Polyphasic Sleep Experiment Begins: Pre-Day or Day 1.

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 13, 2009 in: Just Blogging

Okay, I am taking the dive, effective immediately. I have been reading tons of information about sleep cycles lately and I decided to test out the Polyphasic Sleep cycle. For those of you that don’t know what Polyphasic Sleep is, in a nutshell it means sleeping in short periods throughout a 24 hour period, rather than sleeping all night long (or in one long time period).

Based on the research I have done, I am going to test out the Uberman sleep schedule, maybe slightly modified. If you want to read more about Polyphasic Sleep, check out Lifehack.org or Steve Pavlina’s diary of adjusting to and living with the Polyphasic Sleep cycle.

First let me say, that my assistant Joan is screaming No! Her exact words when I asked her were:

It’s hard to say.  IF you can get to that REM cycle in that short amount of time, then it probably will.  However, according to the article, you have to be disciplined to take the naps at the scheduled times every day. This I see as a problem for you because depending on what you are doing and what is going on, you will miss the naps. As it is you can’t stop and go to bed when you say you are going to now.  Anything like this, you HAVE to follow to the T or it won’t work. Personally, I would never do it.  Naps only make me cranky. I normally only get about 5-6 hours of sleep on any given night, but when I sleep, I really sleep.

You seem to do better when you quit early for the day – like around 7-8pm and then get up at 6:30am.  It’s always easier for me to get you up when you work that schedule. I think if you will follow a regular working day and quit at a regular hour and sleep normally that you will do much better.  When you work all night, it seems to take you two to three days to get back on this schedule. But during those two to three days you seem out of sorts. That’s just my observation from working with you.

So this could work, but unless you are committed to stopping – no matter what – and talking all these naps, then I don’t see it working for you personally.

Heh! If that is not a challenge, I don’t know what is. Let me tell you why I am testing this out:

1) My profession deals with productivity, if I am not willing to try something that may make me more productive, then I am not very good at my profession.

2) I am raising a little one, which requires that I be ‘available’ at specific times, that don’t always mesh together to make the most convenient schedule for me.

3) I have always been most productive at night and early morning (between the hours of 1am to 7am).

4) I work from home and am able to build a schedule that suits me best.

That being said, my last ‘sleep’ was this morning from 7am to noon (after I sent the little one off to school, I hardly got any sleep last night). Right now would be my normal time to go to sleep. Based on my schedule, the times I need to make sure I am awake and the general rule of this sleep cycle is being up 4 hours, sleeping for 30 minutes (I am going to change these up a bit), I plan on doing the following:

2:30am to 3:30am – asleep

3:30 am to 7:30am – awake

7:30am to 8:15am – asleep

8:15am to 12:15pm – awake

12:15pm to 1pm – asleep

1pm to 5pm – awake

5pm to 5:45pm – asleep

5:45pm to 9:45pm – awake

9:45pm to 10:30pm – asleep

10:30pm to 2:30am – awake

As you see, I am doing 45 minute sleep cycles (except the 2:30 to 3:30am one which is an hour) and 4 hour awake cycles. The uberman schedule states that you are awake 21 to 22 hours a day, I think pushing 20 is just enough for me.

This cycle will let me be up when the little one goes to school, comes home from school, needs dinner and goes to bed. It will also permit me 8 hours awake during normal business hours ( don’t worry clients, I am not turning into a slouch) and it will also permit me time awake when I do dinners, movies and of course my productive nights when I get writing and other things done. Don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting to work 20 hours a day and sleep 4 hours a day, what I am hoping for is that I have a better balance in my life utilizing productive times for me. I will have time to also do the things I love (reading, cooking, etc.).

So, it is 12:43am on Tuesday October 13th. This begins in a few hours. At 2:30am I will go to sleep for the first sleep of this new schedule. I will attempt to keep a log (while probably not as good as Steve Pavlina’s) over the next 30 days to see how it turns out. Whether this will work for me, or be a permanent thing, only time will tell.

Note: I am going to use the #ppse hashtag on twitter to make any ‘small’ comments about the experiment, so I don’t have to write a blog post every time I wake up 🙂

Heather Recommends:

Running a business can be busy, challenging work. I can help you become more productive and successful. Find out how.