Originally Posted by Jeff Lilly
I tried polyphasic sleep a couple of times this past spring. Both times I made it for two weeks without any excessive oversleeping, but I found that I had to do so much driving while sleepy (I had to commute two hours to Boston thrice a week) that it was freaking me out. Also, I was always way too drowsy when my wife wanted to do... um... intimate things.
However, now back to monophasic, I am finding that I never get enough sleep to feel truly rested. I think I may be sleeping too much, or at the wrong times, or something. I'm curious about free-running sleep -- while my schedule is tight, there are flexible aspects to it and I may be able to make it work. Can you point me to any resources?
Hey, I'm glad you decided to stop driving sleepy. I went through an extensive training program quite a long while ago which required a lot of nightwork and found myself falling deeply asleep at traffic lights on the way back home, not to mention dozing off while on the road. I'm so glad to have survived that as a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to others! Great you quit that
I understand that a lot of people will naturally run in 25 hour blocks of total sleep wake time during free runnning sleep. That is, when they naturally go to sleep when tired, it will be an hour later each day, on average, even with free running naps as the body dictates them. One theory is that this keeps up with the change of season light, somehow. Interesting anyway.
I've done free running sleep a lot in the past because I hate alarm clocks and don't think they are healthy at all long term, except for particular adjustment schedules... (as I've posted, I'll set one to be where I want or need to be but feel I've "made it" once I'm waking up just before it goes off). Free running sleep if the rest of life is well balanced energy wise (food, exercise, stress, etc. and caffeine and alcohol use truly suited to the individual physiology at the time) is real nice. I'm curious, just for curiosity's sake, whether your feeling inadequately rested has something to do with other aspects of daily living besides your actual sleep cycle.
It has always seemed to me that with any reasonable (broadly stated
) sleep cycle, the better your overall health balance is, the better rest you'll get. That does make sense.
Having said that, I'm learning a whole lot abt sleep doing what I'm doing, reading these threads and the related research. I've quickly become very open to the probability that it goes both ways--optimizing ones sleep cycle may have just as much an impact on the balance of health and every day life as the other way around. That makes even a bit more sense.
Originally Posted by David Hausladen
Jeff Lilly: Free-running sleep, in my mind, is fairly simple: you go to bed when you're tired, regardless of the hour of day, and wake up without an alarm (this is what I'm doing for my current three-day "reboot" between polyphasic sleep and biphasic sleep). I can think of a couple variations: for one, you could go to sleep at a set time but wake up without an alarm--this would allow a fair measure of consistency in your sleep and wake patterns. Another is described in this article
, though it seems to treat free-running sleep less as a long-term lifestyle choice and more as a tool for discovering the workings of your personal circadian rhythm. I admit I haven't read the whole article, but from what I have read it looks like it could be helpful.
David, I read your link there, couldn't finish it either just now! It is interesting.
Jeff, another take on what David just said is to go ahead and (temporarily
) set your alarm at the same time every morning, one that fits with what you are doing, then leave space to go to sleep when you are tired at night. Pay close attention to suggestions of tiredness, avoid stimulating evening activities such as alcohol, exciting movies, exercise, going out etc, so that you won't miss those feelings of sleepiness you're trying to tune in with. Although since you've set an alarm, it might be hard to fully see your total circadian rhythm, it sounds like you have a lot going on and this should at least give you an idea of how much sleep you're needing right now.
Before this biphasic sleep experiment of mine, I was a big fan of power naps.... 30 minutes and I would feel like a million! That was with more sleep at night, though than in my biphasic pattern
All best, good luck with this, will be interested to hear how it goes!