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September 10th, 2010:

Day 7

Overslept last night for 5 hours when I accidentally fell asleep after waking from my 2:30 am nap as my 5:30 am nap approached. I think it could have been avoided if I had gotten up and gone for a walk or did something engaging instead of sitting around staring at my computer screen. The main thing is that on certain nights at around this time my body gets so tired that resisting the drag to bed is really quite difficult.

The first sign is just a feeling of lazyness that precludes things to keep myself awake such as walks or demanding activities. This feeling sets in more and more until I can barely keep my eyes open.

I did some additional research today on polyphasic sleep, I found one set of articles that were extremely skeptical of the entire thing claiming that it gathers its strength from the attention it gets on the Internet and that it has not been proven in any labs.

The best research in the area seems to be done by Dr. Claudio Stampi, a sleep researcher specializing in this area. There is a good video about a study of his featuring the Uberman sleep schedule. The video seems to be quite guarded in its analysis. Although the conclusion seems to be that the body can learn to function under a polyphasic sleep schedule, it is not without duress. The research mentioned that mental performance was inhibited during the maintenance of this schedule although the subject’s self-report seemed fairly positive for most of the experiment.

The tradeoff seems to be, as with most things quantity versus quality. A full nights sleep will keep you at full capacity but a polyphasic cycle will grant you a large amount of extra time at a lower mental capacity.

In the sidebar there were another set of videos by a girl who vlogs about her polyphasic sleeping and claims to enjoy her schedule very much. Her user page can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/aeia

I do rather enjoy staying up all night, even if I’m not fully alert the entire time. I have high hopes for the day that I become fully adjusted to this schedule.

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