Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Had Some Drinks

Well, I’m not much of a drinker but last night I had a few. It was Alissa’s birthday party and I had a full night of sleep the night before. So, last night I slept from 3am to 11am. Wooohoo.

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Day 17: Familiar Dreams

I had an old dream last night. It was thrown in the middle of many other dreams, primarily about music and sex.
As I recall, it went something like this:

I woke up this morning
to centrifugal force.
I was dreaming of driving
mechanical horses.
The cops were all chasing
careening down alleys.
The people were screaming
drowning in rallies.

I woke up this morning
to the fear of falling
I found that the sound
of the wind was appalling.

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Day 16: To wake

Last night, I spend about 60 seconds concentrating on the idea that I would wake up as soon as the 3am alarm went off and that I would hop out of bed immediately.
It worked. I only set the one alarm and when it went off, I was immediately awake. Of course, immediately after I picked up my phone to halt the alarm, noting that I was incredibly alert and awake, I laid back down to marvel at the fact that I woke up so easily. That’s when I began to feel extremely tired. Before falling asleep again, I managed to recognize that this was a very bad idea, if I was to get up at all this morning. I then hopped out of bed and jumped into the shower.
I must say, I feel much more alert and awake with this 3 hours of sleep than I felt yesterday (after over sleeping 6.5 hours on my core session).
Now, I’ve got to do some more research.

Today’s Breakfast:
Sunflower Seed Butter (like peanut butter) and Pupkin Butter (like apple butter) sandwich. Yum, yum!

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Day 15: Creature of Habit

It seems that my natural circadian rhythym is not suited to my 24 hour cycle. I’ve read that people are more rythmically syncopated with the Moon than the Sun, having closer to a 25 hour day than a 24 (as far as natural chemistry goes). I think I’m seeing some effects of my daily restrictions.

Again, I overslept. I’m starting to not even remember my phone’s alarm. It could be because I’ve started sleeping much deeper during the 3am-4am block.
On the bright side, on days that I oversleep, I’ve been waking up naturally around 5:30-6:30. When this is the case, it’s very easy to get out of bed.

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More Research

I just found a few more encyclopedias in the Library. I decided to check out the general psychology books and found a plethora of sleep information.

It seems that Randy Gardner [wikipedia entry] is the leading Guinness record holder since 1965 for staying awake the longest. He managed to stay awake for 264 hours (11 days) and at the end showed no signs of mental or physical deficit. I stumbled over this in Magill’s Encyclopedia of Social Science Psychology vol. 4. After the 11 days, he supposedly slept only 14 hours 40 minutes, then the next day 10 hours 30 minutes, 9 hours for the third day and then resumed the 7 hours a day schedule he had before the experiment.
Scientific American speaks of this and claims that Randy Gardner was “basically cognitively dysfunctional at the end of his ordeal.”

I’m not sure how accurately I can trust this one experiment. In 1965, communcations and witness were both much easier to trick. I’d like to see the records for the past couple of years. It’s possible that this was a hoax. If it is, the record may hold because it may not be merely unsurpassable but actually unattainable. I’m not sure what, if any, checks the Guinness Book has against older records. If anyone has any info, comment and post a link to a resource.

Something else that was interesting is animals that don’t sleep in long blocks tend to eat smaller portions more sporatically than large predatory animals, which usually eat few large meals.
I’ve been eating snacks rather than meals for quite a long time and I find it works best for a napping sleep schedule. I haven’t been consuming caffiene or sugary foods either, which I think eases up on unnecessary drowsiness.

Carskadon, Mary A. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreaming. New York: MacMillan Publishing
     Company, 1993.
Kazdin, Alan E. Encyclopedia of Psychology vol. 7. Washington, D.C.: American
     Psychological Association, 2000.
Piotrowski, Nancy A. Ph. D. Magill’s Encyclopedia of Social Science Psychology vol. 4.
     Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, Inc, 2003.

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Great Big Nap Sine Wave

Just had another bout of deeply detailed dreams, fading in and out of consciousness at the office. I only laid down for 20 minutes but the dreams were so long it seemed like at least an hour.

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Day 14: Wow

I never thought 6.5 hours of sleep would feel so refreshing. My calves feel a lot better. I feel pretty awake too. Although, I missed (sleepily disabled) the 3am and 4am wake-up buzzes on my phone. The alarm is bad. All it’s doing is giving me a negative connotation for my phone’s vibration mode.

So, yes, I overslept. My schedule is so not conducive to polyphasic sleeping. Next quarter, I’m going to try it with a much more strict (and evenly spread) schedule.

Even if I can’t get to my goal this quarter, I’m writing a research paper on polyphasic sleeping. I will be posting the full text by the middle of December.

Well, at least my 14 day average is still under 6 hours of sleep per 24.

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Day 13: Heat Padded Sleep

Oh, my sweet warmness… we just got a heating pad for our bed, put it under our sheets and now it’s so toasty. I don’t want to blame the warmth as why I slept 4 hours last night but it definately helped. That and my calves, which are like two painfully swollen rocks attached to my legs. The heat felt very nice in that regard.

I had such a scare yesterday. My laptop wouldn’t turn on. Luckily I was able to trace it down to one of my 1GB RAM modules. I’ve got to return it and get a new one. So, I’m floating on only 1GB of RAM now. Woe is me :)
Oh, well, I’ll notice the difference once I try to boot another OS in VMware.

You may have noticed that i put links on anything that anyone might not be familiar with. Go ahead and follow the links if you are interested in reading more about these topics.

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Day 12: Easy Rise

I just got up at 3am. It was really easy to mentally wake up as soon as my first alarm vibrated next to me. The hard part was opening my eyes again, after seeing the big 3:00 on my red digital clock and re-closing them immediately. I let my phone snooze for 9 minutes then forced myself out of bed. Will power alone got me to the shower. My eyes burned for a few minutes under the steam.
If I had absolute control over my schedule, I would be doing this differently.
The whole purpose, in the end, is to acclimate my body to spreading sleep out evenly over the whole day. However, I am currently trying to sleep for 3 hours, then take about 1.5 hours worth of naps throughout the rest of the 24 hour period. Hardly seems even.
Ideally, I would have tried to ease my way into a true polyphasic system, sleeping in 3 three hour blocks, then transitioning to 4 two hour blocks, and finally 6-8 twenty-fourty minute blocks.
Someday, I will experiment with that transition. Well, time to do some homework.

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Day 11: Lapse again

I totally don’t remember turning off my 4am alarm. I set both the 3am and 4am to be safe. When the 3am went off, it took a couple of buzzes to actually wake me up. I think I was in deeper sleep than I should have been. I’ve heard that alarm clocks disrupt the body’s natural rhythm. I’d like to get in the habit of not using it. I’ve read that lapses are normal up to once a week, while adjusting to this schedule. It just seems like such a setback. Well, it certainly boosts my average sleep per night.

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