Polyphasic sleeping - Day 1-3 - Target Rox gains Phasing!

Rox Flame - Wellington New Zealand Artist - News

Recently I discovered that an acquaintance of mine had successfully utilised a polyphasic sleeping pattern for 1 and a half years. This is the longest length of time I had heard of someone successfully doing this, and naturally this sparked my curiosity so after a bit of thought I decided to try it myself.
For those of you whom are unaware, polyphasic sleeping (as opposed to regular monophasic sleeping) is the act of splitting sleep into 2 or more chunks over the day.
Some polyphasic sleeping cycles make use of regular napping schedules to trigger earlier and more frequent onset of REM sleep cycles in order to allow a shorter total sleeping time while achieving the same level of restorative REM sleep as a full 8 hour monophasic sleep cycle.
The most extreme of these methods are known as Dimaxion and Uberman, which split the day into 4 or 6 equal chunks with naps in between totalling 2-3 hours of sleep. I opted to try the Uberman cycle as it is easier to adapt to than the Dimaxion, and also has a great increase in waking hours. On this schedule I would gain 5+ extra hours in each day.

There are a few reasons I decided to try polyphasic sleeping. One if them is that the increased REM sleep at each nap tends to increase lucid dreaming a lot, and I have always had a fascination with lucid dreaming.
Another reason is that I have found myself increasingly having less time to fit personal projects, such as creating music and my game Dynabrick, into a schedule that also allows time for my daily Xequals work and a social life. This felt like a great way to reclaim the lost hours and get more done in general.
And finally, the nature of my work (web development) often sees me staying up all night when reaching deadlines, or generally staying up really late most nights coding etc as the Internet and artificial lighting successfully throw my sleep cycles into a rather nocturnal state, which is not compatible with most of our clients, or with my love of the morning. Polyphasic sleeping would give me the best of both worlds.

Upon writing this post I am a couple of days into the experiment and my results have been interesting so far.

Polyphasic sleeping requires a rather intense adoption period whereby you miss out on a lot of important REM sleep initially until your brain picks up the pattern and after a bit of sleep deprivation, starts to put you directly into REM sleep on each nap.

Currently I'm up to my 15th nap in the adaptation process and have triggered REM sleep only twice in these 15 naps, probably in part because I accidentally overslept on the first night, and it is expected that over the following couple of days as the sleep deprivation kicks in I will trigger REM sleep more frequently on these naps until it is consistent and I start to recover and feel refreshed after each nap. Until now I had been doing this experiment with no earplugs and have had trouble sleeping during my naps due to external noise, all naps during the day I will now wear earplugs, and if that causes me to miss my alarm then I will try earphones instead with an alarm playing through the earphones to wake me.

Getting through the late night chunks before the sun rises is the toughest part so far, and I have found that occupying myself with work, and in this case writing this blog post is a good way to stay alert and get through it. I had found that after the first night my eyes had become rather sore from lack of REM sleep and too much time in front of the computer, so I spent most of today away from my PC and went on a bush walk and also downloaded a piece of software called F.lux which changes the colour temperature of your computer screen based on what time of day it is, this makes it much less harsh on the eyes when working through the night in artificial lighting.

One of the REM sleep cycles I had last night was rather interesting and I found myself lying in bed waving my arms in front of me and they were invisible, after a few seconds i realised I was either lucid dreaming or experiencing an OBE, which is great as it is one of the reasons I chose to try polyphasic sleep. After numerous attempts to move other parts of my body I woke up from my nap feeling very refreshed.
Heres hoping I have more interesting experiences like this to explore soon!


Yeah F.lux is awesome!

Yeah F.lux is awesome!

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