Interlude

26 Jul

Okay, I’ll make this as short and specific as possible. This isn’t working. Or, rather, it is mostly, but my body still wants to follow the Everyman, as I mentioned in the last post. I think that that’s because of the way I tried and failed to ease into this, but no matter the reason, now, I need a solution.

The facts:

  1. I will not give up. Not only have I put too much time and effort into this already, it would also be insulting to me to just let go on this project of mine. So know that that’s not an option.
  2. I am now good at napping quickly. I can sleep for thirty minutes and have refreshed my first ‘battery’ or ‘energy tank’.
  3. Every day around four, though, my energy stores fail, along with the very first nap of the day- I oversleep in a number of ways due to a lack of consciousness (this morning I woke up on the floor) or if I do make it I feel like a steamroller’s been over me until at least the next nap.
  4. All I have to do to make it is presumably get used to the 04:00 nap so that my body doesn’t think it’s rest time- for a few days, at least.

Today is a break- because I so thoroughly messed it up in the morning, I’m not really on the schedule. I’m going to be napping to try to keep some momentum, but I need to be planning, primarily.

That said, what do you think my options are? I need ideas for alarms and coping strategies. What works best to get you up, especially when you haven’t been sleeping much? Is there anything I can replicate in my experience? How about my current situation; is there anything you’d do to improve it?

Thanks in advance. Feel free to ask questions.

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39 Responses to “Interlude”

  1. Jude 26/07/2010 at 10:43 #

    Try putting burts bees chapstick in your eyes. Seriously, just a bit on your finger, and then stick it in your eye. Wakes you right up.

    Or drink 100% cranberry juice. WHABAM.

    OR MEDITATE. Meditating helps you not need to sleep as much.

    And make sure you’re getting a lot of protein.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 12:07 #

      … What? 😛

      Also, wait, do they even have 100% cranberry juice? I’ve only ever been able to find the cocktail. What’s it like? Anything other than sour and full of antioxidants?

      Meditating… I suppose I could do that more. When you do recommend?

      As for protein… I suppose that’s a good concern. I don’t know how it would affect sleep, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it did- so I’ll keep an eye on that.

      • nonnie 26/07/2010 at 15:11 #

        It’s really hard to fall asleep and stay asleep when you’re hungry. Protein is filling; ergo, it enables you to sleep more soundly., resulting in more rest.

  2. Anon 26/07/2010 at 11:44 #

    Try putting on music that you really hate to wake you up. It has to be far enough away that you have to move a distance to shut it off, but loud enough to still be annoying. The idea is, you can sleep through music you like or don’t care about easily enough, but the stuff you hate will force you to get up, just to turn it off.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 12:03 #

      The problem being that I’ve proved in the past that I don’t necessarily wake up when the music is loud, far away, and not what I like. >.<

      The next thing I'm going to try in that vein, as I said, is putting a speaker up in my loft.

      … Also, I can’t tell who you are, monsieur or madame I-am-possibly-located-at-38-Jericho-Road-Richmond,-VT-if-your-IP-is-accurate-which-it-most-likely-is-not. Help me out?

  3. Rebecca 26/07/2010 at 11:59 #

    I’d not do the chapstick one. Chaptsick isn’t meant to go in eyes. End of story.

    (Psst, hi, you!)

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 12:05 #

      I was sort of thinking the same thing, though pain is a viable option. It’s just that I’m not sure I’d even be conscious enough to slap myself, let alone put chapstick in my eyes.

      (Hi!)

      • nonnie 26/07/2010 at 15:14 #

        Do you rub your eyes when you first wake up? If so, then coat your fingers with chapstick before you fall asleep.

      • a student 26/07/2010 at 16:50 #

        What’s the deal with the chapstick? Why does it help?

        Also, no, I don’t. Not usually. I think. I’m not exactly conscious in these episodes, so I might- who knows?

      • Usa-chan 26/07/2010 at 20:02 #

        If it’s trouble feeling awake, I’ve read that apples are better at waking a person up than caffeine- the natural sugars and whatnot make your body all groovy and crazy.

      • evyivyover 26/07/2010 at 23:54 #

        Actually, the burt’s bees chapstick thing does work. Just barely touch your finger to your eye. Great feeling. IT’S– SO– REFRESHING–!

        Rebecca/Usa-chan– your screenname is the same as my nickname. How’d you come to it?

