It’s Tuesday and this morning I woke up at 4:30AM, by my own choosing, and got my grocery shopping for the week done and was back home in time to wake Z up for school at 6AM. There’s a chapter in a book I was flipping through, “The Four Hour Body”, which talks about sleep and how to get better sleep. It includes a section on polyphasic sleep, which is a term I had heard before but not really looked into at all.
Traditionally people in America have one sleep period in a 24 hour time span and typically this is 7-9 hours over night. The idea behind polyphasic sleep is to break that up into smaller chunks of time and intersperse them systematically throughout the day. The book briefly describes several options for possible schedules of sleep and the net result should be to have the same amount of REM sleep, which is very regenerative for the body, but take less actual time out of your day.
Some cultures already do a core sleep and the middle of the day nap but there are other options that increase naps and decrease core sleep. Once upon a time when I was first encountering sleep issues, I basically said that I was subscribing to bi-phasic sleep which equates to two core sleep periods a night with a wakeful time in-between. This would have remained true, except for the fact that I stopped being able to go back to sleep and therefore wasn’t getting that essential “second sleep”.
Since I still have some time left off of work I figured I would give the Everyman 2 (E2) or Everyman 3 (E3) model try. For those of you paying attention, I did mention this book I’m referring to yesterday and it was at my new friends house that “we” came across it. He is trying this to, so it’s like a team effort to see if we can make this work. This might make it look like I’m just doing it because of someone else, but I really do have interest to see if this works. Not only to get more satisfying sleep but to gain back hours in my day.
The E2 consists of one core sleep period that lasts 4 to 5 hours in which you have REM 3 times and then two nap periods of 20-30 minutes as evenly spaced in the day as possible. The naps would both give me one more REM cycle each. So five REM cycles total and combined sleep of 5-6 hours. That will give me 2+ hours more awake than a traditional nights sleep, which could be a game changer.
With respect to the kids and our family schedule, my naps are going to have to be early, before they get up for the day and probably right around lunchtime when they are at school. This may also still work when I have to go back to work, depending on the job that I am doing.
Since I only had five hours of sleep last night, and it is almost 11:30AM, I am really ready for a nap. In fact, I think I was ready at 7AM, so transitioning to something like this might be fairly easy for me. And since it was not long ago I was only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep at night anyway, I know I can do it for a short period until I can get into the habit of taking naps again and falling asleep during the day.
On that note, it’s time to nap.