Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day! Polyphasic Sleep and the Uberman.

Since I started on my search for a new career and devoting extra time to make sure I have not just “a job”, but “the right job”, my sleeping has become... well, erratic. Like many American adults, I have a long history of not getting a proper amount of sleep, and I'm sure that it is battling it out with obesity as the biggest factor in poor health. (Mine, and that of people these days in general.)

That's not me... God is that not me. My car is smaller.

For someone that doesn't get a whole lot of sleep, I've read a hell of a lot about it. Understanding the 90-minute sleep cycle that every person experiences has been crucial to maximizing the amount of rest I get when I'm up too late (usually watching sci-fi or playing games.) Several years ago, I encountered stories about polyphasic sleep experiments.

The idea behind “The Uberman sleep schedule” is that a person, after a 7-14 day adjustment period can train their body to fall into the most important (and only necessary) phase of sleep, with 20 minute naps, six times per day. I've always wanted to try this, but the schedule inflexibility that comes with having to take naps every four hours didn't work so well with a full-time job. The notion of having 22 waking hours per day, more energy and intense/lucid dreams is very appealing to me, and I'd like to try it.

I'm not the first blogger to give this a shot, not by a long shot, but I figure the extra time I gain will be filled with projects that I'd like to be devoting more time to while I'm not working full-time anyway. Additional writing, like the novel that I started with my wife that I haven't looked at in months, more time to search for the next exciting career change, and minecraft. Lots and lots of minecraft.

Maybe getting chased by these while adjusting to sleep deprivation isn't one of my best ideas.

I'll likely try to start the polyphasic sleep process this weekend, as the wife is headed out of town to a Roman Re-enactment event, and I think the toughest part for me will be kicking out caffeine and alcohol from my diet. (Especially this close to St. Patrick's Day.) We'll see if I can even manage it, many have tried and failed before. (And I'd wager that most of those who went before didn't have a tattoo of a pint on their person... maybe I should put this off a week or two...)

Yes, I really have this tattoo. Left arm... my normal geeky demeanor means a lot of people are surprised when they first see this.

In any case, however and whenever you sleep, do it well, and have a slice of pie to celebrate 3.14! I know I will.
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reviewsandtherest said...

this is very interesting! I feel like some days I do this without planning it, but then still sleep that night haha.

Erika said...

I am also currently unemployed so I can relate to your struggles. Money-wise and sleeping-wise (I'll have 18 hours sleep one night then go 2 nights without sleeping, etc)

I hope you find something soon, man!

I shall be following your progress =]

Chris said...


Meghan Moran said...

Hope the new sleep schedule works for you.

Noock said...

Sounds pretty interesting method, I maybe gonna try it at summer..
Hope it works for you!
Also, I didn't know theres so much stuff made about Pi :p

Moob said...

who needs sleep when you have beer and minecraft

Justin said...

I've heard of this and thought of giving it a shot many times before, but I just can't ever follow through with it, haha.

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