You Can Hibernate. I’ll Hack My Sleep.

Though today is day 6 of my adaptation, I’ve only just begun. This is actually my second real attempt at adapting to polyphasic sleep. The first of which was earlier this year in February. I made it to about 6 weeks and had to call it quits. I took on too much at once (diet, exercise, work, etc.) and it overwhelmed me to the point of giving up.

Usually, people start this kind of blog series telling people they are going to attempt to do Polyphasic sleep. They get excited, share some research — Polyphasic research is hard to come by as of yet — and they give us a couple updates of the first day or two. But then… they disappear. Never to be seen again. We can only assume that the sleep deprivation monster, and it really is a monster, has taken hold of them and they have given up. It’s unfortunate that this brave soul has succumbed to this beast but other adventurers know that there must be some way to overcome it.

What am I doing now that’s different? Well for starters, don’t try to change so many things at once. Adapt to one thing at a time. If you have diet/weight loss goals, do those first because you’ll feel healthier and will have more fortitude to take on polyphasic adaption.

I’m here now to tell you: the key to overcoming sleep deprivation is not a short burst of brute force, but consistency.

Consistency?

“But isn’t sleep deprivation bad for you?”, you might ask. To which I would say, “Absolutely!”. A person suffering from severe sleep deprivation is a danger not only to themselves but also to others. If one were to fall asleep while driving 60mph down the freeway, that could literally end their life and/or the lives of other unsuspecting drivers. So how does consistency solve this problem?

Your body is an intricately fashioned piece of art, built to withstand and even adapt to many extreme conditions. When decreasing your total sleep from 6–8 hours to 2 (Uberman schedule) or 4 hours (Everyman Schedule), your body intrinsically knows how to adapt. To make it easier though you have to be consistent with your schedule.

The Everyman3 Schedule

My current schedule

The Everyman3 (E3) schedule takes the form of a 3-hour core, followed by three 20-minute naps spread 4 to 6 hours apart.

Here’s my schedule:

Core: 11:00pm — 2:00am
Nap #1: 7:00am — 7:20am
Nap #2: 1:00pm — 1:20pm
Nap #3: 5:00pm — 5:20pm

Now, how do you stay consistent?

Admittedly, this is pretty easy for me right now because I work remotely and have free reign on my daily schedule. However, you’ll notice that my schedule fits pretty well around a typical 9–5 job. Most likely you can spare 20 minutes for a quick nap during your lunch break. Though you’ll have to figure out where you can sleep. Be creative!

I set daily alarms for 10 minutes before my naps and core so that if I’m working on something I don’t accidentally cut into my nap. That will kill your consistency so you need to make sure you can always close your eyes at your determined sleep time.

Conversely, you need to have an alarm or timer, or multiple, set to wake you up on time. This is extremely important. Oversleep is like the attractive, cunning companion to the sleep deprivation monster. It lures you in with its promise of relaxation but you must not look into its entrancing gaze, for if you do, you’ll be snatched up by the beast.

Set your timer(s) across the room or in another room so you are forced to get up to turn them off. And whatever you do, DO NOT GET BACK IN BED.

If you consistently press on in this manner of consistency, you will overcome sleep deprivation. But if you stray from the path, you’re going to have a bad time. Stick to the path (your schedule) and keep moving forward.

I’ll continue to document my adaptation to the E3 schedule and update you on my journey. If you have any interest in adapting to a polyphasic sleep schedule, you can join me in the Ubersleep Slack. There are many people there who are much further along the journey than I and who can give you much more information.

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