This is an update to my second week of my polyphasic sleep attempt at the Everyman schedule. There were not a whole lot of changes compared to the first week, but the changes that were there are significant.
If you haven’t read about my first week’s experience in adaptation, check it out here.
The first week I was getting a total of 5 hours of sleep per 24 hour period. The 5 hours were broken into 3 phases: a single 4 hour core sleep and two 30 minute naps.
For the second week, which is the past week, I took my total sleep time down to 4 hours per night. I was debating on 4 or 4.5 hours and considering that the first week wasn’t too bad, I went with the 4 hours. The core sleep this past week was 3 hours, and the two naps stayed at 30 minutes.
Without further ado, here are the highlights from my second week of adaptation.
I went to bed once again at around 9 pm on Saturday night. It’s starting to get more instinctual to go to bed around those times. I’m falling asleep much faster now, like 2 to 5 minutes max of closing my eyes and I’m out. I guess this is one “benefit” of sleep deprivation. There’s also a different feeling now when I lay down to get my core sleep. It’s like my body knows it’s time to relax hibernate for the next few hours. I don’t have to hope or wish I go to sleep quickly.
I woke up to my light alarm around 12:00 am. I usually set it to 15 minutes past the time I intend to wake because the lamp turns on 30 minutes before the set time. It gets brighter every 30 seconds and it usually wakes me about half way through it’s cycle.
Realistically, I was a bit tired but at this point I’m so used to that fuzzy feeling I almost didn’t even notice it. My dad was just going to sleep, which I thought was funny. It’s like my sleep schedule is finally starting to be the inverse of everyone else.
I felt lethargic this time for reasons I don’t know. I didn’t feel like doing anything at all and it was only 12:15. I did some stretching and mobility work in hopes of getting some energy to do something, anything.
I took a brief stroll around my neighborhood. There are lights around the apartments and it was so quiet it was almost deafening. Only the crickets and other night creatures roving around can be heard. I absolutely loved it.
I was more focused after coming home from my walk. I worked in the computer for a bit and it was 7:00 am before I knew it. I knew the sun comes up earlier this time of the year but I was pretty into the SEO things I was learning. Anyway, at around 7:25 I closed the blinds and curtains and prepared for my nap.
This nap felt just like the last few naps I had during my first week. I felt I was hitting REM during at least half of my nap time, which is much better than when I was first starting out. It was quite a restful nap, as I felt the same energy I had when I came back from my walk earlier. The lethargic feeling is also gone.
This gave me a boost in my focus and confidence that it’s finally working. Even though I cut down on the core sleep, it didn’t seem to affect me too much. Besides the lethargic feeling I had earlier and the little bit of fuzziness, I think it’s going quite well. I worked on the computer some more and headed to the gym for my workout.
The workout felt great actually. I thought the decrease in core sleep would cut down the quality of my training but I felt very good the whole time. I was pleasantly surprised but also cautious at the same time to not get too excited in case it’s temporary.
I was home at around 10:30-11:00 after taking a cold shower at the gym. I felt so alive after that! Even still, I was ready to nap when 11:30 rolled around. Once again, I hit REM for at least of the nap time, at least it felt that way. I woke up just a bit fuzzy, but otherwise felt great.
To make sure I’m fully up and focused, I went for a walk again around the neighborhood, this time at noon. I thought about how my progress has been and wondered when I’ll feel the full adaptation come on. I knew I couldn’t rush it but I couldn’t wait at the same time. It was both exciting and painful, knowing that I’ll be adapted as long as I keep my schedule up, but feeling that it’s still so far away.
I went to the plasma donation center to give my weekly donation. It wasn’t too many people and I didn’t have to wait too long to get my turn. I flowed pretty good that day so I didn’t have to lay there for too long. Otherwise, I would be a bit worry about dozing off.
After getting home, I had a chance to work on a blog post here and there for a few hours. I didn’t feel any sleepiness thus far after that second nap, a good sign.
It almost 5:30 and was time to hit the gym. The workout was a hard HIIT session followed by a low intensity, long duration of rowing for cardio. Got home around 6:45, hit the shower, and had a feast for dinner.
Even though I ate quite a bit for dinner, I felt fine. I wasn’t bloated nor did I feel weighted down. For the third time, I went for a walk around the apartment complex. It was very relaxing and definitely helped with digestion.
Since I took a shower already and it was still only 8:00, I turned on my computer and worked on the website some more. I didn’t want the computer light to keep me from falling asleep easily so I shut it down around 8:30. I began relaxing and doing some stretches and lacrosse ball rolling to relax my muscles. I was yawning by 8:50 and was ready for my core sleep, big time.
Sunday was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday as far as how it felt. I was hitting REM just a little but more during my naps, but I wasn’t feeling fully rested still. I guess that’s only going to happen when I’m fully adapted.
Monday rolled around rather quickly and I had went to bed at 9:00 pm on Sunday night as planned. I had good naps throughout Sunday and was ready for the core sleep when it was time.
Knowing I had work this day made it just a tad bit harder to wake up. The first thought that came to my mind was that I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my second nap in. That worried me and I felt that my efforts would all be wasted if that were to happen.
I wasn’t (still not) totally sure why I thought of that then. I mean, there were plenty of chances of me missing my naps due to work during the first week but I didn’t pay it much mind. I guess it may be that I’m a week in and seeing improvements so now I’m more invested in this. Seeing it fail is a much bigger lost to me now than it was before.
Either way, I wasn’t planning to fail again. After thinking about that for what seemed like forever, I looked at the clock and it was 12:15 am. It seriously felt like an hour went by, but apparently not.
