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marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 11:23 am
Sleep Log )

Speaking of food...everybody who's ever tried this polyphasic thing mentioned that their food intake increased while they were on it. They weren't kidding. I've always been somebody who wants a lot of food, although I can get away with more normal amounts or even forgetting meals for extended periods of time. Well, I got caught up in some stuff I was doing (playing video game, talking to friends, updating kernel on laptop, futzing with and eventually trying to hack drivers for wireless card) and didn't do so much eating. By which I mean I've had three smallish meals in the last 24 hours. I feel like I'm starving.

I need to come up with more variety in my food, too. The good news is that I have all this "extra time" which I can theoretically use to cook. I haven't yet, but that's partly a timing thing and partly a not wanting to handle knives while sleep deprived thing. It looks like a lot of the time gained by not sleeping is going to go toward preparing and consuming food. On the plus side, that probably means the food will be healthier and tastier than it might otherwise be.

By the way, did you notice that bit in the parentheses a couple paragraphs ago? That's right, I'm actually programming again. I got sufficiently pissed off about something that I decided to go ahead and see if I could take it into my own hands and make it work. So far, not really, but it's kind of promising (it worked once, but not reliably...so I'm on the right track, but there are probably some serious flaws since I'm screwing with things I only half understand at the moment, and those things are a kernel module).

I noticed something yesterday. The neat thing about Polyphasic Sleep is that you don't actually have to go to sleep. You just have to take short breaks from whatever you're doing to go nap, but you don't have those huge, multi-hour interruptions in your life. And you get all this extra time to do those things you always wished you had more time to do. The kicker is that you can't just go to sleep, and you have to find things to do to fill all that extra time you have. At least during the adjustment period, there's no, "I don't really want to deal with anything, I'll just go lie down and shut the world out for a bit." You never get to shut the world out. There's a mental recuperation from sleep that comes of the chance to just get away from it all . . . I'd never realized that consciously before last night. I just reached the point where there wasn't anything I felt like doing. But I had to find something to do, because sleep wasn't an option or I was going to mess it all up. Something to keep in mind if you're considering this for yourself, too . . . being good at coming up with activities you can do alone which will keep you engaged mentally is an important skill for this. The irony of all this is delicious: I have all this time, and so I have to come up with ways to fill it. I no longer have to sleep for hours at a time, but I don't get to if I want to. I may revisit this topic as I get used to it.
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Friday, June 2nd, 2006 01:50 pm
I just got up from a half-hour nap. I know I was only lying down for about 32 minutes, because I have obejctive measurements which confirm it. It totally felt like a full night's sleep...sort of.

You know how when you lie down to go to sleep there's that period where you're lying there and you can't stop the voice(s) in your head chattering about one thing or another? Over the last couple days I've had a couple of experiences during that stage where I felt this sensation as though I'd just dropped about an inch, and after an initial jolt, I seemed to relax and slow down. Kind of neat.

I can't remember if that happened just now or not. What did happen was related, though. Hmmm...I'm going to try to get this written in a way that makes sense, but my memory is playing some tricks on me, so this is tricky.

I remember feeling a typical waking from sleep sensation (that initial feeling that you've lost time and you're not really sure how much?). Then, before I started thinking about whether to get up or not or any of that, I noticed that my body felt really heavy...sort of...maybe thick. It felt almost as though I were bound to the bed and couldn't move...except that I alternated between being aware that there was nothing but a sheet and my trouble moving was in my head and moving would be no problem if I wanted, and feeling as though I were stuck in place, muffled by the air thickening about me or my muscles not responding or something. (It's a little hard to explain...there was no localization or force to the resistance as there would be if I were tied down or my sheet were holding me down, just the resistance to motion. I guess it was kind of as though gravity had been cranked up and was holding me in place, but slightly gentler even than that.) Then I noticed a sensation similar to that just-before-sleep thinking, only it was kind of slower and more relaxed.

Somewhere in there I think I realized that some of the sensations I was having were false and dreamlike. I was pretty much dreaming about lying in bed thinking and not quite falling asleep. I was getting some other weird false-sensations too occasionally...usually brief moments of feeling like cold metal was touching my legs, things like that. And it drifted in and out with an even more dreamlike state where, well, I was dreaming...little snatches of scenes from dreams alternating with me being bondlessly bound to my bed thinking and waiting to fall asleep--but with a sense of time slowed, as though I were lying there thinking at one speed, but observing it on a slow-motion setting.

