This morning at 7am in the 110th hour of my polyphasic sleep experiment… tragedy struck.
As you know, my sleep experiment involves sleeping for 20 minutes at a time every 4 hours around the clock. Tuesday was rough, Wednesday morning was killer, Thursday was an improvement and Friday was fantastic, but I’m afraid this morning I’ve taken a big step backwards in the adaptation process.
The adaptation process is difficult and requires strict discipline when adhering to the sleep schedule. Skipping / postponing a nap or (much more likely) oversleeping would damage the learning process – and oversleeping is exactly what happened this morning.
As of this morning I had slept a total of 10 hours in the past 110 – averaging just 2.3 hours of sleep per day. Things were going well and I was feeling optimistic about my progress. I cannot describe my disappointment when I awoke from my 6am nap at 1:30pm.
Confusion. What? How… is this possible?
My mind raced as I tried to remember what happened. I looked down and my phone was in my bed. Not where it’s supposed to be. I use the alarm on my iPhone and intentionally place it on the other side of the room so I have to get up and walk in order to turn it off.
Over the next minute the details came back into my mind in fuzzy dreamlike images. Here’s what happened.
My alarm went off at 6:30am. Automatically (this was my 25th nap of the experiment), I got up, walked over and turned the alarm off, flicked on the lights, and walked into the kitchen for a glass of water. I woke my computer, checked email, and began checking twitter and facebook – those mindless things you do out of habit. I then opened my word document called “dream log” to record a dream I had (it was terrible. My teeth were shattered but wired together like I had braces so I couldn’t get the pieces out of my mouth – they just filled my mouth. I was freaking out and I realized it was a dream so I tried to wake myself up by screaming and shaking my head. I woke up, relieved to find my teeth back to normal, when all of the sudden they started to shatter again in a blinding pain.
I had “woken” from my dream into another dream. Something I’ve NEVER experienced before.
This time my family was there and I had to show them my shattered teeth. It was intense.
Anyways, I opened the document to record the dream details and noticed that my fingers wouldn’t type correctly. I was skipping letters and mistyping all over the place. I was frustrated and felt desperate. The next thing I remember was sitting at my computer but my eyes were closed. I didn’t remember closing them it must have happened automatically.
I felt hopeless. Sleep was going to happen and I felt like I had no choice in the matter.
I must have reset my alarm for 20 more minutes of sleep, because when I woke up at 1:30pm I checked and saw that it was set for 7am. And that’s it. I must have turned my alarm off without waking up when it went off at 7 and the rest is history. Tragic napstake.
That put me at a real crossroad in my experiment. It would be an easy time to end the experiment, since this likely took me back several days in the adaptation process… but I wasn’t planning on ending it now. I feel that ending the experiment under these circumstances be a weak end to an otherwise awesome experience.
After some more thought I’ve decided to press onward with the experiment.
It will be interesting to see how this affects me during the next 24 hours. Right now, as expected, I am feeling rested and alert. The good news is that I was still able to sleep during the 6pm rest today – which indicates that I’m not thrown off completely. I’m still bummed out about my napstake though.
On another note, I wish it was summer time. I could really use the extra sunlight. Right now 4 of my 6 daily naps begin and end in darkness. In July only 2 would be in darkness, since it would be light during the 6am and 6pm naps. Oh well. Onward!
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – Day Zero
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – Day One
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – Day Two
- Why Polyphasic sleep? | A simple and compelling answer
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – Day Three
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – Day Four
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – The Epic Napstake (nap + mistake)
- Polyphasic Sleep Experiment – The Success, Conclusion, and Addiction