Today (4/16/18) I am on Day 13 of my adaption into the Everyman 2 sleep schedule.
I have to say, as expected it is much easier after having tried Everyman 3! The later core of 2:30AM can be hard to stay up for at times but it gives me plenty of time to enjoy my night after evening shifts and then let’s me sleep until 7:00AM, skipping the time of day I am most sleepy and likely to fall asleep (3:00-6:00AM). I was also able to go to a rave this last Saturday night and enjoy an entire show without worrying about my bedtime.
That being said, I did lose my red laser glasses unfortunately. I was carrying my glasses in their case via a small clip attached to my pants and towards the end of the night the case broke from the clip. I realized as I was leaving the venue and the security could not find it. So not only did I lose a vital tool for my adaption (and general sleep) but the blue light exposure must have impacted my sleep. I say that because although I was okay the next morning (even less sleepy than usual), I was pretty tired before my naps that day and at the time of writing this overslept the ‘night’ before. I was feeling extremely tired about 2 hours before core sleep of 2:30AM and then sometime after 1:00AM couldn’t fight it anymore. I then woke up around 3:30AM realizing I had my first serious oversleep of this adaption and went to my bed to sleep until wake-time.
This means I overslept somewhere between 60-90 minutes, which is a decent setback. But being that it’s my first serious oversleep, the other times being too short and/or close to core, I don’t think it will throw me off my schedule completely though it will likely take more time to adapt.
But overall, how am I doing with E2 vs. E3?
For starters, so far I’ve overslept somewhere between 72-115 minutes(having some oversleep is inevitable) whereas by Day 13 of my last E3 attempt I had about 4 hours of oversleep. That already is a huge difference, showing that if I can continue with minimal to no oversleep then I should adapt much easier to E2 than E3.
Other signs that this schedule is working better so far is that my micro-sleeps are shorter and my period of micro-sleeping after core ends once my cooling/red light period ends. In other words, once I stop trying to trick my body into thinking it’s nighttime with cooler air and red light and switch to heat/normal light, my body wakes up completely (I use heat/cold air in addition to red light reduction to shift my circadian rhythm and we need at least 8 hours of darkness. This is why I need a small period of cooling/red light reduction after waking from core).
Once I am awake I am usually alert throughout the day, sometimes sleepy before my 2nd nap. This is a step up from feeling sleepy throughout the day and shows with the fact that I am not nearly as irritable as I was while sleep deprived with E3. In fact, I’d say I am generally not any more irritable than I might be sleeping 8-12 hours (perhaps less!).
So as things stand now, it seems like E2 will fit better into my schedule and make for an easier adaption. We’ll see as I move onto Week 3 if I will be able to continue without major sleepiness and oversleep. Typically it is around Week 2 that this happens, so good signs so far.
This is why it is important to start polyphasic sleeping with a schedule that works for you. Of course, if the first schedule doesn’t work out you can always recover and switch to another like I have. It will be easier next time, you’ll have learned a lot about your sleep and willpower, and you can try adapting to your original schedule again after first adapting to an easier one. But it will definitely make the experience a lot more enjoyable if you decide on a schedule that is feasible. One that works well with your job, your personal hobbies, and the amount of sleep you are currently getting. After trying E2, I would say E2 or E1 are the better choices for someone looking to cut their sleep down by a moderate or eventually extreme amount.
Bringing polyphasic sleep back to its relationship with my Asperger’s, I’d say E2 is also helping with time management. Being up at 7:00AM, although not as early as 4:30 or 5:30AM, still allows me to get an early start to my day so that I can do some hobbies in the morning with my precious alone time, prepare some breakfast and tea for my partner before she goes to work, and continue working a couple early morning shifts – giving me a varied schedule at work where I have some afternoons and evenings to myself.
I have not been producing as much music as I was while on E3, but when I have, it has flowed well and I am admittedly obsessing over some other hobbies of mine so I can’t say that I’m less creative. In fact, I’ve been building some neat things virtually so I am definitely feeling creative.
I’ve also been speaking with others more, not only about polyphasic sleeping but about sleep hygiene as well. So many people suffer from restless sleep and sleep deprivation that I want to help as many as I can. So, using my work which is already centered around health and wellness, I have spread helpful knowledge to others and actually gotten them interested in either polyphasic sleep, creating better sleep habits, or both.
In case you are interested, here is my current Everyman 2 schedule:
This was provided by one of my polyphasic sleep peers and has details not just on the times I should be sleeping and waking but other factors that are necessary for a late schedule like mine. The red refers to the time I should be sleeping, the purple is when I should be using red light, the yellow is when I should ideally be using a daylight lamp or be out in the sun (don’t have one large enough for myself at the moment), green is when I should be heating my body up (using a space heater currently), and blue is when I should be cooling my body and reducing blue light (done by turning on the AC and using red light measures).
It may seem a bit extreme to have to follow all these guidelines and rules to adapt to a sleep schedule but there are two important things to remember. 1) There are several different sleep schedules and variations of schedules that can accommodate anyone’s needs. You can get as little as 2 hours of sleep (insanely hard to adapt to) or as much as 8 (very easy to adapt to). The point, is to be smart about when you sleep and have good sleep hygiene. 2) The schedule I am doing has a goal of not only improving sleep quality but having more time. Also, I have a late core that possibly goes outside my natural circadian rhythm (it is hard to to tell since I’ve always gone to bed late but was exposed to blue light often). This is because I enjoy staying up at night and going out to raves.
If you choose an easier schedule or one that goes with your natural circadian rhythm, you won’t need to be as detail oriented if at all.
Here are some other schedules polyphasic sleepers have discovered/invented and use in case you were wondering:
Biphasic Sleep Schedules
Segmented: The natural sleep schedule humans should follow. The easiest schedule to adapt to. This schedule spans enough time to accommodate optimal REM and SWS sleep times (actually across 9 hours, not 8). However, because you will be sleeping better, you will still obtain a small amount of sleep reduction. This schedule has been proven to be our default way of sleeping by an experiment in the ’90s by psychiatrist, Thomas Wehr.
Siesta: Popular in Spanish culture, this schedule also accommodates two good times for REM and SWS. In the early afternoon it is also a good time in our circadian rhythm to sleep, which is why many often feel sleepy or unproductive between 1:00PM-3:00PM. Because you are still sleeping at quality times of day in a segmented fashion, you can decrease your amount of sleep with no harm.
Everyman 1: This schedule allows for 6 hours of sleep in a core and then one 20-minute nap later in the day. Usually adapted to for polyphasic sleep beginners who will then transition to another, more difficult sleep schedule.
Dual Core 1: Derived from segmented, this schedule works by placing sleep times around the same optimal REM and SWS sleep times but with a nap added to two, shorter, cores. This is considered a moderately difficult schedule to adapt to.
These sleep schedules are all generated for free by https://napchart.com/ . Here you can create your own sleep schedule, as well as make a general 24 hour planner.
They are just a few examples of the sleep schedules you can choose from, and as I said these biphasic sleep schedules listed are very easy. As always though, I hope to at least inspire better sleep hygiene and more awareness of what causes us to not sleep well. If you are interested in having more time in your day or work on big projects such as writing a book, then this may motivate you to try reducing your sleep a bit as well. Or, maybe you’re an Aspie with horrible time management and can use some schedule and planning in your life (me).
Questions? Let me know in the comments. And be sure to check out my other posts if you have not already and are confused or lost about some of the things I am talking discussing.
Thanks for reading!