Stephen Brown's Blog

Biphasic Day 58 - Missed a Nap

Posted Tuesday 30 October 2012 00:31 by Steve in Sleep

Click here to view today’s sleep log

Just when I was saying how well things were going, today was not so good and I actually missed a nap for the first time in over a month!

I was feeling quite tired today at work, especially between 12:30 and 3:30. I think that is the natural time to take a nap so I normally feel a bit sleepy around then, but today I felt sleepier than usual.

When I got home from work at 4:15 I drank some camomile tea and went to bed just after half past. I laid in bed for over an hour but I could not sleep. Afterwards I felt really frustrated and went downstairs for a cup of tea. As I didn't sleep for my nap I actually allowed myself to have 2 cups of tea instead of the usual 1.

Tonight I feel quite tired, but it's nothing I can't handle. It is 12:30am now and I have decided not to go to bed too early so that I can easily sleep for my nap tomorrow and hopefully get back into the swing of things.

I actually blame the clocks going back for my trouble sleeping today. Normally, if I go for my nap at 5:00pm or later I find it really hard to sleep, and as I went to bed at 4:30 it was actually the equivalent of 5:30 if the clocks hadn't gone back. I think my body is still on the old time and it may take a day or two to adjust.

Now I am going to clean my teeth and go to bed and hopefully fall asleep very quickly!

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Biphasic Week 8

Posted Monday 29 October 2012 00:00 by Steve in Sleep

Today is day 57 of my biphasic sleep pattern, so I have been sleeping like this for nearly 2 months! During this time, I have only slept for 7 consecutive hours twice, and I have napped all but 5 days. This sleeping pattern is definitely something that I would like to continue, and I am definitely getting used to it, but I am still hesitant to say that I am 100% adapted.

During most of this time, the thing that has really surprised me has been that I have found it easier to get to sleep for my naps than I have for my core (night) sleep. Most days I think I have fallen asleep within 5-10 minutes for my naps, but it often takes me half an hour to drift off at night.

The worst part of this period in regards to my sleep has definitely been the period between the 2nd and 12th October, due to some problems that I had falling asleep at night. Throughout this period, every time that I went to bed I would hear a very low pitched noise that sounded like it could have been a subwoofer playing a very deep bass line in the next house. The noise was not very loud, and Yu Lee couldn't even hear it, but I think this was because it was at the lower end of the range of frequencies that people can hear, and I think she can't detect these frequencies.

It wasn't the volume of the noise that bothered me, but the pitch, and for some reason it would aggravate me and prevent me from sleeping. Sometimes I would find myself getting angry which makes it nearly impossible to sleep, and sometimes I would even find myself holding my breath to 'try' to hear it!

Eventually I went round to my neighbour's to talk to him about it, and he told me that he comes in from work late and goes straight up to bed, sometimes using a small tv in his bedroom up against the wall on the other side of the house. From what he was saying I don't think it could have been music or television noise from his house, and by this time I didn't have a clue what it was. Two days later the noise mysteriously stopped and hasn't returned since!

The first few times that I heard it, it didn't bother me too much as it is acceptable to hear your neighbours from time to time. As the weeks went on I became more and more upset by it, and after 10 days of having my sleep disrupted every single night I was becoming miserable. Luckily it's over now so I just have to hope that it won't come back.

This week has also seen another slight change in my sleep - I am beginning to find it more difficult to fall asleep for my naps. This has really only been happening for the past week or so, but I'm hoping it is just a temporary thing as I am having to dedicate a bit more time to falling asleep at the moment.

When I am napping, I have found that all of the tricks I used to use on Everyman don't work anymore (things like counting my breaths), and that I actually find it so much effort to 'clear my mind' that it normally prevents me from sleeping. Instead, I find that I normally drift off to sleep best when I just let my mind wander. Normally I will be thinking lots of thoughts that lead into one another, and they get more and more nonsensical until I eventually drift off to sleep. It's very hard to force my brain into doing this unless it does it by itself, and the best I can normally do is to try and steer my train of thought away from anything stressful.

Apart from these minor issues, everything else has been great! I would say that on this sleeping pattern I feel slightly tired a bit more often than on monophasic, but I have a lot less times where I feel really tired.

Before I would often completely ruin my sleeping pattern at the weekend, and Monday and Tuesday mornings I would be like a zombie. With the new sleeping pattern every day is pretty much the same, and I only feel tired briefly before and after each sleep. I often find that I come over sleepy around 2:00pm (the same as on monophasic), but I can easily stay awake until 1:00am and the night is not really a struggle.

The hardest thing overall would probably be the fact that I really have to watch my levels of tea consumption! I always said it would be harder to give up tea than beer, and I think this has proved me right as I really miss being able to drink 5 or 6 cups of tea each day. I now limit myself to 2 cups in the morning and 1 cup straight after my nap, but I often wish I could have a couple more.

