Polyphasic Sleep, Day 1
Just a short while ago I awoke from my fourth and last nap for yesterday, successfully completing my first twenty-four hours on polyphasic sleep. On a scale of difficulty from 1 to 5, with 1 being trivial and 5 being near or at the limits of human capability, I'd put the difficulty of my first day at a 3. It required a fair amount of discipline and a bit of willpower, but I didn't feel at all stretched to my limits by today.
The first half of my day, I had sporadic bouts of drowsiness mixed with periods of alertness (but even during those I wasn't especially energetic). I had one 15-minute period of intense drowsiness from about 11am to 11:15am where my head was nodding even while I was sitting and reading at my computer. My solution to most of these periods of drowsiness was to get up and do something else; I think I got about five or six short 10-minute "refresher" walks today! The second half of my day, I was much more energetic, with only a couple periods of minor lethargy in the afternoon, and none at all in the evening.
I think keeping a log of my level of alertness, recorded in 15-minute chunks, may well be helping to keep me a little more alert than otherwise, since it means whenever I feel sleepy I immediately gauge the intensity of the feeling and record it before quickly determining how to deal with it.
Another helpful tactic that I neglected to mention in my "Day 0" post that I don't eat less than two hours before a nap--there's too much potential for body temperature/a blood sugar drop/digestion to cause me to oversleep. In general, I eat less than an hour after waking up so that the food provides me with energy during the cycle, but doesn't interfere with the subsequent nap. (I don't expect I'll always have to monitor things this closely; mostly I want to be as careful as possible during the adaptation period.)
Last edited by David Hausladen; 11-07-2006 at 05:19 AM.