It's been over a year since my last update. I've been continuing to log my sleeps on my sleep chart, and now I've added a dream diary to it. I've also been tracking some important changes that I've been making in the 'my missions' page. This blog is something that I like to use to log experiments and relatively short term projects, especially that don't fit into any of the other categories.

Before I go into details of my latest experiment I'm just going to give a short update on my sleeping pattern.

Biphasic Sleep May 2013 to May 2014

I've been sleeping biphasically for 1 year and 10 months now, and I'm still enjoying my sleeping pattern. I've recently made the switch from being employed to starting my own business, and having 2 'mornings' in a day is something that I think is great for my productivity. Sometimes after programming for a few hours I can feel myself slowing down, and the best thing to get back into the swing of things is a couple of hours asleep to recharge, and then I can work quickly and efficiently again.

My daily routine tends to be as follows:

5:00amWake up, clean teeth, cup of tea
5:15amTurn on the computer, check emails, type up my sleep comments and any dreams. Sometimes do half an hour or freelancing work (especially if I have to launch some changes to a client's site)
6:00amMake breakfast
6:30amHalf an hour freelancing work
7:00amWake Yu Lee up. Sometimes make her breakfast and a packed lunch
7:30amFreelance work
10:30amLunch time
11:30amIf I'm tired I go to bed early. If it's sunny I sit in the garden and have a beer. Otherwise I tend to relax and watch You Tube videos for a while
12:30pmNap Time
3:00pmWake up, clean teeth, shower, cup of tea
3:30pmFreelance work
6:00pmDinner time
11:30pmBed time

Obviously nothing is set in stone, and I often do a bit of work in the other slots. Sometimes if it's a nice day I'll spend more time outside and do a bit of gardening, but this is the general pattern. The main thing is that my sleeping pattern helps me get as much done in the afternoon as the morning, without feeling like I've been grinding away all day.

When I started setting my alarm at 5:00am each day, one of the main motivations for that was that I was working part time at WorldPay, and also doing some of my freelancing work on the side. It was helpful to get up and do a couple of hours freelancing work before heading off at 7:30am to go to my 'day job'. I also took my nap at around 12:30pm and was always pretty tired, and started having longer and longer naps.

Now that I don't have my 'day job' any more (or I only have my day job - whichever way you look at it) I don't need to get up and do a couple of hours or work each morning before having a big chunk of my day taken up by something else. I really don't have anywhere that I need to be most days, and I can pretty much do whatever I want.

Sleeping With an Alarm Clock

I've conditioned myself to jump out of bed at 5:00am and turn the alarm off quickly, and this has become a consistent part of my morning routine. Although this is an effective way to get up each morning, it's not the most pleasant way to wake up and sometimes I do wake up feeling very tired. Recently I've been thinking that it would be much more pleasant to get up without it.

Oneproblem with my alarm is that Yu Lee has become totally immune to it. She says it's harder for her to use an alarm when she needs to because she is used to mine going off and has learnt to sleep through it. This is one of the reasons that I wake her every morning.

Another problem with relying on the alarm is that when I accidentally turn it off or set it wrong I will tend to sleep in for a long time. If I wake up in the morning and the alarm hasn't gone off, I instantly think "the alarm hasn't gone off yet, therefore I don't need to get up yet." This leads to me feeling groggy when I do wake up and sleeping in for a long time.

There are numerous other disadvantages: having to set an alarm when I go somewhere; not being able to easily catch up on a little sleep when I'm sleep deprived; the fact that the alarm going off seems to pretty much erase any memories of dreams that I've had. Basically it's an unpleasant, unenjoyable way to start the day!

Sleeping Without and Alarm Clock

For the next week or two I will be seeing what happens if I don't set an alarm in the morning. I'm hoping that I will keep my biphasic sleeping pattern, but possibly spend a little less time napping and a little more time in my core sleep. Hopefully I will still get up early each day, but if I do start getting up slightly later it's not really a problem as I have no commitments in the mornings.

Throughout this experiment I intend to use the following rule to decide if I will get up or not: When I wake up, if it's later than 4:00am, I will get up.

If my sleeping pattern starts to slip a little I might try setting the alarm for 6:00am, and keeping it in mind that the alarm is a final resort, and that I should generally be getting up before the alarm. If my sleeping pattern continues to slip I will probably have to ditch this experiment and accept that I'm stuck with the alarm for life!

Either way, I will definitely write some updates on here so that you can read whether it worked or not.

Day 1

I'm not going to give daily updates, but as I'm writing this I might as well say how it went this morning!

Today I woke up naturally at 5:15am. I then dozed off for about 10 minutes, and then got out of bed. I felt a little tired, but it was nice not to be jolted out of bed by the alarm.

The surprising thing is that after my lapse of willpower when I let myself go back to sleep, that I only dozed for 10 minutes and still managed to get up on my own. This is hopeful!