Originally Posted by Excelsius
I posted this thread in Steve's section, but since I don't know when or if he will answer it, I was told to post it in this section in hopes of getting some answers.
Here are the questions:
1. What is the effect of rigorous physical activity (e.g., gym, sex...) on polyphasic sleep? Do you get excessively tired?
2.If you don't have a flexible schedule, does biphasic sleep work (1.5 hours long, once every 12 hours)?
3. Is it wrong to use caffeine during the first difficult week of getting used to this new sleep cycle?
4. I have read that polyphasic sleep does not work when one is trying to carry out overtly intellectual activities: studying physics, differential equations, organic chemistry... Did you have ANY such experiences when you were practicing polyphasic sleep and what was your impression? Please be honest here. If you have not studied complex science while on poly cycle, you can't answer this question.
I also read that many of you sleep 8 or more hours. I was sort of surprised. At most, I sleep 7 hours a night. Nevertheless, I never drink any coffee.
I have found out something interesting in my experimentation with biphasic sleep: usually drowsiness begins to strike me around 11-12am. I tried to take half a caffeine pill (100mg) around this time to cope with the new cycle. Then I discovered that I could easily stay up till 2AM (or 4AM if I took the second half as well) and wake up around 6AM in the morning completely rested and full of energy. I have been doing this for a few days only, but if I can do this for months without ever getting tired, then perhaps this is way better than polyphasic or biphasic sleep? Since I'm already getting around 4hrs/night without any inconveniences, it doesn't seem to be worth it to go to polyphasic sleep to save just an extra hour a night (but I wish I could if I had a flexible schedule)
Do have a look around this board at the other sleep related threads. A lot of good links as well as experience with poly and biphasic sleep have been posted, which might be of interest to you.
I'm finding biphasic sleep to work real well as long as I'm not distracted from my schedule and I'm in the process of finding out whether adhering to a particular schedule is actually the best way to go, that's not always easy in a primarily monophasic world
RE. your questions:
1. I think that muscle building or regular strenuous physical training adds a significant additional to the equation here, with many chemical changes involved. I'd be paying attention to the training literature which addresses what I'm doing if in regular training (i.e., weight training, cycling, track etc.). Also listening to my body about things like sleep. A different thing altogether.
On the other hand, episodic physical activity--that seems like just something to respond to as it comes along. For example, after skiing or an afternoon of hiking in the mountains, I might go for an extra 90 minute block of sleep if I felt significantly fatigued.
2. I think yes, but have a look at the literature and reports on how much sleep/24 hrs work for people. I also think that 1.5hrs X 2 is likely to be too little.
I'm doing 4.5 + 1.5 and finding that when I'm doing this steadily, I'm very rested and energetic, have little trouble waking up and it works well for me for days to weeks at a time or longer. If I try the same 6 hours per 24 monophasically, I routinely feel increasingly sleep deprived after about the 2 days ! That's a significant difference for me.
3. Big variation on recommendations and opinion here. I have a cup of coffee (2 shots espresso) in the mornings, that's all and it feels good. I don't know about caffeine pills or using coffee to actually stay awake. It's just part of my morning routine and gets things going nicely. After my 90- minute nap, no caffeine, and none in between.
4. Good question there. I did those courses and later went on to medical school. That was a while ago and I slept monophasically. A friend of mine tweaked his sleep schedule and went to bed around 7pm, got up at 1am to study, studied til class in the am and this worked well for him. As I remember, he sometimes took 30 minute "power naps" during various parts of the day, head on the desk in the library. Not a biphasic sleeper but this routine seemed to do something for him.
Hope that's useful! Keep us posted on your progress!