      • Usa-chan 27/07/2010 at 00:35 #

        Evyivyover, you mean Usa-chan? When I was 12ish, some friends and I all assigned each other animals to be, and I ended up being the rabbit. So my online nicknames usually had something to do with rabbits (usagi). Then one day I heard the song “Aoi Usagi,” loved the song, decided that it was meant to be and all that, named my blog after the song, and my nickname became Japanified ever since. ^^; It’s a really dork-ridden story. :p

      • a student 27/07/2010 at 01:23 #

        Withhold judgment ’til you hear hers.

      • Rebecca 27/07/2010 at 21:03 #

        I should like to hear!

  4. kellelore 26/07/2010 at 14:16 #

    What about caffeine? Many people use that to stay awake…

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 15:05 #

      Caffeine is an addictive drug on which I don’t plan on getting hooked.

      • kellelore 26/07/2010 at 15:14 #

        True. An occasional cup of tea can’t hurt, though. I think the trick here might be varying your methods.

      • a student 26/07/2010 at 15:32 #

        I hate most tea, and dislike most others. >.< Not to mention the fact that that’d be hard to control, I think… I don’t have experience; is it?

      • kellelore 26/07/2010 at 18:53 #

        Caffeine is an addictive drug, but it is not THAT addictive that you’ll get hooked on low and infrequent doses.
        I drink tea irregularly, averaging about 4 cups per week. I don’t feel that I’m any more addicted to tea than I am to cranberry juice.

        However, I have experienced the effects of caffeine addiction from coffee (there was that one week where I totaled 9 hours of sleep… >.<) and it wasn't pleasant. It's definitely something to be cautious of. (Fortunately, I'd only been drinking a lot of coffee for a short period time, so it just took a weekend to return to normal.)

      • a student 26/07/2010 at 21:28 #

        Eh. I think I’ll still stay away. As I believe I’ve mentioned somewhere on this post- to me, coffee tastes like hot watery dirt. Tea tastes like hot watery leaves. Not so appealing to me.

  5. nonnie 26/07/2010 at 15:09 #

    If music doesn’t wake you up, get one of these. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/household/clocky-rolling-alarm-clock-036052.php It rolls off your nightstand while emitting a piercing shriek, forcing you to run across the room to silence it.

    Alex had one at TDI, and it was the reason why we were never late to breakfast. ^ _ ^

  6. nonnie 26/07/2010 at 15:16 #

    The thing about caffeine is that it’s an external substance. Isn’t the point of the Uberman to retrain one’s body to fall into a certain rhythm on its own? Anyone can pull an all-nighter with caffeine; it takes an Uberman to do it of one’s own accord. ^ _ ^

    Plus, you feel even worse when it wears off.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 16:19 #

      The thing about caffeine for me isn’t that it’s external and that messes up my internal rhythm- it’s that it’s addictive. (Not to mention the fact that coffee tastes like hot water and dirt and tea tastes like hot water and leaves, but we’ll stick with the arguments that aren’t opinionated.)

      The point of Uberman is just to gain more hours in the day- to my knowledge, people have never done this simply for the sake of training their bodies; that’s only come as a side effect. For example, one of the cases I read where the subject didn’t even need to use an alarm clock to wake up after a while. He didn’t do Uberman so he could do that; he did it as an experiment and so that he could have more time for work and hobbies.

      Still haven’t stayed up all night, technically. 😛

      • nonnie 26/07/2010 at 16:36 #

        But you’re training your body to subsist on less sleep so you have more hours in the day without being thoroughly exhausted, yes? No point in being awake if you’re going to be a zombie.

        And caffeine is gross. Unequivocally. People need to remember that it is a drug.

      • a student 26/07/2010 at 16:49 #

        I’m training my body to subsist on sleep spread around differently. It ends up being more REM sleep than the average person gets- just in different places.

        Anyway, the point isn’t the rhythm- the rhythm is a means to the point, being all the benefits et cetera. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  7. Ren 26/07/2010 at 15:22 #

    Evil alarm clock. Like the one Nonnie suggested. Or the one I used when I was younger [link’s fixed- A]. It actually rings. It is obnoxious & you’ve to get a wicked fierce hold of it to actually shut it off because it is ringing so violently.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 21:31 #

      I want one, now… That would get me up, I bet.

  8. Anon 26/07/2010 at 15:25 #

    Impressive! Does WordPress have some sort of built-in IP tracker or did you do something more clever?

    Nonnie’s recommendation below of the rolling-piercing shriek thing is an even better version of what I suggested. I’ve heard great things about that alarm.

    The other thing that always works is another person. They always will have the ability, if they are cruel enough, to wake you up by any means necessary – a bucket of water, for example.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 16:05 #

      And now you’re proxying? Very tricky.

