The quest continues!
I’m back to sleeping every nap. And falling asleep in less than 10mn every time. Waking up at 2am feels easy (with a soft alarm) and I can get to work after 10 or 15mn. I’m starting to look for patterns to try and optimize the naps and their phases. According to the literature some of the critical things are:
- Timing of the nap (not too late, not too early. On everyman 1/2h to 1h of margin is recommended)
This obviously has social consequences as one cannot make an exception in the middle of a party, a movie or a crucial meeting with a customer (“If you’ll excuse me I’m going to bed, thank you!“). One has to avoid getting caught by brilliant ideas for hours …(or at least put the inspiration on hold for 20mn!). I’ll try to document this better. When I’m fully adapted I might carry out some controlled experiments shifting naps around.
- Duration of the nap (trying to wake up in REM or at the end not to feel groggy)
Waking up in REM (feeling like you just got out of a dream) feels more refreshing. I can definitely confirm this. Waking up from light sleep makes me tired … but I don’t have much data for waking up in deep sleep. I’ll let you know when I get more statistically significant results.
- Diet, caffeine, sport, stress
It is quite astonishing that although I sleep around 4.5h/day I don’t consume any caffeine. This has to be one of the hardest parts of the experiment. I love the smell or morning coffee and I certainly look like a drug addict staring at my girlfriend’s cup in the morning … Gimme your coffee!!! But fortunately she’s supportive and drinks it quickly keeping temptation at bay. It’s quite possible that a sip of coffee tripped the whole experiment last week, so I’m just trying to adapt. Stress is yet to manifest its consequences … but I do have good self-control in that department. Concerning sport I’m taking it very easy for now. I’m pushing my body to new limits, so I don’t want to overexert it with sore muscles. However I continue with light sport (quick walk, cycle or jogg) and will increase intensity when I feel ready and strong.
Check out the last 7 days below,
(click to enlarge):
Note that the right column shows the total number of hours slept.
(2012/03/18, (2:30, 4, “just woke up”), (3:40, 5, “getting there”), (2:54, 7, “computer work”), (3:40, 6.5, “web design”) ,(4:14,5, “time for break”), (4:20,7, “eat orange with honey”), (4:45,6,”tired eyes”) ,(5:00,4,”occasional nod off”), (6:30,4,”ready to nap”), (7:20,8,”very refreshed”),(11:20,7,”good to work”),(12:00,6,”not tired enough for nap”), (12:30,6,”nap”),(13:00) … ok all afternoon evening until 23h)