Another day has passed and I’m feeling ever more sleep deprived. But before I get to that, here’s was went on yesterday:
We woke up from our core sleep at 2am, did the five rites and went for a walk. After that we each wrote about day 1 in our blogs. I find that this first cycle is the most difficult one because you wake up at a time when your body can see that it was ‘supposed’ to be asleep, making it hard for us to both get up and stay up.
Next came our 5:30-6:00 nap and the beginning of day. I think that I still didn’t fall asleep during that nap – or maybe I just entered the first stages of light sleep – but it rejuvenated me more than the naps on day 1. Still, it was obvious that we were getting more and more sleep deprived, especially when, out of the blue, we decided to make this…
Since we are also doing a kind of intermittent fasting where we only eat from 8am to 8pm, we were starving when it was finally time for breakfast and I was very grateful to have the food in front of me. I feel that I have been feeling more grateful in general: somehow I appreciate small things like flavors, music and the contrast between hot and cold water in a shower much more than I used to. And, for obvious reasons, I have started appreciating going to bed a lot more, too.
During our 10am and 4:30pm naps I decided to try to have wake-induced lucid dreams. In short that means that I tried to remain conscious as I observed my body fall asleep. Ideally, my brain would go directly into REM sleep and I would have transitioned from awake to dreaming without being unconscious in between.
Even though I did not reach the REM stage, it was definitely an interesting experience. I could feel my body relaxing more and more and my mind becoming less focused as I began having what felt like very short daydreams. Hopefully today is going to be the day where I finally start being able to completely fall asleep during the naps, since I don’t think I can handle much more sleep deprivation.
Another thing that I have noticed is that I feel less tired at the end of the day than I do at the beginning. I believe this is because my brain is still hanging on to my previous sleep schedule which was governed by the movement of the sun in the sky and not by random advice on the internet about how to sleep less than 4.5 hours in a day and live to tell the tale.
As far as productivity goes, I can definitely see how this sleep schedule can help you maximize your output while avoiding burnout if you are well-adjusted to it. Until then and at least for me, productivity decreases since you find yourself less able to concentrate and with less energy to expend. I can still do some work but it takes me longer to execute certain tasks (like writing this blog post), my mind is less focused than usual and I make more mistakes than normal.
All in all, yesterday was not the easiest of days but something happened to give me hope that it will get better soon: Steve Pavlina – who hadn’t written about sleep for over a year – published a post called How To Fall Asleep In Less Than 30 Seconds. Falling asleep fast is still one of the major problems I’m having with regards to the schedule, so I was very pleased to see that post on my feed.
In short, the advice I’m going to apply is to try to get out of bed as soon as the alarm clock rings and limit my napping time (from the moment I lay down till the alarm clock rings) to 20 minutes instead of thirty. If I don’t give my brain the extra time to fall asleep it will eventually realize that there’s no other option besides raising its efficiency and not wasting as much time. If you’re also willing to train the awesome skill of falling asleep on your command, I suggest you read Steve’s article as it goes into a lot more detail.
Today (beginning of day 3), I am feeling more tired than ever and getting up was very hard. I am hungry and I want to sleep very badly, but I’m still motivated to go on, both because I believe that it will get better and for the sheer fact that I am about to finish writing a blog post before anyone else is even awake.
Now I am going to do the five tibetan rites (I was too sleepy to do them immediately after waking up) just to avoiding crawling back into bed and calling the whole thing off.