Polyphasic Sleep, Day 4
There's a lot of theories and conjecture in this report, since I'm thinking about causes and effects involved in the various aspects of polyphasic sleep adaptation. Feel free to respond with comments or criticism--I'm no scientist, and my ideas are mostly just guesses based on limited evidence. That said, on to the report...
Today was a difficulty 4--a little less intense than Day 3 but with several new variations and complications. As usual, practically all of the lethargy and drowsiness fell between 4am and 12pm. My 7am nap turned out badly--I woke up feeling worse than when I had fallen asleep--and around 8:45am I decided to take an extra half-hour nap. Strangely, the extra nap didn't seem to improve my energy level at all. This makes me think that maybe my morning tiredness is generally not because my naps don't provide me enough energy, but rather primarily because my body is used to sleeping during those hours. (This brings up a lot of interesting questions that I should probably explore in a separate post or maybe even a separate thread.)
On another note, an effect of sleep deprivation is a weakened immune system, and I think that's an indirect cause of several symptoms have cropped up just since I started this adaptation: a minor but significant outbreak of acne and mouth sores, both of which had been almost completely absent under my previous free-running sleep schedule; and today, an isolated episode of nausea lasting for most of the afternoon. I'm not saying that sleep deprivation caused these, but rather that by weakening my immune system it may have allowed them to take hold where they otherwise would have been resisted. If that's correct, then they should go away once the adaptation is complete (since that would remove the sleep deprivation, which would bring the immune system back up to full strength, which would fight off whatever's causing the symptoms).
I think from here on out every day will get a little easier than the last as my body gradually adjusts its circadian rhythm to match the demands of the new sleep schedule. Once I'm completely adapted, it might be interesting to figure out how my body temperature rhythm (the primary factor in daily sleep patterns) acts once I'm completely adapted.
Last edited by David Hausladen; 11-10-2006 at 05:23 AM.