Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Failure

All right, I have to admit I sort of forgot about this website after the hectic schedule I had during late summer/internship. And I have to say this about this experiment: it was too intense, at least for me. Yes, I’ve read around on the internet that you need to keep up the schedule consistently for at least two weeks, but I couldn’t make it. So I switched back to monophasic.

But I felt guilty, so I started recording the total number of hours I slept each day for about two months afterwards. I found out that my average daily sleeping hours, under the old monophasic way, was 7.28 for August 2007 and 7.6 for September 2007. Keep in mind that this is with crazy schedules like 3 hours for one night and 11 for another. It’s amazing how the body adjusts itself to that optimum sleeping time of about 7.5 hours. From this I realized that yes, since 7.5 is a product divisible by 1.5 (the 90 minute sleeping cycle discussed earlier in my remarks about the biphasic sleep experiment), I went through 5 cycles each day (5 x 1.5 = 7.5). Now if I can just cut down to 4 cycles a day, and I would be very very happy…

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – RESTART

For some reason, this experiment has not been going well recently–maybe my temporary period of sickness had to do with it. That’s why I’m restarting from zero again. I will also reset my stats starting tonight. It is 10:32 am now, and I will take a nap, as usual, at 6:30 pm and then try to sleep for 3 hours again at 1:30 am. This time, I will do whatever it takes to sleep at the exact scheduled times. I think the reason why I kept getting poor results recently was because throughout the first experiment, I sort of ignored the scheduled times to work around my eating habits, old sleeping habits, etc. So this time, I will place following the sleeping schedule as my top priority.

Since the stats have been reset, I will post again after tomorrow’s (not today’s) 90 min nap. I hope this makes sense.

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 10

Hmm, so I did sleep 3 hours of core sleep, but then sort of “crashed” with a whopping 14.5 hour nap. Well, it wasn’t 15 hours straight–I woke up at 4 am, then again at 6, then 6:30, 7, 9, etc. So I’ll just put down 14.5 hours instead of 8. It’s tough trying to kill old habits… Anyway, the reason why I “crashed” was because I ate a tiny lunch (half of a salad) at 1 pm, but then didn’t eat dinner until 6:30 pm. And I was so hungry at the time, and ended up devouring a mountain of food. It was too much, I think, and so when I took my nap at 7:30 pm, I didn’t wake up (fully) until 10:00 am. Gah, I’m totally messing up my schedule now. Oh well. I’ll just have to keep on trying. It is now 7 pm, and I am skipping my usual nap. Thus, what follow is 1 1/2 day’s worth of data:

Day 10 stats:

  • Core: 3 hrs
  • Nap: 14.5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 82.5 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day:  8.25 hrs

My stats are not impressive, I know. But hey, it’s a start, right? And plus, these stats still beat my old average of 10+ hours per day (that’s on the weekdays, not to mention the 12 hour sleep schedules on the weekends.

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 9

I overslept. Again. This is becoming routine–a most precarious predicament, indeed. What to do? Well, I couldn’t fall asleep for my nap today after sleeping 7.5 hours for my core sleep (I actually woke up after about 4.5 hours but tossed and turned on my bed continuously for about 3 hours, which was really a dumb idea–I cannot now rationalize this). Ah, woe is me. I did wake up from an alarm, but I was in a half-zombie state of mind, I recall. Hmm, maybe my brain is suffering some serious stress from this experiment after all? Who knows. I’m going to keep trying, at least for a couple more weeks.

And yes, I do realize that changing up my schedule this way and that way lengthens the time it will take me to get used to sleeping the goal of 4.5 hrs per day–but hey, I can’t help falling asleep sometimes, you know! I used to be a real bear before this experiment started–12+ hour sleeping sessions were not uncommon for me. So 4.5 is really cutting it down pretty brutally, I guess. Which is why my body is resisting. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Day 9 stats:

  • Core: 7.5 hrs
  • Nap: 0 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 65 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day:  7.2 hrs

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 8.5

So because of my unfortunate 11 hr nap as noted in my previous post, it also threw off my reporting schedule for this experiment (usu. I post after taking my core sleep + nap). So I will have to report my nap for today separately. Yes, that’s right, I did take a nap even though I slept for 11 hours. Because of my experience in Day 4 of this experiment, I took the liberty of taking my scheduled nap.

Day 8.5 stats (nap only):

  • Core: N/A
  • Nap: 1.5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 57.5 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day:  7.2 hrs

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 8

Alas, I still couldn’t pull 3 hours for my core sleep. It’s like my body is refusing to accept it or something. Even worse, my throat was slightly swollen since yesterday, and I think I was a little bit sick. I ended up sleeping 4.5 hrs again for my core sleep. Which isn’t bad. I exercised a bit later in the morning, and also spent a lot of time shopping for office supplies and other random things. I got back from shopping at around 6 pm, and had a truckload for dinner. Bad idea. I started my 90 min nap at around 8:30 pm, and didn’t wake up until… 7:30 AM!!!

This oversleeping problem is going out of hand. Even though I was a little sick and tired, sleeping for 11 hours is just unreasonable. I don’t even feel that great/refreshed after this. So from now on I am going to set my alarm clock (on my computer) with long, loud songs. I’m even thinking of multiple timers to go off at various multiples of 1.5 hours, just to make sure that something like this 11-hr hibernation doesn’t happen again.

