 3 or so lucid dreams. This phenomenon is loosely associated with polyphasic sleeping, and my intention is to keep fostering awareness in the waking and dreaming worlds via this experiment.