I did what I have been doing if I’m not sure I can stay up, splashed cold water on my face.
I then went for a fast run around the complex. And I mean fast in both speed and duration. I sprinted as hard and for as long as I could. It definitely wasn’t a good idea since I didn’t warm-up at all. I got back and quickly hopped in the shower and turned the cold water on.
Oh man did that feel good! I forced myself to stay in for almost 20 minutes, just to make sure I was fully awake. After drying off and getting dressed, I started working on my site again. This time completing a blog post that I’ve been working on.
I looked at the clock and it was 4:30. I did some warm-up drills and packed my bags and went off to the gym. If you remember my update from last week, I wanted to keep the same intensity and volume in my workouts to keep the adaptation period shorter. Although it’s tougher, I’ll have to go through another adaptation period if I decreased the intensity and volume now, only to crank them up after I’ve been adapted to the sleep schedule.
As much as I wanted to keep the same intensity as before, I just wasn’t feeling it. Mentally I wasn’t doing too bad. But my body just felt weak and sluggish. I had energy, but it was just different than before. I was a bit disappointed but I finished the workouts pushing as hard as I could. After showering, I headed off to work.
Thanks to my obsession with having a bad workout, I could not stop thinking about why. Even when it was time for my first nap, I kept repeating the images and the feelings I experienced in my mind. The first nap pretty much wasn’t a nap at all. I had myself to thank for that.
I felt somewhat okay when I got in the office. But when 9:00 am came around, a sudden wave of tiredness hit me like a Tyson punch to the tender left cheekbone. I was thinking about just laying down on the floor right then and there, that’s how tired I was. Thankfully I didn’t have any meetings or other commitments with other staff at that time, otherwise I’d been screwed.
I have a standup desk at work so the standing helped keep me awake somewhat. But for what seemed like eternity, I swore I could’ve slept standing straight up. I kept focused on my work and to my surprise, the extreme fatigue went away. I toughed it out until the next nap and learned my first lesson of a missed nap.
I was gone into dreamland the second I put my head down. I felt like I hit REM for the entire 30 minutes because the dream felt like it lasted 2 hours and I recalled it no problem after waking up. I felt so much better after waking up from that nap, although still not 100%.
I took my round-the-office stroll as usual, hoping to get some energy from the walk. I had a renewed focus and concentration and was able to keep work on my mind instead of sleep for the second half of the workday. This was good since I needed the distraction.
Mondays I meet with my chiropractor for my weekly adjustments. I look forward to each session and with the way I’m sleep deprived now, I’ll use anything and try to make it as motivation for staying awake and alert.
The adjustment felt so good and relaxed my entire neck and spine, which was exactly what I needed to stay awake (note the sarcasm). To make sure I can stay up, I went to the gym to do something stimulating.
Luckily, the squat rack was available and I got some good sets of Front Squats in. Nothing like Front Squats to give us a whole body workout! I threw in some hang cleans and military presses and I was beat.
I got home and hit the shower right away. I wasn’t hungry so I just skipped dinner for the night. I thought about how bad that missed nap was and tried to burn the resultant feeling of fatigue into my mind so that I’d never miss another nap. 9:00 pm came around and I was in bed.
The next day was not much different, except that I made both my naps and felt a ton better relative to this day. On Wednesday however, something changed.
I woke up much easier this time around. I literally felt no sense of fatigue. This has been the best feeling of wakefulness I had since I started the adaptation a week and a half ago.
I couldn’t go for a walk since it was raining out, so I just hopped in a cold shower for a few minutes. It felt great to be so awake, I’m just hoping it’ll last.
The workout at the gym was much better than it was on Monday. I was relieved about that since Tuesday wasn’t a whole lot better, but this time it was a significant improvement.
As awake as I felt after arriving at the office parking lot, I was able to fall asleep for my nap right away. I felt like I hit REM for 100% of my nap time. I woke up feeling super energized and ready to tackle anything!
This feeling of being so mentally awake was almost euphoric. I know that people on Uberman talk about experiencing this but it doesn’t apply to the Everyman schedule. Maybe this is just temporary. Or maybe it’s been a while since I felt the feeling of being fully awake that it feels so different to me. I don’t know.
This was another nap that I felt like I hit REM for the whole time. I was getting super excited because it seemed the adaptation is finally starting to take root! I was getting results from my hard work!
I went for the usual stroll around the office and thought about moving onto the last part of my adaptation by adding in the third nap. This would involve me cutting down the nap times to 20 minutes each. It was enticing to jump ahead with this new feeling of wakefulness because I thought I was ready.
I decided to wait until after the 4th to make that final transition. I didn’t want to rush anything and possibly mess up what I currently have going. And it wasn’t like I couldn’t do it later.
I got off work and off to the gym I went. Got in some good HIIT sessions and then a few sets of heavy lifts. It was time to head home.
I still felt energized from my workout, but I knew that I could go out easily for my core sleep once I laid down. I don’t know what it is but it’s almost like an instinct at this point. I just know that my body and mind will fall asleep when that time comes.
I’m happy to say that the next few days were more of the same as this day.
Plan For This Coming Week
As I said before I plan to add in a final nap this week at around 3:30-3:40 am. But I’ll be cutting back the nap times to 20 minutes per nap. I think this transition will be a bit easier than the last one since my total sleep time is still the same. Fingers are definitely crossed on this one.
The one big lesson from this past week is to not miss a nap! I felt like a zombie on sleeping pills. I hate to even imagine what missing a core sleep session would feel like!
I’m not sure if there’s going to be much of a change from last week to this week, so I might not do a update every week. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel. But I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on it!