So a couple of days in to the Biphasic Sleep trial and I’m learning this is definitely something that needs customisation.
The evening of my first day, I napped from 7:30 to about 8:45pm. It was a Sunday, which helped. I had no problems getting up from the nap, made and had my dinner, and enjoyed having a few hours in which to unwind (TV) as well as get things done. I was pretty much through what I wanted to do by 11:15, but made myself stay up until the clock ticked over to 11:30. After that first night on the regime, I woke up like clockwork, got up, did some exercise, had my breakfast, and headed off.
That evening I had something I wanted to do at 7:30, so I napped from 6pm. Not quite so easy to get up from that, and I ended up too tired to do anything by a little after 11pm. Determined to stick it out, I pulled out the ipod and played sudoku for a bit – then realised it was 20 to 12. Oops. 4am this morning came and it was NOT easy to drag myself up out of bed. I was so tempted to let myself have ‘another 15m’ but we all know what that turns into! I’m thinking the nap yesterday was too early, and/or I need to work out when is the right time for me to nap to fit in with my circadian rhythms. I ended up resorting to the paraliminal recordings to wake myself up again during the day a couple of times.
This afternoon I went back a little closer to 7:30, at 6:45pm. I woke up, exactly half an hour later. Since that session is supposed to be 60-90m, I went back to sleep until just on 8pm (45m later) when I got up again, but I’ve been yawning since. I don’t know if I’m tired because a) I’m still adjusting to biphasic, b) I’ve not been napping at the right times, c) the exercise I did after my first night made a difference or d) I’ve varied the nap times too much.
I am enjoying having what feels like a second day, all to myself, after I wake up in the evenings. Once I’ve put my dinner, breakfast & lunch together, my time is my own and that’s a pretty good sensation – as is going to bed knowing I’ve accomplished at least some of the things I would’ve been struggling to fit into my overcrowded weekend. The quiet would probably be a bit unsettling for a lot of people, but I’ve always loved the night-time silence. I think it’s a pre-requisite for most geeks, isn’t it?
So, plan of attack:
- First off, stick with it. At least 14 days, but aiming for 30.
- Secondly, have a set time for the afternoon nap, for at least 4-5 days without variation. I’m thinking 7-8:30pm because that still leaves me the 2 hrs I want between dinner and sleep.
- Third, set an alarm to make sure I get to sleep at the right time each afternoon and night, until I get used to it. By eliminating the variation, I should be able to get a better idea of just what adjustment I’m going through in adapting to the new sleep patterns.
- Finally, starting from week 2, I’m going to include a short yoga/tai chi stretching routine every morning, just to see if that was part of what made the difference these last few days. I don’t want to start it immediately or I won’t be able to tell what the effect is, separate from the fixed nap times.
Tired as I am tonight, even if I wanted to drop the trial, I’m not sure I could, considering the reasons why I started it.. This week and next I’m up for early starts most days at work 😉 Plus I have to admit, I am enjoying the extra personal productivity time. So, wish me luck?