October 31, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 13

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-3am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.


Today I move to the next segment of Phase Two, with a core sleep of five hours.  Getting up was not overly difficult, but I felt some pretty significant tiredness and yawning for the first hour or so after waking.  Due to yesterday's sleep schedule variance, I was thrown off a bit on my core nap for today, getting to sleep around midnight.  Thus I tried to do a gradual return to my scheduled sleep times.

I'll be reminding myself that I'm close to the end of Phase Two - just one more segment after this until I essentially make it to Phase Three and thus my final adaptation period.

The first two naps today were great - dropped into a heavy sleep about halfway through, and it definitely seemed longer than twenty minutes.  The third nap felt a bit lighter, but overall, I'm marking this as progress in my book.  Once I can consistently enter a heavy sleep for all three naps, I should be well on my way to making it through adaptation (I already get consistent heavy sleep from my core nap).

Updated vitals.

October 30, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 12

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Ugh. I did not want to wake up this morning, although I still sprung out of bed fairly quickly.  Still felt pretty tired for a good bit after I got up; previously this had dissipated much faster.  I imagine there's a sliding scale, whereby in the beginning of Phase Two my body is still able to compensate and hasn't yet truly altered it's real sleeping cycle, and closer to the end (or perhaps in Phase Three entirely) whereby my body finally decompensates and thus finally adjusts my sleep cycle.  If this is true, I surmise I may be at the beginning of my body's decompensation (which is not scary in this context and actually needed to return to return to restorative sleep).

I was actually able to dream during my first nap of the day, which I count as progress, since my first nap has previously been fairly light in nature.  Due to some not-unexpected but also not-avoidable busyness at work, however, my timing for the second and third naps were thrown off, on the order of three hours. This is certainly not good for adaptation purposes - perhaps unsurprisingly, those naps were both very light, although nonetheless felt restorative in some capacity, which continues to amaze me.  I don't experience any drop in consciousness or recall any dreams, yet even after such light naps I don't feel quite as tired and usually get a small bit of energy too.  Interesting.

Updated vitals.

October 29, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 11

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Today I woke up surprisingly quickly, and although I was plagued with some pretty strong sleepiness signals, it started to fade a little once I started shaving and moving around.  From what I've read (and seem to be confirming), it's vital to have activities and whatnot to keep you occupied and busy while you're going through adaptation.  I haven't made a giant list of things to do - at least, not a physical one - but I suspect I should make one soon in case I find myself with the mental capacities of a gnat trying trying to remember the grandiose plans he had when he was a burly tsetse fly.

I got home from work later than I usually do on account of an errand, and didn't get to my third nap until about 1.5 hours after it was supposed to take place.  I debated whether to skip it entirely, but I've read enough warnings to know that probably would be far worse than having a delayed nap.

Naps were ok today, but didn't feel overly restorative (nor were they particularly heavy).  While I was tired now and then, I didn't feel overly so.  It could be due to having a more-hectic-than-usual day today.  *shrugs*  It'll be the weekend soon, and whether I'm sleepy or not, I'm certainly looking forward to one thing - just relaxing and taking a break.

Vitals. fresh off the press!

October 28, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 10

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Today began well.  Getting up was slightly difficult, but not nearly as much as yesterday.  I don't have a lingering feeling of tiredness, and just simply seem awake.  If I recall correctly, it took around the middle to end of last week for me to stop feeling as tired and become accustomed to the new schedule as well.  If this behavior continues week after week for Phase Two, and the time to adaptation stays around the same (4-6 days), we may have some useful data to bring back to the community.  I shall keep note of this.

Naps were fairly good throughout the day - not heavy, but I'd say medium quality, and almost all equally so (which is new).  I had to rest my eyes briefly on the train going into work, but otherwise didn't have a problem staying awake, nor was I yawning excessively.  All in all, a pretty good day.  Still feel like I can do this.

Updated vitals here.

October 27, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 9

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Getting up today was fairly easy, at little too easy, as it turns out.  Over the weekend, I had gone to bed about 1 - 1.5 hours later than my normal time.  With Everyman, that's not too much of a problem, as you can shift your times a little more flexibly than, say, Uberman (though I know some of you are wagging your fingers at me - mistakes aren't tolerated well during adaptation, so they've told me).  So, in trying to return to my ideal schedule, I had temporarily set the alarm clock for a half hour later.  Unfortunately, I forgot to update my alarm to my regular schedule, so last night I had a 6.5 hour core nap, not 6. Sigh.

