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Polyphasic sleep: Day One

Well, first off, I’m a bit sleepy as I write this. But maybe even before that…zeroth off?…I do wonder how the hell to count this first day of my polyphasic sleep attempt, and also maybe whether to count it at all. Maybe I’m done with it? Depends. How long is a day, when all the sleep you ever get is in 25-minute naps? If that happens.

See, last night I slept normally and woke up around 5:00AM. So “today” I started this shenanigan, but that just means I laid m’self down for a few minutes at 5:30PM and again at 9:30PM. Didn’t go to sleep, as who’d have expected me to? But it does mean that I’ve completed all my scheduled sleep-times for Day One, if that ends around midnight or so. So I’m calling it good.

Eventually I hope to sleep for 20-25 minutes every four hours, and otherwise keep myself busy with other activities. No, I don’t know whether it’ll work. Some folks around the intertoobz claim they do it, or have done it. But it’s not many people. And they could all be lying after all. Come to think of it, they could all be virtual identities of one teenage girl down Dallas way. If she has an odd sense of humor and an above-average facility with horseshit. So…I’d say the science ain’t settled here quite as of yet.

I found out a few things already. For instance: I didn’t have much of a physical dependence on caffeine. Didn’t expect to, either, ’cause I suspect my younger self’s apparent reliance on caffeine was in fact more of a sugar-withdrawal thing, and I stay away from that stuff these days…anyway, I had a mildly and strangely pleasurably groggy couple of days when I quit drinkin’ the stuff the Friday before last. And–this part did surprise me–I’ve been able to take short naps on a few of the days since then. First naps I’ve taken in…hmm…a decade or so? I guess any caffeine at all makes ’em impossible or at least strongly improbable, but they weren’t so hard to slip into when doing without. Interesting, and maybe enough to put me off caffeine for the long haul? Either way, it’s been tough trying to get other people to drink my last pitcher of cold-brew French Roast for me, I’ll tell ya that for free. And this is in spite of the fact that my chicory gets prepared separately. Don’t other people like thick, chewy coffee that’s been brewing for a week? They should.

Not much is yet known here by me. I’ll probably type more later. I will say it’s been entertaining settin’ up my office to try to ensure I’ll wake as scheduled (I figure going to sleep will eventually take care of itself and I haven’t given that part a lot of attention so far). But…is this really going to be any harder than one of my week-long cross-country road trips? I get by fine without much sleep for those. Is this going to be harder than fasting three days a week? That turned out not to be so hard–though my wife and I did decide to try to eat normally for the last week ’cause of relatives in town. Which felt weird and gluttonous, if you were wondering. I’m looking forward to a break from all the food-shoveling. Not to mention the dish-washing and general cleaning-up.

Is this thing truly, in fact, even possible? Beats me. Oughta be a blast to find out though. For some values of “blast.”

Have fun out there!


Published inPersonalPolyphasic SleepRandom RantsWild-Ass Speculation


  1. Truth be told I have been chuckling to myself for the better part of the day, knowing as I did that this was Zero Day (not to be confused with Xero Day, which it was for me for several hours). Now I just wonder if this is just a big zero day exploit of the brain meat. The question, I suppose, is whether or not this exploit is put into the service of good or evil. Good luck, expect some calls and encouragement while you try it out. Also, some mocking. Plenty of that.

    • David

      Xero Day for me too, for a bit, as we hiked. If that was the same day. If there are still days. If stills are, then so am I. Bit sleepy, here.

      That said? I’ll look forward to the mockery. Also I think dying is an awful lot like not being in London this week, and sleeping is likely even less severe. But that doesn’t mean I have to go along with it. Either of it?

      Your mileage may vary, especially if you drive off the road. Be careful when operating heavy equipment. Even if it doesn’t belong to you. At least I assume that’s still your thing. Or, in this case…not so much.

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