Sleep patterns 2.0

There is something about sleep – i’m never quite satisfied with it. I’m always looking for ways to improve my quality of sleep, because i don’t think i’ve yet found my optimum sleep pattern. So alternative sleep patterns interest me greatly, although many of them seem impractical with my job, travelling, wanting to spend time with my partner, etc.

I came across the 28-hour day yesterday in an amusing comic that i like to read. Like so many sleep patterns, i love the theory! I always think 24 hours in a day seems slightly too short, and sleeping just six times in a week, for 9 hours at a time, sounds a nice idea! But i tried to map it out on a spreadsheet and i just can’t make it work, no matter how i fiddle it. I tried four days of 27 hours followed by two days of 30 hours. That didn’t work. I hoped only to go to work four times a week, missing out Mondays altogether. That didn’t work either. You just end up sleeping all of Sunday, which is less than ideal.

Hmm. If only we could just slow down the Earth’s rotation so it takes 28 hours! ;)

I’ve often flirted with the idea of trying polyphasic sleep. Actually, i could joke that i am already a polyphasic sleeper since i usually get a 20-minute nap on the train to and from work. I like to read for 20 minutes and sleep for 20 minutes. It works really well, very refreshing! I’d really love to try the Uberman schedule of 30 minutes sleep in every four hours … but that is just insanely impractical the way my life is at the moment, and for the foreseeable future!

So, to consider the more feasible sleep patterns …

Last year i tried getting up at 6am every single day, including weekends. The idea was to train my body to know when to get up, therefore it could calculate for me how much sleep i required. All i had to do was listen to my body to know when it’s time to go to sleep. Unfortunately i found i am very good at ignoring my body when it’s telling me to go to sleep!! So i had to go back to having a set bedtime. In theory it was 10pm, though in practice i often missed it.

Whilst on holiday i had a lot of sleep, but i was surprised to find it didn’t really alleviate my tiredness throughout the day. It seemed the more sleep i got the more i felt i needed. Just recently i’ve heard that the optimum is 7 hours sleep, not 8. So currently i am trying to get exactly 7 hours every night. The plan is to be in bed by 11pm and read or listen to music until 11:30pm. I want to relax myself enough so that when the light goes out i fall straight to sleep. I get up at 6:30am, and will continue to do this at weekends. Getting up early is good for me.


8 comments on “Sleep patterns 2.0

  1. XKCD is often quite funny!

    (too braindead on my day off to think about the details of your post. Later!)

  2. The best part of the xkcd strip is the alt text on the image — it’s often the real punchline of the comic.

    For example the alt text on the sleep patterns comic reads:

    Small print: this schedule will eventually drive one stark raving mad.

  3. I’m trying out the Uberman Schedule next summer with my best friend. I read a biography once, and at one point this guy and his friend decided to try it out. They ended up hallucinating though and finding it impossible to keep their eyes open. Ever been so tired that you occasionally lapse into sleep for a few seconds without even realizing it then waking with a start, over and over, while everyone around you wonders why your head keeps bobbing up and down? Apparently you end up like that for the first 10-15 days while you’re adjusting to the new schedule!

  4. Oh yes, i have been that tired a few times. Once was in a prayer meeting, which was terribly embarrassing, haha!

    However, i gather the best way to enter the Uberman schedule is by sleep deprivation, so that when you do allow yourself to sleep for 30 minutes you can get into a deep sleep right away.

    I’ll be interested to hear your experiences on the schedule. I doubt i’ll ever get a chance to try it, but i do believe it can work well.

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