Biphasic Sleep For Musicians - Day 2

I set my timer last night for 4hr 45mins. I figured that I would be able to get to sleep easily because I was so tired. I would say I slept for about 4.5 hours, which is the perfect amount for this sleep schedule.

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Yesterday, I needed Michael's encouragement to wake up. He was much more apt than me to wake up.

But today, I was the one up and at 'em! I woke up, and was incredibly tired and groggy, but I was still able to wake up to the alarm and start getting ready for my day. Mike, on the other hand, had a lot of trouble getting up. 

I think the difference between us, was that Mike had been drinking coffee during our experiment.

I have read about the effect coffee has on your REM sleep, and decided that I would avoid caffeine altogether during the experiment. He did not, and I think it's making it hard for him to deal with.

Yesterday, I was feeling fine within a few minutes of waking up. Today, even an hour after waking up I was still feeling fairly wacky, although not drowsy once I had taken the time to wash my face and whatnot.

My body just feels fragile. Although I might not be particularly drowsy, I'm droopy! I can tell that my body is really demanding some sleep from me, and that I'm starting to get a bit deprived of sleep. I know that if I can just keep this going for a few more days, I should start to adjust to the schedule, but for now  it's rather unpleasant.

I would take this time to say that if I didn't have a friend keeping me accountable (and the expectation of keeping him accountable), I might not have followed through with this today. Having a friend who is just as committed as you really makes a huge difference, and might even determine the success of your experiment.

Even at 7:45am, I found myself just looking forward to my evening nap. 

Yesterday I found myself quite drowsy around 4pm, so I'm considering that I might want to take my nap then, instead of late at 7pm. I'll consider how I'm feeling around that time, and react accordingly.

  • 9:20am - Feeling motivated and happy to be awake and productive, still tired.
  • 9:30am - Eating at this time made me more alert. 
  • 10:30am - The last 45 minutes has been BRUTAL. I am consistently tired, needing to nap, and almost nodding off every 5 minutes if I stay still for too long.
  • 12:30pm - Very sleepy & tempted to just sleep for hours on end. After doing some more reading on this sleep schedule, I found out I can play around more with the times of my nap. The general consensus was that it's a good idea to have my nap within 7-10 hours of waking up initially.
  • 12:40-2:00pm - I decided that I would follow the advice I read and took my nap much earlier today. I was able to get to sleep within about 10 minutes, but I only got about 5 minutes of sleep before I was woken up by some loud motorcycles outside of my building. This really put a hamper on my sleep as I wasn't able to get back to bed, so I only got about 5, maybe 10 minutes of sleep during this whole period.
  • 8-9pm - I ended up taking another nap much later to make up for the one that got messed up. I was able to sleep for a full hour, which helped a lot.

I'm finding that NOT staying busy is a recipe for getting drowsy. I find myself very motivated to work, or to go outside and take a bike ride, 

After I had my first 5 minute nap, drowsiness wasn't really as big of an issue. I would occasionally have a bout of it, but the main issue I've been having is really just...being incredibly haggard. 

I had some business meetings to do, and they really ended up being quite painful for me (bar just a few particularly interesting portions of them). If I were to do this again, I'm not sure if I would recommend having any pressing appointments waiting for me.

I've generally just been feeling pressure on my head (around my eyes), and at one point I described my condition to Mike as "it feels like my eyesballs fell out of their sockets, and now my brain has gotten very hot and is melting and falling out of my eye holes".

I might have been being a bit dramatic.

I've had the thought of giving it up many times today, but I feel an onus to really give the experiment my all and follow through for the sake of everyone reading here.

Dealing With Doubts

I think the biggest doubt for me, is that this isn't an incredibly well-documented sleep pattern. Other than a few stories online, there really hasn't been a lot of research done on this particular type of sleep pattern, so it can feel very isolating to know that it might not even work out.

In the end, I decided that even if I get 10-14 days into it, and it doesn't work, then I doubt there will be any serious health risks that I can't recover from with some extra sleep. 

I've known people to go with only 5 hours of sleep for years, and although that was detrimental to their health at the time, that's less sleep per day than me, and it's also for an extended period of time (years).

I think if this type of thing wasn't working and I was doing it for several months, I might be concerned for my health. But because it's only a max of two weeks (and longer if I start to feel better during it), I'm not too worried about my health being impacted to any permanent degree.

I definitely am finding the whole general "sick" feeling being the hardest part about this, but doing interesting things really helps.

I decided to do some archery around 6:30pm, and I found myself not affected at all by my sleep. I was able to hit the targets pretty well, and I didn't even feel particularly tired, as there was a cool wind outside, keeping me alert.

I tried doing the Psychomotor Vigilance Test to see what my reaction time was. I don't see it as being of any big consequence if I score poorly at this point, as I've fully expected my 2nd & 3rd days to be the worst and least functioning days for me.

I scored an average of 355 milliseconds response time, which is seen as "suboptimal", but I felt that I did fairly well on it. I'll have to try it again tomorrow and see how it differs.

I think it's more important to measure how I compare to my future scores, rather than some arbitrary rating of what a "proper reaction time" is.

I also should mention that a few portions of my test were skewed. There was at least one time where I accidentally scored over 900 milliseconds because my mouse clicker didn't work right.

Why don't you go and try the test yourself to see how you do, so you have a reference point to compare your scores to mine?

It's currently just after midnight, so I'll be writing some more about it tomorrow. 

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.