I think I might try Polyphasic sleeping patterns sometime in the coming weeks. I would have to rework my schedule a bit so that I can take the required naps. Brad from BS list had an interesting take on it, and since Brad see’s fit not to share his wisdom in a convenient forum or personal log, I will post his most enlightening response. Brad: I think there may be a bit of wrong inference to this methodology. While the results reported may certainly be authentic, they may be neglectful of the body’s ability to adapt and that this is most likely an adaptive sleep pattern, and not necessarily either a healthful or healthy one.
My suspicion would be that this sort of sleep cycle would be an evolutionary/survival mechanism. When the body and mind are deprived of sleep, or suddenly put to short cycles like these described, the pattern is to dive immediately and deeply into REM sleep, without the usual cycle/delay. Human brain generally takes between 30-120min to enter its first REM cycle, then goes in and out on 30min cycles.
These brief, intense periods of REM, combined with their brevity tend to make for more memorable dreams, I think, by simple virtue of the fact that one has no chance to forget them, and even less likelihood that they’ll rub their eyes and disrupt the patterns that have been fired upstream from the optic nerve. (that’s no shit, by the way - sleep research has confirmed that the brain will actually generate images and fire them back up the optic nerve and imprint them on the eye of the sleeper as though they’d been awake and experienced them for “real”)
This accounts for the short-term productivity of these “power naps”. Men in time of warfare, where sleep is intermittent at best tend to slip into this. But one will also note that a common admonition of the infantryman to any ‘greenie’ is to take advantage of any and all extended opportunities in which to sleep, without fail.
I would definitely not call this an advantageous regimen, except as a short-term “hack”, of necessity. For starters, anyone on the tail end of, or exiting, their twenties is likely to begin experiencing less productive or, at the very least, significantly different sleep patterns from their younger years. Declining or changing levels of neurohormones are just a fact (pregnenolone, DHEA, acetylcholine, melatonin, HGH, etc).
You want more productive sleep, here are some guidelines I’ve found useful:
- keep hydrated (this should be the first general order for survival, in all cases, pretty much)
- go to bed hungry/empty-stomached, and most certainly avoid any sugar intake of any kind within at least a couple of hours of bedtime
- a little exercise before/around bedtime ain’t a bad idea, either
- try a small dose of melatonin once in a while (start with 1-3mg and increase until you wake up groggy, then cut back 1mg; that’s how you know your dose)
- for really vivid dreams, one can also use a stout dose, liquid if possible, of B-12 (cyanacobalomin) before bed, but you’ll adapt to this effect before long, so you’ll have to cycle it if you want to have it again; I would definitely recommend against taking any total B-vitamin supplements, or taking DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) anywhere around bed, if you want to get any restful sleep
- try to sleep where morning sun will hit your face, and leave the shade open so this will happen; it tends to reinforce your circadian cycles. I’ve found it tends to help one awaken in the morning and feel less groggy. I’m one of those who tend to sleep a lot before satisfied (like 9-12 hours), and it was a surprise (though it shouldn’t have been ) to me how big a difference this makes.
- finally, and this is a big one: if you absolutely must use an alarm clock to make sure you’re up by a certain time, set it to awaken you when you are out of REM sleep. You need to map your cycles, based on the pattern I described above. You wake up during a dreaming/REM cycle, you’re gonna feel like fuckpie, so don’ do dat. HTH Smaug
My reply to his post, was mostly in regards to the suggestions for better sleep. I agree with him for the most part, and have taken a few steps which I think will help with my bad sleeping. I have started to drink a lot of water, about a gallon a day. I had tried melatonin, however believe it to be only good for short periods of time, and not in large doses as the body will shut down production and then you are really SOL. I think the B-12 looks the most interesting. I have only one disagreement, and that that is that exercise around bedtime seems to always make me more awake.