      Who are you, please?

  9. Jen 26/07/2010 at 19:46 #

    Something I use as a trick to help me wake up in case my alarms fail (it really doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does)-
    Before you fall asleep, pat the pillow or clap out the number of the time that you want to wake up (in my case, usually 5:00am), or even just chant it out loud a few times. I usually tap my fingers five times, then clap, then tap again five times, then clap, until I’ve clapped five times, then I’ll bang on the pillow. Then I’ll repeat the five taps-five claps-bang pillow pattern until I’ve banged on the pillow five times. For some reason… it really works. Most of the time, I actually wake up right before my alarm goes off. It’s weird. I’ll just randomly wake up with a burst of energy, literally bounce out of my bed (no idea how I manage to… even when I haven’t had much sleep, if I do my tap-clap-bang pattern before I go to sleep, I can bounce straight out of my bed and five feet towards the door immediately upon waking. It’s really weird…), and dive for my alarm clock as it starts that really annoying wailing noise that it makes.

    ….but then again, this might just be my weirdness coming out in very…. weird… ways, and might not work for you. 😄

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 21:26 #

      I’ve heard of this… I don’t think it’s an option for what I’m doing, but I have heard of it being done. To be totally honest, it sounds pretty mystical. But I think it’s awesome that you can do that.

  10. evyivyover 26/07/2010 at 22:43 #

    Set your music alarm to AFP’s Astronaut. Crank the volume up. And I agree with Anon about getting a person to poke/ shake/ shock you awake.

    • a student 26/07/2010 at 23:32 #

      I don’t have that, and I’m not as fond of her as y’all are.

      And I’m not likely to listen to the kind Anon until they reveal themselves.

  11. Zsa 26/07/2010 at 23:59 #

    1. Caffeinated tea gives you the energy burst without the crash, generally.

    2. The chapstick thing actually is very effective.

    3. Peppermint anything, anywhere on your body’ll work. Just get some scented lotion or something & put it on your face.

    4. Stop doing this to yourself if it gets to be too much, please?

  12. supersecretlyawesome 27/07/2010 at 10:27 #

    What normally makes me wake up right away is actually when I have school in the morning or just something planned. I’ve been really bad about waking up lately, but normally, just knowing that I need to wake up and go do something makes me–if grudgingly–get out of bed and shower and get ready for whatever I have to do. So, that might be difficult to plan things at 12am or whenever, but even if it was just something little, that might work. Plus, showering and exercising RIGHT when I wake up stops me from sleeping more. (My school schedule normally involves me tumbling half-conscious out of bed and getting a shower. I should probably fit exercise in there somehow. Eh. Eventually.)

    Also, I generally turn the alarm clock in different directions and angles so I constantly am trying to turn it off in the wrong place. Right now, it’s angling towards my lamp. And I have 2 alarms that go off about 5 minutes apart.

  13. Mike Burns 27/07/2010 at 23:53 #

    Hey, you commented on my Uberman blog today with “Word”, and again in my life I miss Uberman. (I was one of two on Fuck Sleep; the other blogger attempted Everyman.)

    It’s right to avoid caffeine, and moreover it’s right to be careful what you eat for the first three weeks. Stay hydrated, avoid meat, avoid alcohol—really, avoid anything that can affect yourself normally.

    I bought a kitchen timer for my naps, since it was easier to set. And you’re totally right that the body has amazing ways of turning that guy off without you even waking up.

    Not so sure about the 45m naps instead of 30m. You want to adjust to the forced cycle. IIRC, some other blogger experimented with slowly sleeping less and it didn’t work out.

    You may have noticed by now that you’ve read every blog and article about polyphasic sleep because there’s nothing else you’re able to do. The video journal was my favorite.

    Definitely get a project. Surprisingly, it doesn’t need to be multiple small projects; once you get into the rhythm you lose any groggy feeling after awakening, so it’s more like you paused the whole situation instead of a massive shutdown and startup.

    Right now you may think the socializing part is the toughest part, but really the hardest part is going back to monophasic sleep knowing that you’ve experienced yourself at your most awake and productive in the Uberman.

    Good luck!

    • a student 28/07/2010 at 00:51 #

      Hey! Wow! After reading your story from start to finish (especially the climactic and worrying ending), I feel like I just got a comment from a celebrity! Your blog looked stagnant, so I assumed you’d completely forgotten about it- thank you for taking notice of my comment. (It was more a joke than anything serious, but I’m glad to have gained your attention & advice by it.)

