Do you remember that feeling when you retreated to the deepest recesses of the library to buckle down and pour over your books and notes for hours in seclusion…only to find out you got a C- on that big exam?
That’s where I’m at now with this sleep experiment. My daytime naps are predictably going well. But now, I have slept through my late night naps two nights in a row. This morning after my 4 AM nap Gracie, my sister, woke me up, I acknowledged and thanked her, continued lying in bed, and eventually drifted back to sleep around 6 after mindlessly tweeting about my nap. Until 10:30 AM…
I’ll explain why this is not a good situation.
The objective of sleeping less is to reach REM faster and more efficiently. Instead of sleeping for 90 minutes and then finally hitting REM in monophasic sleep, I am trying to achieve REM within minutes of my 20-minute nap. This will give me a greater percentage of REM time per sleep. However, this shift from taking 90 minutes to taking a few minutes to reach REM is a practice and requires mental rewiring. This rewiring looks a lot like sleep deprivation. In sleep deprivation I will not be reaching REM at all. After a few days of teasing my brain with no REM, my brain will desperately begin finding REM wherever it can, which will be in the 20-minute naps every 4 hours. Eventually my sleep deprivation will cease as I can tap into the all-valuable REM quickly.
Sleeping in does NOT allow me to go into deprivation mode (also called Adaptation Phase). On Day zero of this experiment I purposely did not sleep for 25 hours to expedite the sleep deprivation process (also called Exaptation Phase). Then Day one and two were supposed to be the first days that I adhered to the nap schedule.
Where I’m at:
I want to follow this lifestyle for at least a couple of months – ideally longer though. It is vital for me to get into sleep deprivation/Adaptation mode. Because I basically hit the reset button this morning by essentially getting a full night’s sleep, I am going to completely hit the restart button on Operation Hack Sleep. Therefore, I’m re-entering Exaptation Phase again. My next sleep will be at 12 PM tomorrow with the hopes that the noon, 4 PM, 8 PM, and midnight naps will be relatively easy to wake up and stay awake after.