While probably not the biggest deal, I don't want to send my body mixed messages. I've fixed the alarm clock, but am also preparing for more-than-usual snafus when I start my five-hour core nap on Friday night.  Though in reality, I suppose I left usual a long time ago, so perhaps it's more accurate to say I'll have a normal night.  Ha.

Naps today were lighter in general, despite fighting to stay awake getting to and from work.  My hope was that my tiredness at those times would encourage heavy napping - not quite, it would seem.  Surprisingly, however, I felt very productive today, and had no problem getting things done today at work or focusing.  This still puzzles and intrigues me, but then again, so does polyphasic sleep in general, hence my interest.  I imagine I should discover quite a bit more about myself through this journey, but I'm happy to take the ride (however bumpy it gets).

Updated vitals here.

October 26, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 8

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Sigh, I made a rookie mistake today.  I feel back asleep shortly after waking up.  Thankfully, it was only for 9 minutes as the snooze function on my phone kicked in and finally got me up.  I'm grateful (and surprised) the snooze worked at all, as I've had difficulty just snoozing the alarm vs turning it off completely due to my physical dexterity at that moment being somewhat akin to a sloth juggling ice cream cones for the very first time.

My interpretation of a sloth juggling ice cream cones for the very first time.

Nonetheless, I finally got up, and otherwise felt how I normally have been in the mornings.  A lingering tiredness, but enough brain power to focus on the task at hand and think clearly.

Afternoon and evening naps went well enough.  Was moderately tired before and after my third nap, but I chalk that up to my body still getting used to having only 6 hours for my core sleep.  No dreams or anything, but I got up feeling refreshed enough to let me know that something good happened.  At least, my vitals are doing good so far.

October 25, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 7

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-4am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Today marks the beginning of the next segment of Phase Two, reducing my core sleep to 6 hours:

I woke up from my core a bit easier than anticipated.  Note, that's not to say it was easy waking up (I wish!), but I lingered in bed for just a couple minutes before hopping out.  I didn't feel overly tired at first, either, but when it was time for my first nap, I was ready to jump in bed.  I noticed that a cold bed seems to require a few minutes to warm up before I can actually get comfortable enough to sleep.  About halfway through I felt my consciousness drop, though, so I figure I got something good out of it.

My second nap was less restful; I think I'll have to start sleeping on my side (or at least at an angle).  Directly on my back sometimes lets my jaw drop open, which has the tendency of either waking me up, or keeping me awake by trying to keep my mouth shut.  Weird, I know.
Third nap was great.  I laid on my side, and feel asleep a few minutes after laying down.  It felt like I slept for an hour - for only 20 minutes of actual time, not too shabby!  Now if only I could make all my naps like this....

My vitals as usual.  I'm going to have to start making some pretty graphs out of this data soon.

New domain

A little public service announcement here, but you'll now see that this site points to hacktheeveryday.com directly.  Links from hackingtheeveryday.blogspot.com *may* work, but you'll get redirected back to the new domain from now on.  Figured I'd save everyone some typing!

Everyman Phase Two: Day 6

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-5am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

It was pretty difficult waking up today - I stayed in bed for about 15 minutes before I finally got up.  It might have been because it was the start of the weekend, so I didn't get to sleep at the same time I usually do (about 1.5 hours later).  My goal is to get to sleep at the same time each night, or at least within one hour of the previous night's bed time.  Either way, this is something I'm going to have to work on avoiding in order to stay consistent.

Speaking of adjusting sleep times, I've decided to move up the timetable a tiny bit.  My plan for Phase Two was to reduce by one hour the amount of time during my core sleep, until I get to a three-hour core sleep.  Originally this change would occur from the Sunday-Monday sleep, but I now realize that it would make much more sense to make this transition on the Friday-Saturday core sleep, thus giving me two nights to get used to the new pattern before I head to work.  It seems so obvious and logical now, I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before!

The first nap was lighter like it usually is, but surprisingly heavier near the end of it, enough so that I laid there for a minute or so before I got up, just to gather myself and wake myself up. The second and third naps went well too, with a short dream in the middle of the second nap - a very encouraging sign!