Day 8 stats:

  • Core: 4.5 hrs
  • Nap: 11 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 56 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day: 7 hrs

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 7

Just as I noted yesterday, I did not get my usual core sleep yesterday night, due to the unexpectedly long nap. I woke up from that nap at 2:30 am and stayed up all the way until 5 pm, and then took a 90 min nap. I felt really sleepy for much of the earlier day and for a couple hours before I took my 5 pm nap. When I woke up from my nap, I felt extremely refreshed as usual.

So far, so good I guess. Let’s see if I am able to sleep 3 hours now for my core sleep.

Day 7 stats:

  • Core: 0 hrs
  • Nap: 1.5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 40.5 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day: 5.8 hrs

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 6

Hmm, good and bad news. I slept really late for my core sleep (slept at 4 am and woke up at 8:30 am), and overslept probably as a result of that. As for my scheduled 90 min evening nap, I had an extra-long work day, and I didn’t get home until about 7 pm. After a shower and some preparation, I ate dinner close to 8 pm, and so that really threw off my nap time. I began my nap at 9:30 pm (a 3 hour delay), but woke up at 2:30 am (5 hrs). As I write this, I am sort of “skipping” my core sleep, as I feel somewhat awake. (I guess I will have to put a “0” for my “core sleep” for tomorrow’s entry.) Do note that, I did wake up at around 11 pm because of my alarm, but somehow in my extremely drowsy state of mind (again, most likely due to large scheduling delays as noted above), went back to sleep–I don’t exactly remember getting up and turning off my alarm! This is bad, I know, but on the flip side, I woke up automatically, in the darkness of my bedroom, after approximately 5 hours–a good sign that my body will now permit no more than this amount of sleep at one time!

I’ve noticed by now that my body is getting used to sleeping not 3 hours for core sleep, but more in the are of 4.5 hours. So it’s a battle of 2 90-min cycles versus 3. I think this makes sense, given the fact that previous to this sleep experiment, I pretty much always slept at least 8 hours (usually 9) every day. It makes sense to gradually adapt to a 3-hour core sleep schedule, and so I think my current period of “oversleeping” makes sense–perhaps this is best after all. I’m just really curious when I will be able to comfortably sleep for 3 hours each night for my core sleep–maybe a week from now?

From the progess that I have seen, I am still confident that I will eventually reach my goal of 4.5 hrs of sleep total per day.

Day 6 stats:

  • Core: 4.5 hrs
  • Nap: 5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 39 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day: 6.5 hrs

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 5

Good news! I overslept only by 1.5 hours yesterday night for my core sleep (i.e., I had 4.5 hours). And I also had the 90 min nap this evening as well, which was very helpful. I can tell that I’m starting to feel the effects of temporary sleep deprivation–I was extremely tired at certain moments, especially after I had my big afternoon lunch. I really need to add regular exercise to this transition into biphasic sleep. Well, so far, I haven’t had any serious headaches or anything like that–although I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have any headaches in the past couple days. Just light stuff that goes away–lo and behold–after I take my 90 min nap (or after I oversleep, hah).

Day 5 stats:

  • Core: 4.5 hrs
  • Nap: 1.5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 29.5 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day: 5.9 hrs

Hmm, so far it looks like I’m missing my target sleep per day by 1.4 hours–which isn’t too bad, I suppose, for the first 5 days into this experiment. I can tell you now that, honestly, I have never slept less than 6 hours every day for more than 2, maybe 3 days (I really doubt this). Getting 5.9 hrs per day ain’t bad at all. It’s essentially just 1 more 90 min cycle after you hit the 4.5 hr mark. Originally, I contemplated sleeping 6 hrs per day instead of 4.5, but just couldn’t resist the temptation of that > 5 figure. Besides, 1.5 hours spread out over a week is 9.5 hours! That’s a lot of time I could potentially save. And since I have a ton of ongoing hobbies (learning languages, 3D computer graphics modeling, piano, guitar, and now maybe even composing my own music), I really really want no more than 4.5 hrs per day.

Biphasic Sleep Experiment – Day 4

Bad news–I overslept again. This time, my core sleep was 6.5 hrs. I think the no nap idea from yesterday was a bad, bad idea. I had a very difficult time getting up, and was again not really thinking straight since I somehow decided to go back to sleep after my alarm went off. I have an old habit of turning off alarms and going back to bed–which becomes more pronounced if I get more weary than usual, like yesterday without my scheduled 90 min nap. So today, even though I slept for 6.5 hrs for my core sleep, I took a nap pursuant to the set schedule, and had 90 minutes. What was fascinating was, even though I felt perfectly awake just before I took my nap (initially I even had trouble falling asleep), by the time I woke up I felt like a lot of time had passed–similar to what I described earlier in the Day 2 post.

So tonight I’ll definitely shoot for 3 hrs of core sleep. Stay tuned!

Day 4 stats:

  • Core: 6.5 hrs
  • Nap: 1.5 hrs
  • Cumulative hours slept: 23.5 hrs
  • Average amount of sleep per day: 5.88 hrs