I’ve decided to try a little experiment with my sleep pattern. I’ve been reading a little bit here and there about biphasic and polyphasic sleep, and decided it might be an interesting thing to try. I’m not going to go with the polyphasic sleep (basically you take short naps at regular intervals throughout the day and end up with about 2 hours sleep total) because I don’t have a schedule that allows me to take naps and the jury is still out on whether or not getting so little sleep, but at regular intervals throughout the day, is enough. People who have to be awake a lot, like astronauts or around-the-world sailors, supposedly get by with this kind of sleep but I don’t think I could.

So I decided to try the biphasic sleep instead. What this means is that I’ll go to sleep a little earlier, sleep for a few hours, wake up for an hour or so, and then sleep for a few more hours. This, supposedly, is what people used to do before the invention of the light bulb. They’d come home after a day of hard work, be tired enough to fall asleep early in the evening, wake up later with renewed energy and spend some time praying, thinking about their dreams, talking, or, as the web sites say, “making love.” Then they’d sleep some more and wake up early for another day of work.

Last night I went to bed at 9pm, woke up at 1, read for an hour, then went back to sleep until 7. If you add that up you’re thinking, big deal, that’s 9 hours of sleep. That’s true, but I didn’t want to jump right into getting less sleep the first night, so I slept for a little longer. Tonight I’ll go for a 4 hour/4 hour split, and then eventually I’ll be sleeping about 6 hours a night. I don’t want to go any less than 6 hours because I don’t want to get into real sleep deprivation stuff. If I can get 6 hours and be as awake as I usually am with 8 or 9, I’ll keep doing the biphasic thing. I’d like to get into a sleep 9-12/read 12-1/sleep 1-4 routine. Some advantages would be that I would have more time to do my schoolwork, I’d be at the studio early in the morning when nobody else is there yet, I could use the morning time to run or work out, and I get an hour of uninterrupted reading/meditation time to myself. Since I don’t have anyone with which to have sex during that hour, I’ll just read a book.

So we’ll see how it goes.


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