I’ve had pretty long discussions with a couple of friends of mine about how my natural sleep pattern is one of my worst enemies. I am basically a night owl, enjoying the hours of 11 PM to 4 AM to get my work done. I once had a job that matched this sleep pattern. Unfortunately, for the last 2.5 years I have worked a “day” job, and apart from weekends, I wake up most mornings feeling like I’d been out partying all night with crack addicts who’ve been snacking on chocolate flavoured energiser bunnies. The end result is for the past 2.5 years I’ve been getting roughly 6 hours of sleep a night during the week, much to the detriment of my work and social life. I go to work exhausted, with my energy levels only picking up around mid afternoon (which these days is after I have left work). Friday nights I rarely venture out just because my sleep tax had built up and I felt so damn tired and grumpy. However, I have recently re-discovered (I had heard of it before) polyphasic sleep.
The main idea behind polyphasic sleep is that most of the time we spend asleep is useless to us. What we need to be doing is maximise our periods of REM sleep in order to restore our energy. This involves cutting back on our lengthy periods of sleep, and having power naps instead.
Now why didn’t I just nap before? In the past I found that if I slept during the day I woke up feeling worse than when I went to sleep. I have discovered, after some experimentation, that the trick is to keep the naps short. I set an alarm for 30 minutes and hit the hay. It usually takes me about 10 minutes to fall asleep, giving me the ideal amount of power napping time!
For more details you can check out this site:
This site breaks down the patterns of sleep you should be working towards. Since my natural pattern of sleep for the last couple of years has hovered around 6.5 hours, I am trying the siesta pattern and will see how it works. Today is actually day one, and I am feeling pretty good. Went to bed at about 1 AM last night, got up at about 7 AM this morning, and had a nap at about 4 PM this afternoon. It’s now 12.40 AM and all I am going to do is put on the finishing touches on this piece, and then I’m going to hit club duvet.