Quantified Sleep


#1

I don’t have an objective baseline for my sleep patterns pre-soylent other than to say I slept a lot and found it difficult to wake up in the morning. I now use the Zeo: www.myzeo.com

My “ZQ” is about 104. Average for a 20 year old is 84, and I feel great when I wake up, despite sleeping on a $50 mattress.

Anyone else tracking their sleep patterns, or experimenting with polyphasic?


#2

I have not been tracking it formally, but I have been keeping an eye on it since I’ve been using an over-the-counter weight shake (ensure) twice a day (in place of two meals). I notice with the shakes that my sleep is more sound and restful, and that I am much more functional, even on less sleep.

I would be curious if Soylent was more effective at improving my sleep then the shake.


#3

so you are using a $200 gadget for sleep monitoring and a $50 mattress? it totally is your decision, but don’t you think you got your priorities wrong there?

just wondering…


#4

Honestly, the best I sleep I had in my life was on a cheap, rock hard mattress. Unfortunately, it broke and I had to move on…

If you are looking to improve sleep, a regular schedule helps. Also, I don’t know how much your gadget tracks, but try not to wake up till after your second REM cycle.


#5

I take a nap every day, and I would take a longer one in the dead middle of the day if I could. Polyphasic sleep has been an enormous part of my life for 8 years or so now. The benefits (for me) are innumerable. It’s one of the topics I’m most passionate about. Also did you know that before the light bulb sleeping in two periods was typical?

It seems to go great with my low-calorie soylent because with the nap I need less food overall, and it suppresses appetite.


#6

A nap every day is polyphasic sleep? I mean I guess by definition…

Anyway, I experimented with polyphasic sleep for just under two weeks. Turns out I couldn’t do it, but I think that had more to do with my job and relationship crumbling around me. I’ve been wanting to try it again, but the uberman schedule(6 naps, 20 minutes each) I think would be difficult for me, having a new job and a daughter. The Dymaxion(sp?) schedule(4 naps, 30 minutes each) would be easier to schedule, but much more difficult to conform to, especially since my body is used to the uberman.

It’s amazing, I was trying it about 5 years ago, but any time I nap I will still wakeup precisely 20 minutes after I fall asleep, I still have nightmares that I’ve napped through some important event missing it and screwing up my schedule, and I still get very sleepy after exactly 4 hours of being awake if I don’t have caffeine and am sleep deprived. Maybe it’s mental, but just two weeks left an impact for a long time.

I think the biggest problem with starting it again is that I’d have to quit caffeine! I’m so hopelessly addicted!


#7

I once heard something about the uberman type of sleeping. Seems interesting to get so little sleep but still be functional.


#8

Sure a nap every day is polyphasic sleep, or multiphasic. I consider it polyphasic anyway because it’s a realistic implementation. Sure I would like to sleep in 3 periods but I doubt that will happen. Also the “nap” can be quite long, several hours. I merely called it a nap because it’s the smaller period. Unfortunately mine must come after a 10 hour work day so it has to be very brief (35-45 minutes) or I won’t hit my bed time. Even when I was able to work entirely on my own schedule I still found a nap over an hour to be very difficult to pull off consistently due to social activities. I feel best when no single sleeping period is over, say, 5 hours however.


#9

I’ve been on a cycle for almost a year now. My personal setup is a 20 minute nap every 5 hours with a 3-4 hour block in the early morning. Couple key things I would point out to someone trying it

  • You have to learn how to nap and nap well. Only 20 minutes of sleep is not something most people are used to, I could never take a power nap before starting my schedule, but you can train yourself to do it (plenty of alarms and a bit of sleep deprivation for the first week will do it. The first week is not very fun)
  • You have to have to lead a life that will allow your naps, consistently. Your body can adjust to having these quick naps, getting more deep sleep in a shorter time, but it needs the consistency. Missing a single nap to see a movie with friends wont screw up your schedule, but missing one or more a day because your kid gets crazy around that time will set you back more than you know. The Uberman sleep schedule (only 20 minute naps, no big blocks of sleep) requires such consistency that you can’t miss a nap by more than 10 or 20 minutes.
  • This is not for everyone. You have to keep this schedule down, meaning you have to work your entire life around it. You will be forced to choose between feeling refreshed and being able to socialize at any time. Most people that get past the first month quit because they can’t fit their new life into the lives of all their friends and family. You will also be awake when no one else is, it will be dark and you will have to find something to fill the time that is worth the pain of scheduling yourself so strictly. Turns out that watching an extra 4 hours of TV every night isn’t enough to keep most people awake.