My vitals.

October 24, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 5

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-5am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Today was fairly good.  I've noticed that my dreams have become very vivid - not lucid, but I seem to be dreaming more than I used to, and more fully.  This would seem to be in line with the concept that as one reduces their sleep, the more REM-based their remaining sleep becomes.

The first nap of the day still seems to be the lightest.  Perhaps it's because I'm taking it only an hour after I wake up, but I don't often sleep heavy on that one.  The second nap was fairly good, and that seems to be getting heavier.  The third nap was again the best, though even that's not yet quite to the point of full deep sleep. I noticed in Phase One that my body didn't often sleep heavy through any of the naps, potentially because the sleep deficit wasn't yet high enough to force that behavior. I suspect that my naps should become deeper in nature as the demand on my body for sleep increases through Phase Two.

I always look forward to the nice, calm energy that comes after my deeper naps.  I've noticed that I can come home from work, feeling tired, unfocused, and perhaps mentally exhausted after the day's stresses, but after my third nap that all seems to melt away.  It's not like an energy drink or coffee kind of energy, but rather a calm, sustained burst of rest and renewed focus.  One of my takeaways, even if the rest of the project doesn't work out long term, is that taking a 20-minute nap after work can do wonders.

As usual, here are my vitals.

October 23, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 4

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-5am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Things were a bit rougher today.  Waking up I felt more tired usual, and unfortunately my first nap of the day was pretty light - I got up still feeling tired.  This might be because I went to sleep at 10:30pm the night before - which if true, would indicate how much you need to stick to your expected duration.  It also may be due to a minor cold that my body has been fighting.  This morning my chest felt heavy, as though I might be getting a chest cold, but that feeling went away after a few hours and now I'm just left with some stuffiness and congestion.

The second nap went pretty well.  I'm using a pillow, eye mask, yoga mat and sound-cancelling headphones to help me get to sleep quickly, but the earphones are digging in a bit (I usually sleep on my left side), and the yoga mat isn't terribly thick.  I'm not a stranger to sleeping on a concrete floor with a flak jacket and Kevlar helmet as my "bed" (thanks, Marine Corps), but where possible, I'd like to sleep on something a wee bit softer and more cushiony.  Yeah, I've gone soft.

It was a struggle making it through the afternoon, especially during a technical discussion about Diffie Hellman key exchange.  Great talk, great presenter, but the drowsiness was a bit rough; I was definitely yawning much more than I usually do.

Third nap was the best of the them, as it tends to be.  I was feeling pretty exhausted going into the nap, but afterwards I just felt calm, relaxed, and with more energy.  Not especially energetic, but enough to make me feel normal and not too tired.  The project continues.

Updated vitals available here.

October 22, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 3

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-5am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

Today was a great day.  I woke up from my core sleep without feeling groggy, and even though I didn't feel like I sleep all that heavily on my first and second naps, I still felt like I had tons of energy. I was going through emails at a fairly fast rate and getting good work done.
The train ride home, which previously had often plagued me with tiredness, didn't do so at all today.  When I got home, I started to get a bit tired, but I was able to quickly jump into my third nap, which felt pretty good. Definitely seemed to be a bit deeper than my previous naps, and like before, I got up feeling pretty refreshed.  I wonder if my body has adapted to this week's 7-hour core sleep routine, as it would seem fairly easy to adjust to (especially with the three 20-minute naps, which give you 8 hours total).

Updated vitals available here.

October 21, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 2

Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-5am  Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.

It was a bit harder for me to wake up from my core nap today, though I forced myself to get out of bed (lest laying there for too long bring me back to sleep). I also think I may be coming down with a bit of a cold, although I started noticing the early symptoms of it before I started Phase Two, so I'm not inclined to think it's due to Everyman. I did notice that I dreamt for most for most of my core sleep.

I had a hard time sleeping during my main nap - my nose was stuffy and congested, and that made sleeping pretty difficult.  My second nap, however, went rather well. Although I didn't dive into full REM, I definitely felt a drop in consciousness and woke up feeling refreshed.

Unfortunately, it didn't last long, as by mid-afternoon I was yawning more often and wishing I could take another nap. I received a bit of a second wind in the late afternoon, and although I was pretty drowsy on the train ride, I was able to fight it off.

