Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Polyphasic update - week 4

We were doing really well with this, and felt more awake than we ever had on a monophasic sleep pattern. Unfortunately, some social engagements came up, so we moved our naps around a bit more than we should have to accommodate them. While we'll have that sort of flexibility later on, we probably shouldn't have messed with it yet.

Now I'm having trouble not sleeping in. I can't properly open my eyes and feel alert until 2 hours after we get up, again. Whereas previously, right at the 20-minute point when or before the alarm went off, I would snap awake and get out of bed immediately, and feel fine.

It's frustrating because we adjusted, and now we're back to non-adjustment again. I slept in again this morning by something like 45 minutes, and again for my first nap. Luckily Brendan woke me up. (Or more accurately, pulled me out of the bed and upright, and caught me when I stumbled. I'm so much more groggy - in the past few days I've actually almost fallen over several times when I tried to walk across the bedroom!) It's hard because it interferes with my productive time in the morning, and I end up playing strategy games on my computer.

I try to wake myself up by doing physical things such as housework, and our 6am interval training runs help a lot. Otherwise I sit online and read various newspapers - I read about 5 on a regular basis to keep up with trends and current events, because you absolutely need to know in PR. And I enjoy it. And 'studying' PR articles to improve my knowledge and skills. But looking at computer screens and reading are both activities that make me sleepy.

(I agree with Brendan's point below - because it feels normal, it's easy to convince yourself you can stay in bed a little while longer, rather than forcing yourself to get up straight away. Which is when you fall back asleep. Getting into bed for a nap has the warm comfort of a Saturday morning - except it happens three times a day! So it's hard to give up that fuzzy feeling and jump out immediately on the dot.)

We've been considering the idea of moving our core sleep from 1-4am to 4-7am so we can make our evenings more flexible for going out etc. and for travelling - in line with most other peoples' schedules. But Brendan's work is quite enjoying having him around for their 5am CA time meetings...

Brendan: I think we've fallen slightly back into a semi-adjusted state. It still feels natural to have our naps and core sleeps at the times we do, and we are fully awake for most of the hours of the day, however the tired "brain-fog" patches in the morning hours (I find 8-9am the hardest) have returned in force (Tina seems to be having a rougher time with her mornings that I am, possibly because she has thrown her naps out a little more due to church stuff).

I think this is partly because of willful changes to our schedule (e.g. going out clubbing and stretching the time between our evening nap and core sleep), but mostly during the past week we've gotten too relaxed as the schedule seems increasingly normal. Whereas previously I was very motivated to get out of bed right away at 4am even when much more tired than present, now my morning brain (which as we all know is a very different beast to the night before brain) does silly things like decide it's OK to lie there for a bit while I wake up. Luckily, while once upon a time this would have led to oversleeps of 2 or more hours, now it's rarely more than 30 minutes. I don't know if Tina's reasoning is the same however as she says she really does feel too tired to get up sometimes. This might be because Tina oversleeps naps more regularly than I do (although again, never more than 20-30 minutes), but that's pure speculation.

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