Introductions, Polyphasic Sleep Day Zero

Okay, I guess it’s 10PM on the day before I start this thing. Good as time as any to write up an introduction post. I’ll admit that this was originally going to be a video blog on YouTube or somesuch, but my lack of video equipment made this somewhat of a challenge. That may be a good thing, as it means that you won’t have to listen to my vocal cords express their opinions via my nostrils or watch the zits on my forehead wage war with my skin.

I guess you’ll want to know who I am, though. My name’s James Denholm, and I’m a nineteen-year-old University Student in Australia. I’m a fan of electonica and “indie” music, although certainly not exclusively – flicking through my library shows as much Muse as Daft Punk, as well as LCD Soundsystem rubbing shoulders with the Kaiser Chiefs, Stephen Malkmus and a small band called Dresden. I occasionally play video games, although I suppose the activity would be preformed more often if I didn’t have a Linux machine, though I’m not really complaining. I have a habit of typing long sentences.

Perhaps more important to you, or at least some of you, is the “gimmick” of this particular blog, the reason why I’d argue you should spend your valuable time reading these inane bits of text instead of doing something useful, such as curing cancer: I recently made the decision to adapt to a polyphasic sleep schedule. Specifically, the Uberman.

For those who don’t know what polyphasic sleep or the Uberman are, here’s the e2 node that explains most of it, written in part (I believe) by the same person who co-created the sleep schedule about ten years or so ago (again, could be wrong). For those who have an irrational fear of following hyperlinks, though, the general concept and the idea behind it is roughly:

  • The main day-to-day beneficial part of sleep is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is (apparently) the deepest level of sleep, and you need about two hours of this to be able to function normally and not like a massive, humanoid, slimeless lethargic slug.
  • The thing is, as REM is the deepest level of sleep, you don’t automatically go there, or stay there, while sleeping. That’s (supposedly) the reason why, when monophasic, you sleep for eight hours instead of two.
  • Hence, the idea of polyphasic sleep is to avoid the “excess” levels, by instead napping multiple times a day and training yourself to most use the sleep you will get as efficiently as possible. The Uberman does this by having six twenty-minute naps, spaced four hours apart.

(Disclaimer: Take all of the above with a grain of salt, of course, because I have no medical background whatsoever, and this is ultimately stuff that I’ve just read on the internet. But if it’s on the internet, it must be true, right?)

For myself in particular, the Uberman means a twenty-minute nap at 0330, 0730, 1130, 1530, 1930 and 2330. I chose those times in order to minimise the disruption it would have on my life when Uni starts back up, although I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to tweak it a bit.

Thing is, though, I’ve read that the Uberman is quite difficult to get into – After all, your body has to train itself to skip a significant part of it’s daily sleep. That’s why I decided to blog about this, even though others have done similar before me – Not only to give myself an excuse to start what I hope will be a fairly decent blog, and not only to increase my presence on the internet and spread the concept of polyphasic sleep a bit, but to give myself a reason to forge on when things get difficult – I mean, let’s face it, if I contemplate failure while knowing that someone’s reading this, I’m probably going to be more motivated to keep going. That, or more guilty after the fall.

Of course, I can only be adapting to a lifestyle change for so long, so I probably won’t just post about the Uberman here. While I’ll do my best to provide updates on that, I also hope to blabber about random other things in the mundane happenings that are my life, Linux, music and other entertainment if I stumble upon anything of note.

Because I think this is starting to become less content and more ramble, not to mention that it’s been an hour and a half since I started typing and my fingers might be becoming sentient, I should probably stop here. Thanks for reading, and remember:

If someone ever asks you something you don’t know the answer to, just make shit up. Nothing bad can happen, right?

James.

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