I could go on for pages on my experiences, but there are better and more thorough sources out there. I will say the best side effect of this, other than more time, I’m able to get more fulfilled and satisfying sleep than I ever have before in my life (when my schedule isn’t screwed up)


#10

That sounds awesome. What was the hardest thing for you when you first started?


#11

I’d be interested to hear your exact schedule, @boadoom! The extended morning nap sounds very attractive.

@prefinem The hardest things for me were socializing, criticism, and the dark hours. I went to a LOT of concerts 5 years ago… Car naps did NOT cut it, as I’d spend the twenty minutes trying to get comfortable as opposed to a quick but deep REM sleep. Every single person I talked to would practically berate me for it(I realize now that I don’t have to take criticism to heart, but easier said than done), and I had to hear over and over about how it’s “super dangerous”, etc. OH GOD THE DARK HOURS! So boring… So tired… I remember falling alseep with my eyes wide open at the computer, and those two weeks probably felt like a month or two; night time hours simply drag when you’re that sleepy. I lived next to a high school track and field, so I’d go on walks to help keep me awake. It would work, but about twenty minutes after I’d come in I’d be sleepy all over again. It did help kill the time.

When adhering to a serious polyphasic sleep pattern(not just Mexican siesta-style), it’s important to remember that while sleeping, your mind gets the rest, but at only 20 minutes, there’s not enough time for your body to go through its cycle. You need to have some “down” time each day. Best to do it in the day-time, until you can stay awake no problems through the night.

EDIT: Probably not the best person to listen to, since it only lasted 2 weeks with me. But I did put in a lot of research, so I feel like I have some authority on the subject.

EDIT2: boadoom’s method you probably don’t need extra downtime. 3 hours of sleep should be fineish for the body’s rest.


#12

Hardest thing was relearning how to sleep. I could never take short naps before starting this, I always either napped for an hour or more with a 50% chance of feeling worse than when I started.

When you start, you lay down, turn off all the lights, turn on some background noise and close your eyes. And if your like me, you completely fail to sleep at all. Then 5 hours later you do it again, stare at the ceiling. Finally when your big nap comes around, you usually are able to nod off for a bit.
This is where the week starts to get tough. After three hours you gotta get yourself up, and then stay up for 5 more hours.
I had to do this on a long weekend because I was functionally dead those first couple days. The first nap comes and its a blessing, but as hard as it was to get yourself out of bed after 3 hours, a 20 minute deep sleep nap is a struggle to pull yourself up from the bottom of a 20 foot swimming pool with lead weights around your eyelids.

I spent that first week or two pendulously swinging from not being able to nap a lick to not having the motivation to open an eye. Eventually it balanced out though, I can sleep at the drop of a hat now


#13

@sloan I usually get up at 6am, then nap for 20-30minutes at 11am (my lunch break), 4pm (right when I get home from work), 10pm, then finally 3-4 hours at 3am.
I like to leave my large block flexible, sometimes after a long day I need a little bit extra.


#14

Thanks guys. I have been really interested in sleep cycles like this, but haven’t actually talked to anyone who is actively following this practice. I may try this depending on my work schedule.


#15

On most days I have a solid sleep from 23h to 6h then I wake up and stay in bed rolling around until my alarm clock rings at 7h. Nothing has changed after soylent but it feels I crave less for coffee at work nowadays.


#16

Once I get my soylent I intend to go back to the uberman sleep schedule. I loved when I was only sleeping 2 hours and 20 minutes each day but it only worked out for a month and a half due to work.

I work 12 hour days with 2 30 minute breaks. So I tried to sleep every break but it rarely left me enough time to eat so I ended up having to choose between not eating all day or not getting enough sleep. So I’m hoping soylent let’s me get back to that schedule. The research I’ve done on polyphasic sleep seems to Indicate that good nutrition will effect sleep positively.