Delta Engine Blog

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Trying out Polynapping / Polyphasic sleep

I was listening to Mondays and checking out the toys presented by Richard. This toy (sleep phase alarm clock) was looking very interessting, but I usually don't wake up by my alarm clock anyway. But I continued to read comments and sites reporting if this works and after I while I found out about some crazy people using Polynapping to only sleep 2 hours per day. This sounds really interessting, doesn't it?

So whats this about? As you can see on the right side instead of sleeping in one large block (7-8 hours), thats called monophasic sleep, polynappers only sleep every 4 hours for 20-30 minutes. This is called polyphasic sleep. The theory is basically that the body doesn't get any REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for the first week, which is important for dreaming and generally for refreshing the body. Then the human body adjusts to this schedule and instead of the normal sleep phases (4-5 times going through the sleep stages 1-5 including NREM and REM sleeping in 90 minute intervals, check out this link about that) the Stage 4 NREM and REM sleep phases will be started very soon after beginning to nap.

This technique is used by boat racers, astronauts in crises, by the military (training?) and some reasearchers and bloggers (a lot of self-testers like me). Most people attempting to try this out fail in the first days and only very few get to the first 2 weeks the body might need to adjust to the new schedule. For example the character Kramer in Seinfeld tried this in the Episode "The Friar's Club" and failed "on" his girlfriend ^^. As I'm writing this I'm already awake for 2 days and have 4 polynaps behind me (but I didn't really sleep in any of them except the last one a bit), lets see how long I can take this. I don't expect anything special out of this, maybe it sucks bad time and I will feel tired all the time even after the first 14 days. Maybe this is a cool technique for a while to be more productive and maybe I suck and won't even keep up with the schedule.

I will try to post every couple of days how this is going. I just finished my last project (video tutorials for Rocket Commander, they will come out in a month or so when microsoft starts their german coding4fun website) and got a little free time right now. I also wanted to finish the Boo Language Plugin for Visual Studio, which I started in the beginning of this year (but I never continued to work on it). There are also 1 million other things on my TODO list, so I should not get bored.

The main problem I have right now is simply getting some sleep. I go to bed at the scheduled times, but I couldn't really sleep because I'm not tired most of the time (even when awake for more than 30 hours), at least not tired enough to start sleeping right away. I bet this will change this night and I will get more tired from nap to nap and the hard part will become getting up again. I only have one simple alarm clock, I hope it doesn't fail on me (I should program something else to ring too).

Time to get some coding done. I will report in a couple of days how this works out ... greets fly out to all fellow polynappers and thanks for all your blogs and reports on the net, that was a lot of interessting text to read last weekend.

Btw: dyn.ee is down for 2 days right now (thats why this site might have been unreachable yesterday), which is really annoying because I have to route the IPs myself now. I hope they work again very soon, I don't want to switch to another service.

Here are a couple of more links for Polynapping: