Archive for the ‘Polyphasic Test’ Category

28 Hour Day

I’m working on a new sleep schedule. It won’t work this quarter–but maybe in the Autumn. Then again, winter is the best time to explore sleep changes…

Here’s the idea:

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Melatonin or LCD?

Last night, I took a two stage release Melatonin tablet at 23:00. Melatonin, is a neural transmitter produced in the pineal gland, used by the brain to regulate sleep cycles. This particular tablet releases .25mg 30 minutes after ingestion and then dispenses the remaining .75mg 3-4 hours later. Even though I went to bed at 00:20, I didn’t fall asleep until after 03:00. Even after the initial series of tossing and turning, it seemed I didn’t sleep at all. And yet, I feel quite well rested and I remember several vivid dreams.

The Dreams

Falling from a plane is not a good time when you don’t have a parachute. This I learned with 3 other army guys who all got shot up with something and shoved in the cargo bay of a high flying helicopter. After the machine began it’s long descent, we slipped out an opening and came to consciousness just as our gear belts caught on the railing. As we screamed at one another, against the furious force of the wind, a radio began to emit the cries of a friend. A friend was telling us that we might not die. There are parachutes behind the passenger seat. We just need to climb back up into the cockpit and retrieve them. And by the way, you only have 10,000ft before you go splat.
Upon reaching the cockpit, without a moment to spare, we discover that our assailants stripped the cockpit of anything useful. No shoots. No chance. What were we to do but ride out the fall? And we did, until we landed at a peculiar angle on the freeway. Going about the pace of traffic, we slid in and started to drive with it. Even in a traffic jam though, we couldn’t shake the feeling of inertia mixed with vertigo.

I’m walking through Ballard, only it’s not Ballard but some place I’ve never been. I’m exploring since I have no way of getting home and I decide to get lunch. Our kitten, Cassiopeia, is nestled upside down in the fold of my shirt, just around my waist. She looks up at me as I walk but is not disturbed by the motions. As I round into a pizza place, I pick Cassy out of her pouch and she becomes a baby. Suddenly much heavier and clothed, I sit at a counter stool next to a fairly attractive girl who’s ordering a vegan pizza. I too order a vegan pizza, with mushrooms, olives and bell peppers. Everyone loves the baby and wants to hold it. While I’m eating, the girl next to me asks if the baby is safe with that stranger over there. The stranger in question is a makeshift midget. His legs are severed below the knee and he wears shoes to cover the stumps. He’s slowly rolling the baby toward the door every time my eyes appear not to follow him.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m watching.”
I walk over, crouched down, I extend my foot to keep the door closed, just as a patron tries to enter. That time, the door would have smacked the baby on the head. I reprimand the short man and return to the counter with the baby.

There’s quite a bit more, but I need to eat breakfast. After my shower, I half ejected a bit of morning bile. I managed to subdue it for the moment. I suspect some of my trouble sleeping last night was from dehydration. I suffered a bout of shortened breath and heat exhaustion from about 02:00-03:00. We’ll see how waking up at 06:30 works tomorrow.

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Eating and Drinking

Last night, I went to the College Inn Pub to celebrate the coming weekend with some of Lena’s coworkers. I didn’t have anything to drink but some cranberry juice. We ate chips and salsa, then I had some chicken tenders at IHOP while Lena sobered up to drive us home. By the time we got home, it was bedtime and I could still taste the food we had recently consumed.
When I awoke this morning, I felt like I had indulged in a few drinks–even though I didn’t.
I’ve read that eating within 3 hours of bedtime is not very healthy. I suspect this is the case only with monophasic schedules though. When I was on the polyphasic system, I found that eating before a nap was practical and easy, without the side effects of feeling hung-over.
The reason for the hung over feeling has to do with deep sleep slowing down digestion to almost nothing. So, if a person sleeps for 6 hours straight (as I did last night), food just sits partially digested. Not a very pleasant thing to wake up to. However, when I was only sleeping for 20-40 minutes, it didn’t have much of an impact (if any) on the digestion process.
I’ve also noticed a distinct difficulty remembering my dreams on days when I wake up with the grogginess of a late night meal.

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So, my sleep experiment may be at an end–for the time being. My schedule is a little too booked to fit time for naps in the middle of the day (and at night). Since I missed about 5 days worth of evening naps and overslept the next morning on each occassion, I think the schedule would definately be doable if the rest of my life permitted it.
I’m not taking classes next quarter, so I think I’ll try it again at the start of the new year. Until then, I’m going to keep logging my sleep times to have a regular schedule to compare it to.
I won’t stop the blog either. I’ll write my dreams and whatever research I come up with. By mid December, my full research paper will be online.

Something about last night that was interesting:

Pictures soaked in glass jars full of water, enlarged for viewing. Some sort of way to find people.
Flowers, dripping bloody stems when cut by men for their women, a ritual sacrifice of beauty. Some sort of way to regain youth.

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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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