It’s been a while hasn’t it. I haven’t updated Dymaxion sleep posts in two-three weeks now. All on purpose though.
As you may have noticed, this is not my main focus on dancePROOF. I’d much rather write something to do with personal development, or love, or society, or something else thought provoking. Something that has to do with me helping people out (and not talking about myself). Thus I decided that I will write an update on my Dymaxion sleeping habits every first Monday of every month.
I also have a confession to make. I haven’t been so anal-retentive about the whole “keeping perfect track of everything I do”. You can’t blame me though, I’ve been busy. Performances to perform, schools to teach, family to take care of, business to handle, and the oh so familiar “money issues” to take care of. As you can probably see I haven’t updated my Flickr photos or my Twitter updates in about two-three weeks as well. To all those that continued to check in on them, disappointed daily due to my lack of posting, I apologize. January was a hectic month.
So here’s to February. Here’s to me finally making a “flexible” schedule so that I don’t fuck up again, and let people down. And here’s to me actually talking about what you came here for, Dymaxion sleep.
The flexible Dymaxion sleep schedule
Do you know how my third week into this whole thing felt like? Like hell. But why did the third week feel like hell even though week two turned out to be so good? Two words- missed naps.
It all started out great, perfect naps, no interruptions, and even shorter naps; I found myself waking up ahead of the alarm clock, four times! I read countless books, listened to music albums that had been gathering dust, answered most of my eMails (99.9%), caught up on unfinished work, etc. etc., basically life was fucking great. I did have two days where I slept two hours more than required, but it was on my own accord; I did it to heal my body, not because I was tired. I was sick, and by oversleeping two naps I got over it fairly quick (sleeping four hours per day for two days is still better than what most people do, especially when they too are sick). Once the whole me being sick thing was taken care of though, everything went back to being all peachy and pleasant. But it all changed once I started performing.
Let me explain. Having to perform when you should be taking a nap instead isn’t necessarily bad. It’s the consequences that suck. For the last half of January I’ve missed my nap times of 3:30 PM and/or 9:30 PM because I either had to perform, help teach classes, or shake hands with “important” people. While in the moment I don’t necessarily feel bad, but you can find me in zombie mode an hour or two after the adrenaline wears off.
A week into this and I knew I needed to find a solution, like introducing flexibility into the plan. I heard that Uberman sleepers such as Steve Pavlina over time were able to move their sleep schedules up or down 30 minutes so that it fits better with their lives. Being one to never be beat, I started introducing flexibility into my Dymaxion sleep, slowly.
I’ve been constantly moving my naps 10 minutes up and 10 minutes down, but overall keeping them the same. I want my body to realize that I will not be getting sleep at a specific time but in a specific “block” of time. My plan is to keep 60%-70% of the naps scheduled as is, but move 30%-40% of them 10 minutes up and/or down. This (hopefully) allows my body to realize that I haven’t changed my sleep schedule completely, and for it to also realize that “Arsene has a life” and that I won’t necessarily be able to sleep at a specific time.
See, I don’t want to end this whole thing, like how other people did, because it couldn’t fit into my schedule.
Why should sleep control me?
Didn’t I start this whole thing so that I could gain more control over my sleep and not the other way around?
And so far, having been on the “flexible” schedule for a little over a week now, I’ve shown sleep who’s the boss (relatively). I still feel normal, I don’t feel overwhelmingly tired anymore, and I haven’t entered zombie mode in a while. But, I also don’t take shorter naps, and I haven’t once woken up before my alarm clock. I predict this while change overtime as my body gets adjusts to the flexibility of my new Dymaxion schedule. Looking at other people’s adaptation patterns (mainly people on the Everyman schedule) this should take around two months for a complete schedule adaptation.
I also found a great site that has music tracks for us polyphasic sleepers. The tracks are all ‘white noise’ tracks that allow you to block the noises of life out. I’ve been using the 26 minute version (longest the site had) and I personally extended it to 30 minutes to fit Dymaxion sleepers. Thanks to these tracks I’ve been able to sleep in relatively noisy environments.
I really can’t tell you how much I love this whole polyphasic sleep thing (after getting past the adaptation pains). And recently I was visiting the creators website and I realized that they wrote an ENTIRE BOOK (amazon link) on polyphasic sleep. Check it out, it provides far more in-depth information than I could ever provide; not enough Dymaxion sleep info though, but that’s expected seeing as how everyone who’s ever tried it practically ended up quitting.
Someone recently asked me why I adapted to this schedule better than most people. Well, it seems I had an unfair advantage over the majority of people on Earth, I worked night shift. And here I was thinking night shifts were a curse. Turns out they helped me with:
- Staying up in the wee hours of the night (I don’t find the 3:30 AM & 9:30 AM naps as challenging as others do)
- Going for days without sleep (sometimes when working night shifts I wouldn’t sleep for three-four days)
- Sleeping while the sun is out (I learnt how to sleep with sleep masks, and when those weren’t available sleeping with the sun directly overhead was no big deal)
For the coming months, I want to finally accomplish my goal of “controlling every single dream I have” and I’ve started reading lucid dreaming books to get started. I’m going to try increasing my 10 minutes of flexibility to 20 minutes of flexibility. And, I’m also going to try posting pictures up on Flickr everyday, even though I’ve come to the conclusion that this might not happen everyday.
That’s pretty much it for January’s update. My next update will be in the first week of March (remember monthly updates only). And if you need proof as to whether or not I can still process thoughts/ideas, use this post as an example of the fact that I can still put two thoughts together and make a sentence.
photo credit: jakuza