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November 17, 2005

Sleeping Patterns

As I've mentioned, I'm having trouble with sleep at the moment. I decided that researching alternative sleeping patterns might be a good move. Here's some of the better ideas:

The 28-hour day is designed to provide more free time. The main advantages are that I'll have more time; more time for work, and more time for hobbies. The fundamental disadvantages are that during the middle of the week my days won't line up with everyone elses. This means I won't be free to meet college people or anything, and it will destroy aforementioned social life.

Here's a diagram of how it works.

Polyphasic sleep patterns work on the principal that only one phase of sleep is really essential for survival. That phase is the period of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during which we dream. Since this only tends to take 20 minutes at a time, the idea of polyphasic sleep is that you only sleep for 20 minutes at a time. Eventually your body figures out what's going on, and you'll slip into REM sleep the moment you shut your eyes. You end up taking 20 minute naps about every four hours, which means you only sleep for about 3 hours or so in total.

This is seriously useful stuff. So long as you get a nap reasonably often, you can be slightly flexible with the times, and this means I can live life pretty much normally. The major disadvantage is that it takes some getting used to. I might try it next holiday when I've got time. Here's another description of what goes on.

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