So, I had come across polyphasic sleep through Steve Pavlina’s 30-Day Trial of it several years back. It intrigued me but didn’t catch me on a personal level. However, I came across it again a year or so ago, and it caught my eye again. I did the same thing I did the first time – pondered, plotted possible nap times – but then I started thinking Hmmmm…could I actually do this?
In writing up my plans for 2010, I had a general idea of the shape of my year, and I pencilled in Polyphasic Sleep Trial for September, because I figured I’d be doing the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest in May/June/July, and Burning Man in August, so September seemed a good time. Then, shit happened. The dissolution of my marriage threw off my workout plans and I never really got going with the contest. Additionally, in the process of moving, my ex threw out or otherwise lost the tickets we had purchased for Burning Man way back in January. Many many things got juggled in this whole process, particularly as I worked to keep my head together and sort out my conflicted emotions, as was to be expected.
And in all that, the idea of polyphasic sleep got dropped completely. It was never on my official list, and it simply slipped my mind. Until yesterday.
Now, I had been fairly serious in my research going into this year, and in fact I had bought the definitive book (written by the woman first documented to be on the Uberman schedule as it’s called), so I am fairly prepared, at least as much as one can be. So when it popped into my head last night to do this, and I realized that, quite coincidentally, it was in fact the beginning of September, I didn’t hesitate to say FUCK IT, I’M GONNA DO IT. 😀
The transition period is pretty much a month of hell, but hey I am not working right now anyway, so what better time to try it? The ironic thing is, I was originally shooting for September so that I wouldn’t be pushing hard to work out and get fit at the same time as this major sleep overhaul, and yet…here I am, with the next TT Contest starting September 5th, my last chance to complete one before 2011. (Even better, starting Sept 5 means I will be done just before my birthday – that’s a pretty awesome gift to myself!) And unlike polyphasic sleep, THAT is on my definitive list of shit-to-do in 2010, so that MUST happen. On the upside, I figure working out (and prepping food – did I mention I plan to be mostly-to-totally raw during the 12-week contest?) will give me stuff to do during all those extra hours, especially during the zombie-like transition difficulties.
So, the basics on polyphasic sleep, as I am doing it:
6 naps, 20 minutes each, at 12, 4 and 8 (am and pm)
I have an absurd list of things to occupy my time, several alarm clocks, and have authorized the kids to dump water on me should I not wake up when said alarm clocks go off LOL. I’ve also explained to my sister what I am doing, and given her kill-switch power – so if it seems like I am not getting any better (or start hearing voices or something) after 4 weeks, she will make me quit.
The transition is hellish from what I understand (I am imagining worse than my 9-day fasting experience…and that was pretty epic), so why might a person voluntarily go through massive sleep deprivation in order to train their body to function this radically different way? Well, 6 extra hours a day is 91 extra days PER YEAR. That’s a pretty big plus side.