If I lived in the jungle (because clearly I’d be high on wifi in the Amazon), handsdown, my pick would be the Dymaxion—easily the most efficient, right? Or perhaps I’d go with the more lackadaisical “sleep-when-you-need-it” pattern.
However, I’m not in a jungle, or at least not by definition. A quick profile of myself, in case something comes into play, seeing as this is an individual case study:
- 20 years old
- Crohn’s disease
- full-time college student (15 hours a week)
- Psychology major, Creative Writing minor
- current 3.54 GPA, 77 hours
- (fairly middle-ground) INFJ
Isn’t it neat how we can classify our individual selves in a few bullets? I’m not even sure if that’s sarcasm. That’s another talk we could have at a different time.
First, ask yourself why? Why are you wanting to try a different sleep cycle? Are you just bored? Did it sound neat? For most, being a boss at time management was the calling. I know for myself, constantly full of guilt at any time wasted (which, I might add, is a lot), this was certainly the case. I mean, we get, what, 27-30,000 days on this planet, and I’ve already spent 7,400 of mine without contributing anything worthwhile to myself or my community. Plus, I’ve recently begun a nasty habit of sleeping half of the day (after taking a few hours of torturous insomnia to fall asleep), and I know I needed a change anyways.
After all, I must have noticed a big change in my life when I, once a protester of all things macchiato and latte and expresso, converted myself to Coffolocism a couple of weeks ago after over two strenuous years of university.
There’s only so much energy we can dedicate to multitasking, after all (and it seems that activity is a little less affective than we think, anyways).
Besides, life is constantly, for me, about improvement of said life. How can I become a better me? And in the mix of learning how to juggle, publishing a novel, and teaching English to a developing country (very American of me, no?
PS: I’m sometimes offensive.), bettering my time management skills fell in there somewhere. How better to begin such a task than by giving myself more time? After all, vampires are saved for the Stephenie Meyer drones—humans don’t have all of eternity and they must be recharged daily.
Having said that, many are concerned about health issues and sleeping. Besides, don’t we always hear, “you need your 8 hours!” And that Einstein slept 10 hours a night—make that 11 or so if he had some “real” thinkin’ to do. Yes, we have to do our research on what could be unhealthy and REM (note that switching to a polyphasic cycle is about training your body into getting the beneficial parts of sleep without wasting the extra time of the monophasic cycle)… But did you know that da Vinci, Newton, Tesla, Jefferson, Edison, Franklin, and Napoleon (first name basis, here) are all said to have gotten less than 5 hours of sleep per night?
A number of animals use polyphasic cycles, why can’t humans? Anyways, didn’t we pretty much adapt to sleeping at night due to agriculture and the terrors of the night? I’m no farmer, and my dormitory requires a student ID to enter. Most cats—that I historically would have been afraid of eating me—won’t have those.
Then there was a problem of when, which in turn, ties in with the what (a.k.a.: which cycle). Keep in mind that switching sleep patterns: first of all, may not work for you, and second, takes time. You’ll probably be a bit of a zombie until the new cycle settles in with your body, if it works to begin with. And though I’ve been planning on switching for months, there was always something keeping me from doing so: work, rehearsals, bad scheduling in general, trips, plans. I kept a lookout ahead for a time that seemed fairly clear with a flexible schedule so that once I fixed my sleeping schedule, I could work around it instead of the (unstable) other way around.
Finally, rehearsals (for a one-act that I somehow volunteered myself for, more as a joke than anything) were over and Fall Break was ahead, meaning no tests or obligations for a week, meaning I could go without being fully energized if necessary. Well, Fall Break technically starts for me about…two hours ago, until next Tuesday at noon.
I have located it! The proper time to make the switch!
Now, something that I found in common when reading various accounts of people who’ve tried polyphasic sleep cycles—particularly of Bucky Fuller, inventor of the Dymaxion, and Steve Pavlina, a fellow blogger—was that many of them return to a monophasic pattern due to the pattern of society. This will probably happen to me as well, but I thought this was probably the best time to try it.
I personally have selected the Everyman (3 hours base + 3x20 minute naps, for a total of 4 hours of sleep) as it fits my personal schedule the best, as well as being fairly efficient, leaving the other 5/6ths of my day free.
I’ve played around with my current schedule of classes and have decided, sleep-wise, upon something that looks like:
- 3:40-6:40 AM
- 10:20-10:40 PM
I plan on jumping right in—other than I’ve just missed my nap, it would seem. I’ll probably fall asleep shortly and officially start by waking up tomorrow morning (Wednesday, October 19, 2011) at 6:40 AM. I will do my best to consistently post an update of sorts daily, calling Thursday my full first day on the cycle.
This following week will probably be the most entertaining for you, maybe even for me if I start seeing things. In that case, it would make for a much cheaper Fall Break, not having to pay someone off for ‘shrooms and all.
Wish me luck on making this last. I hope for everyone’s sake this tumblr can promise some success for those wanting a total account of this switch, as often it seems they go unfinished.