So, you’ve read the warnings, found that less sleep is the only way to get going in your life, and you’re sure you will be able to commit to three weeks of agony? If so, then it’s time to come on board, but be forewarned, if your not determined then the only thing you will accomplish is a few weeks of a physically miserable existence with little or nothing to gain from the experience…
Step One: Clear the Calender
You need to make sure your life allows you to adapt to this type of sleeping pattern. Taking a nap at work will probably not go over well, nor will the inevitable grogginess or moodiness from lack of beneficial REM sleep, but forewarned is forearmed. Also, be sure that you don’t have any major physical commitments either; this will not be a good time to take up marathon or Iron Man running, and when your done clearing up any loose ends, then it’s time to let your new Polyphasic cycle begin.
Step Two: Setting the Alarm
If your one of the lucky few who doesn’t need to wake by alarm then get ready for a dose of Uberman reality: you will have to be religious about setting an alarm, and that means that the time it takes to fall asleep is just as relevant as the time asleep. So whether your going for a small block of sleep or naps spread throughout the day, the alarm clock will be your constant friend.
Tips for Making sure you get up:
1. Invest in more than one alarm, especially if you’re a heavy sleeper, the louder and more irritating, the better.
2. Place your alarms through out you sleeping quarters where you will actually have to get out of bed to reach them.
3. Set alarms slightly apart from one another by a minute or two to increase the odds of getting up; it’s going to be tough after two or three days afterall…
Step Three: Find Something to Do
Being awake when your body is saying no is tough as it is, but why pushing the envelope for several weeks, your body is really going to be fighting back. You will need to stay busy and keep both your body and your brain active. Just remember, even the hardest trained soldiers finally collapse when sitting down, so stay on the move.
Tips for Staying Occupied:
1. Learn to read standing up. If the Greeks could teach philosophy while walking around, you can learn to take in information while on the move.
2. Get new hobby. With all the extra time you’ll have, it’s time to take up something you’ve been meaning to do for years.
3. Get connected with friends. Nothing can spur you on more than a good time with your social group.
4. Stay away from anything that counts. Sleep deprivation is no time to be filling a 1099…
Step Three: Watching Your Actions
By the end of the fourth day, you’ll probably be feeling miserable, but the good news is that the brain is going to start changing it’s sleep cycles and you’ll be mainly in REM from now on. Still, you should take time to evaluate your performance and ask others how they are responding to the new you. If your not able to perform daily tasks, are missing deadlines at work or forgetting the kids at school, it may be time to put the Uberman Sleep Cycle to bed and get some sleep.
Step Four: Stay Away from the Coffee and Eliminate Bad Habits
You’ll be wanting the extra little jolt of caffeine and may even be thinking that nicotine could be your friend, but the digestive track isn’t fond of either of these to begin with, and when lack of sleep is involved… well you get the point. Your heart will also give you a spat during the early stages of your Polyphasic Sleep Cycle as the body is under tremendous stress to begin with, hormones are flying out of the pituitary and the heart may well be at the jagged edge.
Step Five: Finish Strong and Don’t Forget Where You Came From
By the third week your body should be adjusting to the new schedule and you should start feeling better. Although, different people may take a little longer or a little less with the time required. But, if you’ve made it this far give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve beaten the odds.
However, you must be practicing constant vigilance. To truly adapt to a Polyphasic sleep cycle means that you’ve chosen a new lifestyle and a new way of sleeping. You won’t be able to catch a long nap or sleep in on a Sunday, lest you be back at square one. Your time to do things may be greatly increased but you internal wiring is set for monophasic sleep, and it will trip you up the first chance it gets.