Current Schedule: Core Sleep: 10pm-1am Naps: 6:00-6:20am, 11:20-11:40am, 5:40-6pm.
One thing I've learned when trying to sleep polyphasically for the first time is the notion of being kind to yourself, especially if you deviate from your schedule. However much you try, there are bound to be times that your schedule doesn't go according to plan, like when your car gets a flat tire on the way home, you have to work late, you forget to set an alarm, etc. Reading some accounts about how difficult those were to recover from, I got the notion that any deviation would surely be a death knell to my own adaptation efforts.
What I found was quite different. Yes, those deviations did mess up my schedule, but I always hopped back on track as soon as I was able, so long-term their effects were actually pretty minor. What wasn't helpful was the negative self-talk I discovered myself creating - "You're never going to adapt now!", "How can you expect to adapt if you can't keep yourself awake?", etc. Ironically enough, it was my reaction to the deviations, not the deviations or the effects themselves, that wound up being the most likely to get me to quit. Once I realized this, I resolved to take a more positive, long-term view towards any disruptions, and I haven't looked back.
As for today, it was a fairly standard day; still some strong sleepiness in the morning and some nodding off on the train ride, but otherwise pretty good. I'm hoping those last artifacts will fade soon. Updated vitals here.
Anyways, I felt compelled to share my experience above, as I imagine there's got to be at least one person out there that will try adapting and think they're failing, when in reality they're making progress (assuming they learn and adapt from each deviation). As Jon Kabat-Zinn, the famed mindfulness researcher, once said (paraphrasing here): "Regardless of whatever else you have going on, as long as you are still breathing, you have much more right with you than you do wrong."
Moral of the story: Be good to yourself.
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