You start to lose track of days when you are trying polyphasic sleeping. Remember when I was talking about all of the social norms you’re up against when trying non circadian sleeping habits? Well, they’re a lot more pervasive than I thought.
I think I finally got into a groove, but I’m not sure how I can hold this up for very much longer. Here are some initial thoughts about the experiment in alternative sleeping styles:
- I’m not a recluse (okay, sometimes I am). But it’s REALLY nice to be able to be awake or alone and focused on your stuff with no distractions from other people. I only wish that this was during the day. Most of the time that I am distraction free, it’s late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Night isn’t conducive to work. At least, not creative work, I’ve found. Try listening to tunes while you’re awake and no one else is awake — Trance and Bollywood dance remixes always wake you up and help you have a nice steady cadence.
- Optimal sleeping time is about 24 minutes. If you go past about that long, you’re essentially screwed. You will absolutely not wake up. Don’t even try.
- Invest in two helpful devices, a yoga eye pillow, and get one of those eye masks that strap to your face that they give out in business class at most airlines. Use the eye mask when you have to take a nap sitting up, the yoga pillow is really nice when you can lie down.
- You will probably lose track of days. Which could be terrible depending on what your job is.
- This one is particularly insidious because you don’t really notice it at first: I feel much less creative and more groggy. I guess that doesn’t work so well for our profession. Rats.
- I fell asleep while doing work / chatting with Jeff last night. Sorry Jeff! He reminded me of the story of Max Levchin of Paypal fame from Founders at Work. See, I’m committed, dangit.
- Probably the worst part of all of it is that it ruins your ability to exert physical effort. I lost almost all concentration at Bikram Yoga for about 2 days in a row. I think this might be the reason I give up the experiment.
I’ll update you again if I continue with this experiment.