The third nap felt great to get ready for - I'm starting to feel my body get tired around the time it's supposed to.  Granted, during adaptation you usually feel tired more than usual, but it's nice to see that my body appears to be adjusting to this schedule, if even in small increments. The nap itself wasn't very deep, but I still got up refreshed, which I find unusual (but I'm not complaining!)  I learned an important lesson, though - don't linger in bed when the alarm goes off, get right up! I nearly feel back asleep, but it did not feel good (made me woozy for a second) and I forced myself to get up.  I've noticed this if I try to sleep on the train - it usually results in me feeling woozy, dizzy, and with a minor headache, so it's best to be avoided if you can make it till your next nap.

Updated vitals are available here.  Still seeing some larger deltas in the cognitive testing, so it's hard to draw any conclusions just yet.

October 20, 2015

Everyman Phase Two: Day 1

And so, it begins.  Having successful completed Phase 1 and integrated the naps into my daily regimen for a period of two weeks, I have decided to move ahead with Phase 2.  My sleep schedule now looks like this:

  • Core Nap: 10pm-5am
  • 1st Nap:    6am-6:20am
  • 2nd Nap:   11:20am-11:40am
  • 3rd Nap:    5:40pm-6pm

While I would have ideally liked to have perfect spacing between naps, the above schedule represents the best fit with my work schedule, and should scale nicely once I move into Phase 3.

So far, today was great!  I had a surprisingly easy time waking up today, although that was likely because of the anticipation of starting Phase 2.  As sometimes happens, (and the main reason I started this Everyman project), I had difficulty sleeping last night, and probably didn't get to bed until midnight.  Even so, I woke up quickly and got ready for the day.  It was interesting having extra time to get ready for work and record my vitals, although the hour flew by quickly and it was quickly time for my 1st nap.  I suspect I will be able to better appreciate it next week once I have 2 hours of extra time.

As for any noticed effects, I felt fairly alert during the morning.  Not filled with energy, but not wishing I could doze off either. I slept better during the 2nd nap, though as I've experienced before, there's a distinct feeling of being in two places at once, as I don't yet fully enter REM sleep.  Dreaming thus far has been very light; I would best describe it as a state of altered, but nonetheless restorative, consciousness.

By the time I was heading home from work, I could feel myself getting drowsy.  I closed my eyes for a bit on the train ride home, but didn't fall asleep.  My third nap was well-appreciated, and afterwards, I felt considerably better, despite not feeling like I had a heavy sleep.  So far, this appears to be sustainable, but time will time.  At this point, though, I am hopeful!

I've posted my adaptation vitals here, and will be updating them as I go along.

October 19, 2015

Everyman Phase One Notes

Because I didn't start keeping a daily journal or recording daily vital signs until the start of Phase Two, I'll try my best to sum up my experiences with Phase One.

As you might recall, Phase One is the easiest, and simply involves adding three 20-minute naps to your schedule, spaced equally apart as much as possible (again, following the standard Everyman approach).  My experience with this was mainly an exercise in consistency, and in finding what little changes I need to make to reliably incorporate the naps.  In this regard, I think the simple addition of naps as a first step more than proves it's worth.  Unless you are especially well-organized/prescient, you are bound to discover inefficiencies or sub-optimal timing for those three naps, and I'd much rather take time to optimize my routine before I start adding the stress of a gradually decreasing amount of sleep (in Phase Two).  For myself, this involved some experimentation with naps times until I was really happy with the schedule.  After I settled on one, I haven't had to make much changes to ever since!

As for the naps themselves, I will say that I often found it difficult to reliably get to sleep each time.  This was mainly due, I believe, to the fact that I wasn't really sleep deprived, since my core was still sitting at eight hours.  Oftentimes, I would lie there awake, not doing much except trying to enjoy the peace and quiet for the 20 minutes.  Eventually, my body got used to notion of having a reliable nap time, and I occasionally began to fall asleep lightly or dream a small amount.

<Work in progress>

Everyman Sleep Experiment

Today I embark on a new, peculiar kind of experiment, but one which purports the most appealing results.  I have often said, in a half-joking manner, that I would avoid sleep entirely if I could.  Recently, I have come across an interesting form of sleep which may move me much closer to that objective, called polyphasic sleep.


