Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Top Eight Kinds of Nap

Since we started sleeping polyphasically, I've noticed the quality and nature of naps varies quite a bit. Most naps are just "standard" naps, but I get at least one of these naps each week or so:

8. The Paradox (AKA The Traitor, The Pan Galactic Gargle Nap)
Everything seemed to go so well. You lay down on schedule, fell asleep right away, and had a lovely dream involving cake, meadows and fluffy animals. Yet you wake up feeling like someone stuffed your head full of polystyrene and poured bleach in your eyes.

Luckily, the effect tends to fade away after a few minutes.

7. The Time Warp (AKA The Forgotten Oversleep, The WTF Nap)
Three hours have passed, both alarm clocks have been switched off, along with the light and the MP3 player. You may also have had a drink and been to the bathroom at some point. The last thing you remember is lying down.

6. The Newbie Nap (AKA Murphy's Nap, The Coffee Victim)
Your eyes refuse to stay open. Your body is exhausted. Your brain feels like it's been stuffed with cotton wool. You lie down expecting the best nap of your life.

Instead, you spend 20 minutes thinking about how badly you want to get to sleep. The ticking clock, humming refrigerator, faint noises from next door and blinking LED on the VCR also don't help.

5. The Phantom Nap (AKA The Non-Nap, The Wake)
You were awake when you lay down. You were awake when the alarm went off. You don't remember waking up. Did you sleep in between? No-one will ever know. Unless someone heard you snoring.

4. The Nap-22 (AKA The No-Win-Nap, The Nap-And-A-Half-Without-The-Nap)
You wake up feeling pretty good. Eyes open, head clear. But there's a problem. You still have half your time left. Do you get up, or go back to sleep?

If you get up you'll feel tired later. If you go back to sleep you'll feel tired when you wake up. You may as well just give up and sleep through to the next nap (not really).

3. The Micronap (AKA The Surprise, The iNap Nano)
Why did the hand of that clock jump forward two minutes?

2. The Snap (AKA The Epiphany, The Crystal Pillow)
You suddenly snap awake, with one minute left on the clock. You feel like your whole life has been a lead-up to this one moment of startling and unexpected clarity.

Work fast. You have about 5 minutes before you go back to normal.

1. The Chrono-Nap (AKA The Bullet-Time, The Saga)
You fall asleep almost immediately and have an incredibly long and detailed dream. You wake up what feels like hours later, cursing yourself for oversleeping, only to realize you've been asleep five minutes.

You resist the urge to call your monophasic friends and tell them how awesome polynapping is.


Maarburg said...

Perhaps the clarity in which one can create such humor comes after the I feel like a zombie with a head filled with dryer lint stage.


Zak said...

I've been trying to adjust to Everyman for about a month now, on and off. I've been trying to find (by Google or experimentation) how long it takes to really feel adapted - i.e. no tiredness zones and fully able to do everything I used to be able to without constantly nodding off. Blogs with enough detail to work this out are hard to come by, and Everymen seem far less common than Ubermen. Puredoxyk's account seems to make it sound like you should be feeling normal after no more than about a week.

I've found it to be more difficult, so it's quite reassuring to find your adjustment has been less that entirely smooth. Are you (both) still on Everyman? If so, how's it going? By the date on your first/last polyphasic post you were at it for at least 3 months, and if you're still at it then that's nearly 6 months now. (When) did you truly shake all tiredness periods?

I'm really quite determined to put in the time required to adjust, but the tiredness (either side of the core sleep, for me) makes it impossible for me to do certain things without nodding off: watching telly, using a computer and reading. I can go without telly, but to survive when I return to gainful employment I'm gonna need to do quite a bit of the latter two :)

Oh, and in my experience so far I've only ever come across Nap-22s (most of them), Phantom Naps (a handful) and Chrono-naps (one or two) :)

Cheers for any insight,


Brendan said...

Hi Zak,

I've been polyphasic up until about 3 weeks ago. I went back to mono primarily because I'm training to put on muscle and was concerned about the effect polyphasic would have on testosterone levels (testosterone being produced mostly during sleep, and being critical to building muscle).

I found the two factors that most determined how good or bad things were at any given time were how strictly I was following the schedule, and the quality of my core sleep. My problem was usually being very sleepy in the mornings, and far too awake at night. One of the best tweaks I made for me personally was moving my last nap further away from my core so i was sufficiently sleepy.

The times I felt 100% were the times I managed around 2 perfect weeks. By that point I was feeling good about 95% of the time, and getting tired around 20mins before naps (which was perfect). Polyphasic seems to be much more sensitive to small variation (i.e. mistakes) in sleeping patterns than normal sleep.

Other than that, anything you can do to improve your core sleep will be very helpful. If you ever feel the need to back off from the schedule a little, extend your core (by increments of 90 mins added to the beginning) rather than your naps. Naps longer than 25 mins are just too hard to get up from.

The Artiste said...

I love your humor. I'm going to feature it in my next post.

But for now I'm starting the "Dymaxion" sleep schedule for myself. Check it out: http://www.danceproof.com/2009/12/28/dymaxion-sleep-intro/