On Becoming an Early Riser/Polyphasic Sleep:
First I want to say thank you for writing and posting these on the net. I came across them while doing a Google search for something entirely unrelated and they changed my whole way of thinking.
I have for most of my young adult life experienced the problems mentioned in your "Early Riser" article such as sleeping too long (8+ hours), trying to sleep too late or too early, and engaging in activities too mentally stimulating right before bed. Such issues resulted in fatigue and lethargy, and with my schedule midday naps are out of the question (besides in my experiance even more sleep brings what you've called the "fog of the brain" [funny, I've always called it brain fog too. =P]).
It is my intention to someday attempt polyphasic sleep, as the benefits that you have outlined in your log definitely outweigh any drawbacks; benefits such as (apparent) better health emotionally and physically, refreshing SHORT sleep cycles, added hours of activity etc; but currently my full time position out of the home denies such an attempt unless I try other options outlined by you such as core sleep or shifted sleep times. Even still, on a busy day as a line cook in a family restaraunt I have been known to work for nine hours solid without a break which definitely kills any idea of trying polyphasic sleep for now.
I did however mention early rising: my schedule is such that I go to work around noon and stay until mid evening, therefor it never bothered me to stay up extremely late even though I was very tired, doing meaningless things on the internet, chatting, surfing the web, whatever, and then sleeping in until ten or eleven the next day. This obviously after a few nights becomes routine, and so when I do desire an early start on the day I've been finding it especially hard to get up to my alarm clock, which led me to think that I needed to make it louder and more annoying in order to wake me up better. Erroneously I thought a mental peptalk would get me out of bed faster. It worked for the first... day, and then I managed to talk myself out of getting up and I began having to rush through my morning routine, something I do not enjoy doing.
Thank you for pointing out to me that mental peptalks are indeed a bad thing. "Move legs, I command thee!" just doesn't make my legs move, no matter how rough my inner drill sergeant is.
So; thanks to your enlightening articles I have a list of things I intend to do in the next week and to hopefully continue from now on:
1- Learn to rise with my alarm clock, which means going to sleep when I'm tired, not before, and not waiting until I'm exhausted.
2- Do something relaxing and not mentally stimulating before bed, which means getting off my computer and turning off the tv at least half an hour before I think I'll be tired.
3- Get off the caffeinne, which won't be too hard as I'm not a complete addict (I actually enjoy drinking herbal non-caf coffee from an organic foods supplier)
4- Drink lots of water, because even though you didn't mention that, I know for a fact that it is better for better physical, mental, and emotional health.
5- Eat a more balanced diet (I'm an omnivore and I love my meat, but it is still very important to me to eat plenty of fruits and veggies too.)
6- Eventually I hope to start sleeping in more frequent cycles for fewer hours, and some day when I'm not a cook and have moved on to greater things I hope to enjoy polyphasic sleep and tons of free time.
I think a better sleeping schedule goes along with alot of things like a good eating schedule: don't wait until your starving to eat, don't eat until you're stuffed but until you just aren't hungry, don't eat after a certain time in the evening as the rate that your body turns food into energy peaks at about 8:30-9 AM and is at the lowest point after about 8 PM....
Its a good lesson, and again I thank you for posting it. I hope it will at the very least help me be more focused. If I can I will post on my progress later.
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