Finally, the things that have surprised me most have been that I have not minded cutting back on my alcohol intake (I think it is about a third what is was before) and that I absolutely love the period between 6:00am and 7:30am, which is equally good for playing video games or working on my own programming projects before work. I have also been drinking a lot more milk than before, mainly on my cereal but also sometimes when I get in from work.

That's it for now! I'll try and write another update in a month or so...

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Five Weeks of Biphasic Sleep

Posted Saturday 06 October 2012 23:35 by Steve in Sleep

Today is day 35 of my biphasic sleep experiment. Click here to view today’s sleep log.

Today marks the end of the fifth week of biphasic sleep for me, and I think that I am really starting to adapt to this sleeping pattern. Over the past week I have been sleeping about 6.5 hours each day, and I have had no troubles keeping to my schedule.

Today was pretty uneventful: I slept well last night and slept well for my nap this afternoon. This is basically the same as every other day this week, and this was actually the first full week where I kept to my schedule for 7 consecutive days.

As the days are becoming much more consistent, I think it would be pretty boring to continue with my daily updates, so I am going to post less frequently from now on. I will still try to post updates from time to time, especially if I end up giving up my sleep pattern, as I found a lot of bloggers seem to just lose interest and you can never tell if they were successful or not.

I think it is still too early to call this experiment a success as I still don't think I am 100% adapted. I am getting used to my sleeping pattern, and it is generally easy to fall asleep for my naps, but I still have a few things that I need to improve on.

The main thing that is not 100% correct at the moment is that I still feel that I am not quite sleeping enough. As the weeks go on, I tend to feel slightly more tired each day, and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it yet. I tried to go to bed early a few times this week but it didn't help as I couldn't fall asleep, although I can't tell if that was due to noises coming from next door, from drinking too much tea, or simply that I wasn't actually tired enough. Over the next few days I will experiment and see if I can figure out how to pay off this sleep debt, maybe by going to bed early 1 or 2 days a week. It's not a huge deal though as I think I only need 2 or 3 extra hours each week.

The other thing that I think I really need to do before I can call this a success is to skip my nap and recover from it without feeling knackered the next day. I am not really willing to purposefully skip my nap so I guess this will wait until something comes up again.

Apart from that I think this new pattern is great! I love my routine of getting up early and then sleeping after work, and generally I have a lot of energy. I sometimes feel tired in the evenings now, but before when I was sleeping monophasically I would frequently feel tired in the mornings.

The other unexpected side-effect from my new sleeping pattern is that I am saving a lot of money! I have cut my alcohol intake down to at least a third of what it was, and I have also been making my own breakfast and lunch before work. Before I was buying a bacon roll for breakfast most days, and a sandwich at lunchtime, so I was spending about £5 - £6 a day on food. Now I am eating cereal in the morning before work, and making my own sandwiches which are a lot cheaper and are actually nicer. As a bonus I think this is healthier too! I was often spending about £5 a day on beer as well, so I think I am saving something like an average of £8 each day, which is a nearly £250 each month.

There's not much else to say on this at the moment! I will try to write at least 1 post each week for a while, but I intend to post less frequently over time. Now it's 11:30pm and I might take an early night and be in bed by midnight, and then another early start tomorrow...

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Biphasic Day 34

Posted Saturday 06 October 2012 00:35 by Steve in Sleep

Click here to view today’s sleep log

Last night I went out for dinner with Yu Lee, and had a couple of (small) beers with my dinner. Afterwards I felt pretty tired, but I waited until just before 1:00am to go to bed.

When I woke up this morning I was really tired and didn't want to get up! I think it was probably the most tired I have felt in the morning for a while. After about 1.5 hours the tiredness faded away, but I was slightly sleepy all day.

In the afternoon I really felt like I needed a nap. I think it was the combination of the tiredness coming back from earlier, and the fact that the work I have at the moment is incredibly dull, but I could have easily gone to sleep any time between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

After work I felt slightly more awake, but I still managed to sleep pretty quickly and had a good nap. I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm went off and felt really refreshed. The trouble is that it is getting cold now so it was hard to drag myself out of bed after my nap!

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Biphasic Day 33

Posted Thursday 04 October 2012 23:30 by Steve in Sleep

Click here to view today’s sleep log

Last night I went to bed at 12:30, but I didn't fall asleep until just after 1:00. I think, once again, this is due to drinking too much caffeine. I had 2 cups of tea last night, and it seems I can only get away with drinking 1 cup of tea straight after my nap. It's a shame because I love tea!

Today I felt fine all day with hardly any tiredness, and when I got home I fell asleep for my nap straight away. I had an awesome nap, and when I woke up I was totally confused! I don't know why I was confused, as I used my ipod to wake up which is completely different to my vibrating alarm, but it took me at least 30 seconds to figure out that it wasn't morning.

I was dreaming when I woke up, and I felt refreshed afterwards. I think I am about 90% adapted to this sleeping pattern now!

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