      … Ahem. Please excuse me. One of the things I’ve noticed most over the past week is that I get really wordy in the sleepier cycles of the Uberman. I’ll try to be a bit more concise from now on.

      The adjustment period seems to be setting in nicely- I haven’t had a messup in the past day or so, and the only unusual things other than that have been one nap I completely skipped (to spend time with a friend; I just slept a little longer for the next nap and bore it) and another ‘sensory nap‘ that didn’t seem to screw with my schedule too much. I’ve stayed away from caffeine lately and been watching what I eat and observing- I’ll probably blog about it later, but the summary is that my digestion has changed a bit and now I eat four medium-sized healthier-than-normal meals a day- around the times of normal meals and then one between midnight and four. I haven’t been paying specific attention to drinking water or staying hydrated, but then, that’s never been a problem for me- I always drink several glasses of milk at dinner; I have juice or milk or water for breakfast and lunch; I’ll make myself a milkshake or just have some ice water when I’m thirsty… I’m not worried about that being a problem. I’ve also gone quasi-vegetarian. That is, I’ve tried to avoid meat, but I’ve given up several times. That, as well, doesn’t seem to be a problem. Neither is alcohol, given that I’m under the drinking age (and I hate the taste, anyway). Overall, in sum, my body knows how to take care of itself, and I trust that implicitly.

      I’ve been using Alarm Clock, as I said in an earlier post. It’s quick and it’s easy and so far, it’s the best coping strategy for the dreaded 04:00 nap – you’ll see how I deal with those if you check back in a few hours; I’m currently in the process of writing a post about the past six cycles.

      I wasn’t so sure about the forty-five minutes, either… It seems like it would help at face value, but then you realise that no matter how bad it feels, at this stage, sleep deprivation is your friend- you want it to be messing with your internal clock so that once it’s broken you can put it back together again. In a newer, better, more four-hour-based way. Anyway, I’ve mostly given up on anything longer than a half hour, and since I’m lazy, often I get to bed five minutes late- so most of my naps are down to twenty-five minutes. The one exception in the past few cycles has been when I skipped a midday nap and took an hourlong for the next one, to see if I could catch up. I’m currently seeing how that’s going to play out… So far so good.

      I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but if it’s that I’ve done a bunch of research because it’s interesting/I’m bored, you are entirely correct. I’m interested in this video journal- can you link me?

      As for the pausing feeling- I’ve already gotten that down to an art. I was in the middle of something when my last nap rolled around, and here I am now, finishing it up and starting in on the next thing I’d planned. I’m glad to say my memory (which had been affected) is getting better, too.

      You may have a point there. For now, the socialising is the toughest thing for me… I don’t doubt that that might be even more difficult, though. Which is why I’m going to see if I can continue this into the school year. Such a thing is extremely far out on the impossible spectrum, but would be oh so satisfying… We shall see. I’ve also wanted to try the dymaxion, and I’ve heard that after doing the Uberman, it’s a much easier switch than from monophasic.

      Thank you so much! And have fun hibernating, yourself. 🙂

      • Mike Burns 28/07/2010 at 17:08 #

        Socializing is totally the hard part, and the main reason why so many people quit. I had to sleep in a bar and at a few parties.

        http://www.youtube.com/user/ZeThomas – these YouTube videos were the ones I had found, and in my sleep-deprived state I had found them quite fun. During the first week, between midnight and sunrise, I basically couldn’t function so I just read blogs about Uberman and thought about how important the sun turns out to be.

        Reading about dymaxion again makes me think it would work with my current life. Perhaps I should try it …

        BTW, I love that you rate your naps.

      • a student 28/07/2010 at 21:33 #

        Thank you; I love doing it. For me it’s sort of a preview- gives the overall picture of how the nap was, and keeps people interested in what I actually did. If I rated a nap or a cycle with a one- why? That sort of thing. 😉

        Dymaxion… That is an enigma. I am pretty interesting in it, given that it would fit more easily with my schedule overall- but I want to see some research into comparing Uberman and Dymaxion before I switch now. It looks tantalising, though.

        It’s interesting. Everyone I’ve spoken of who’s done this schedule has complained about how difficult it is to stay awake during the cycles. My trouble is more with waking up out of the naps… I also haven’t really been getting any sleep deprivation, except for being slightly loopy every now and again.

        I can’t even begin to imagine sleeping at a party. Of course, I’ve just been invited somewhere for an extended period of time, and the person offered to let me nap at their place… Should be interesting, finding out what it’s like outside of my own bed.

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