Polyphasic Sleep: The Starting Pistol

Well, it seems that we are off to the races, or rather the, um, not sleeping. The best opportunity for starting my new sleep schedule recently opened up, and so as of right now, I’m starting my first real cycle. I’ll be using the Dymaxion sleep pattern, as mentioned in an earlier post. This means I’ll be sleeping for 30 minutes every 5½ hours. I just finished my first “nap”, and I’m feeling pretty decent.

Some of my initial fears and reluctances revolved around actually being able to fall asleep for the naps. Usually, it takes me a long time to fall asleep at night. For example, last night, I got into bed at around half-past midnight and didn’t fall asleep till 1:45 or 2 in the morning. However, the first nap seems to have actually worked in some way, though I really didn’t think it would. When I woke up (though I’m still not entirely sure if I slept or not), I felt as if I had slept a lot longer than 30 minutes, as I completely last track of time. I’m not getting my hopes up that things will be easy from here on out; that would be foolish, as it takes the body at least a few days if not a week to adapt to this new schedule.

Just for those of you who are really into minutia, here’s how the actual schedule works out. I have four naps, and four cycles, as I’d like to call them. Nap 1 occurs at 4:00am and goes until 4:30am. Cycle 1 lasts from 4:30am until 10:00am. Nap 2 occurs at 10:00am and goes until 10:30am. Cycle 2 starts at 10:30am and goes until 4:00pm. Nap 3 starts at 4:00pm and goes until 4:30pm. Cycle 3 starts at 4:30pm and goes until 10:00pm. Nap 4 starts at 10:00pm and lasts until 10:30pm. Cycle 4 starts at 10:30pm and lasts until 4:00am, where the whole cycle repeats again. I’m sure that things will kind of flex in certain ways, especially as the zmanim change with the coming of winter.

One of the real questions that immediately comes to mind is: what will I do with all this extra time? Well, obviously, there’s a lot to do and, as my wife so lovingly put it: You’re like the kind of evil genius that something crazy like this would work for. Finding things to do isn’t hard, but cutting down on distraction time definitely is. Of course, some of the natural things that come to mind are Torah study, more consistent/longer hisbodedus, reciting Tehillim at night, maybe davening vasikin, et al. On the gashmius side of things, I’ll hopefully be able to work more consistently for a whole cycle in a day, as well as perhaps put in a whole cycle of personal programming time on my projects, as well as try to squeeze in some physical exercise on a daily basis.

Initially, however, I’ll be keeping it really simple. The goal is to successfully transition over to the Dymaxion sleep schedule, not to suddenly wake up a superhero tzaddik taking on every stringency and stricture of Jewish law while maintaining a completely organic balanced diet, ad infinitum. I’ll try to take things as gradually as possible and simply attempt to make the transition. Once, I’ve made it, then the sheer awesomeness can begin.

At some point, I’ll probably have my wife throw in a post, as is the accepted custom when transitioning to polyphasic sleep, as established by Steve Pavlina. We’ll see. In any case, it’s off to the not-sleeping for me. I’ll post back in during the same cycle in about 24 hours, with the help of G-d.

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