Originally Posted by andrew
See, my biggest problem is that falling asleep for me is such a huge variable. Anywhere from 20-80 minutes, depending on how tired I am. So setting my alarmclock for 90 minutes etc is really hard. Do any of you use your internal clock?
If by "internal clock" you mean sleeping without an alarm clock, then...sort of. I set an alarm clock for 3 hours (the length of both my core sleep and nap), but more and more I'm waking up before it goes off. But I don't think I could have gotten my body adapted to the schedule without an alarm clock or some other way to wake me up after the right amount of time.
As for falling asleep, which seems to be the main concern: I don't have a sure-fire way to deal with the problem, but here's an idea: Add the 30-minute period of time before each nap where you lay in bed and read, listen to relaxing music, or whatever calms you down to the point where you're likely to be able to fall asleep during or at the end of that 30-minute period. If you don't fall asleep during or within 15 minutes after that period of time, you're not tired enough for some reason, too stressed out to fall asleep, or both. If you think it's the latter, Scott's method of making a to-do list, described above in answer to this same question, would probably work. If you think it's the former, your best bet is to get up and move around, then go to sleep when you do feel tired, setting your alarm clock so that your sleep time is still a multiple of 90 minutes. Even if at first this means that you get too little sleep to be fully rested, the sleep deprivation will mean that the next night you'll probably be tired enough to fall asleep on time. After a few days, I suspect your body will get used to what you're trying to get it to do, and it won't be so hard to fall asleep quickly and on time.
I hope that's helpful to you.