While the notion of polyphasic sleep itself is not new, having apparently been fairly standard during pre-industrialized times, the recent re-examination of this sleeping method is. The basic objective is to maintain or increase the quality of one's sleep while decreasing its duration. This is typically accomplished by breaking up the long, single session of sleep (called monophasic sleep) into two (biphasic) or more (polyphasic) shorter sessions.
There are a wide variety of sleeping schedules out there, but the two most commonly attempted and written about are the Uberman schedule and the Everyman schedule.  Uberman is typically defined as six 20-minute naps evenly spaced throughout the day.  The most common variant of Everyman, by contrast, maintains a 3-hour "core nap" and three 20-minute naps, spaced roughly equally apart.  I decided to attempt the Everyman schedule, primarily because it offers more flexibility with naps and fits better with my work schedule.  Uberman has a very short amount of time you can move naps without feeling groggy, whereas Everyman usually allows you move a nap an hour in either direction without any deleterious effects.
In polyphasic lingo, "adaptation" is used to refer to the process by which the body acclimates to a new sleep pattern. Through adaptation, the body (which previously had plenty of time to mosey around to REM) is now forced to do so in a much shorter time span. The body responds initially with symptoms of sleep deprivation (tiredness, grogginess) but eventually adapts by entering REM much more quickly during sleep sessions. Once this occurs, effects of sleep deprivation fade as the body obtains effective, restful sleep.


I plan to accomplish my transition into Everyman via a three-step process called "Phased Adaptation", which to my knowledge. has not previously been proposed.  It is described thusly:

  • Phase 1 begins with the addition of three, 20-minute naps into one's daily schedule.
  • Phase 2 begins with the gradual reduction of the "core" sleep while maintaining the Phase 1 nap schedule.  At the start of each week, the individual awakens one hour earlier, although they continue to go to sleep at the same time each night.
  • Phase 3 begins once the individual reaches a core sleep of three hours, and continues until adaptation is complete (for Everyman, this is usually 30-90 days).


Primarily, I am doing this to increase the quality of my sleep, as I have had difficulty sleeping (to varying degrees) throughout my life, and especially within the last year.  Medication has done little to resolve this, and at any rate, I certainly don't want to be dependent on it. It has been my observation that those who practice polyphasic sleeping fall into REM sleep (considered to be the most restorative phase of sleep) almost as soon as they attempt to go to sleep. Others who experience other sleep disorders such as night terrors, sleepwalking, and the like report significant improvements in the quality of their sleep after switching to a polyphasic sleep pattern.
        Importantly, this skill once learned, appears to remain with them even if they later abandon their polyphasic sleep schedule. This behavior is also consistent with my observation that police, firefighters, and military members often develop the ability to command sleep at a moment's notice, as sleep must be taken when it is available. Thus, it would seem apparent that the ability to fall asleep is a learned skill, and not purely a genetic/environmental trait.
Secondarily, my objective is to increase the number of waking hours I have, as there are many things I should like to do if I could have the time to pursue them.


Polyphasic sleep may raise concerns over the health implications of such a schedule.  While sleep deprivation is well known to deleterious cause side effects, a proper polyphasic practitioner should not experience any sleep deprivation at all (and may actually experience an increased quality of sleep), because they are dropping quickly into REM sleep and obtaining the most restful form of sleep, albeit in shorter durations.  Getting enough sleep for good health is not solely related to the length of time one sleeps.

However, to err on the side of safety, I will be utilizing the following daily measurements to track the cognitive and physical effects on my body:
-Resting Heart Rate, as determined by heart rate monitor and verified by jugular vein
-Oxygen saturation (SpO2%), as determined by pulse oximeter
-Blood pressure, as determined by manual auscultation
-Body weight, determined by electronic scale to tenths of a pound
-Muscle mass percentage, as determined by electronic measurement
-Body fat percentage, as determined by electronic measurement
-Cognitive function, as determined by Quantified Mind using the Full Brain Workout battery, which calculates a discrete score for executive function, working memory, verbal learning, motor function and mental rotation.
-Subjective reporting of well-being

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of quality studies regarding polyphasic sleep specifically.  Most of the research is culled from studies on individuals who primarily use monophasic sleep patterns, and which offers an incomplete at best understanding.  My hope is that whatever data I can collect during the adaptation period may be useful for others and in increasing our understanding of polyphasic sleeping as a whole.