It felt like I spent hours lying there failing to fall asleep, interspersed with occasionally dropping into sleep and having odd dreams. Exactly like a full night of sleeping just at the threshold where you keep barely waking enough to notice you've been sleeping and dreaming, then immediately dropping back to sleep. Then my alarm went off and I had to convince myself that only half an hour had passed. I feel, physically, rather as though I'd gotten a normal, restful, full night's sleep after being sleep deprived for a number of days. There's still a bit of tiredness lurking around the edges, but there's a large feeling of restfulness sitting in front of it.

That experience alone may have justified a week of sleep deprivation.
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Friday, June 2nd, 2006 09:45 am
Sleep Log )

My instinct says the worst is still to come. I feel like I'm making slight progress, though. My normal awake-time is easy; I just need to keep working on getting those daylight hours working correctly. I'm sure the allergies aren't helping.

I've already started thinking of time (in terms of allocating time to performing tasks) in terms of three-and-a-half hour blocks. It's kind of neat, because they don't stretch on indefinitely. So I can decide to use this block to do some chores I don't want to deal with, and know it's not that long before I get to switch back to fun stuff. Or, in a similar way, if I goof off when I meant to do something productive, I haven't actually lost that much time, and each awakening is a convenient chance to switch gears.
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Thursday, June 1st, 2006 09:33 am
Sleep Log )

I'm starting to see a pattern here. I feel the sleep deprivation a lot more during the times of day in which I'm accustomed to sleeping. Mr. Pavlina reported a similar effect (he said he was pretty useless from 2am until about 6am), so I'm thinking this is a real effect of the readjustment and I just need to be aware of it and work on techniques to deal with it.

A couple of minor slips (apparently one a little bigger than I'd realized until I went to write this up), but that's ok. I feel I'm back on track to the joys of at least a week or so of feeling very sleep deprived. Now we get to see if I can keep summoning up the willpower to drag myself out of a bed a part of me really doesn't want to leave enough times to learn whether or not this is really going to work. I know all the little successes are just that, steps along the road, not really demonstrations of the end. I know the worst is yet to come . . . this morning was a good demonstration of that. It's fairly humbling.

At least I'm still capable of writing coherently, and get matching tags right the first time?
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 07:21 pm
Damn but I am having a hard time getting back into this.
Read more... )
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 10:15 am
The Marriott Balticon was held at wanted $10/day for an Internet connection, so I didn't update regularly as I had hoped to over my first few days. I thought about writing entries on my laptop to push up to the server when I got home again, but I was at a con and just couldn't bring myself to spend a lot of time on the computer like that.

I decided to start my experiement in polyphasic sleep in earnest to coincide with my trip to Balticon. I hoped (accurately, it turned out) that the convention atmosphere would be conducive to a polyphasic schedule and help me through the difficult days. In retrospect, I should have started a day earlier. This is written today, Tuesday, so it's subject to my memory of the weekend. Some of the times are highly approximate, but should be accurate to within an hour.

As an overview, my plan is to attempt pure Uberman polyphasic sleep (30 minutes of sleep per 4 hour cycle) until I break through the sleep deprivation barrier to the point where it becomes simply the schedule I'm on. After that I intend to evaluate how I feel and consider tweaking the times and possibly switching to a "core sleep" variant if it seems it will work better.

Read more... )
marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, May 10th, 2006 08:17 pm
I'm still alive, and I swear I post things other than memes. Honest. To prove it:

I've started cooking again. I think I'm going to set myself a goal to cook one pot of curry/stew/soup/etc. per week. Something which cooks in large batches, stores, and can be reheated without too much difficulty. That should help me stay better fed more consistently and maybe help me (re)learn to do necessary but not necessarily appealing tasks regularly. (I love cooking, but I don't always feel like doing it, so I'm hoping that's a good in-between on the way to relearning to do tasks I dislike, but need to do. This is the real difficulty in my life...I'm very bad at regularly doing things I don't want to. I can do something with a big push, but I don't have the energy for that every day.)

One of my current projects (as of yesterday) is working on learning the Dvorak keyboard layout again. This one was triggered by my discovering that X can have multiple keyboard layouts active in memory (up to 4) and switch between them easily with a single keypress. I've mapped it to the otherwise useless Menu key. I think I like this typing tutor. I'm going to try to take it slowly...when I feel like it, or am sitting around looking for something to do and think of it, I'll do a lesson or two. I won't advance to the next one until I'm confident in the one I'm on—or bored. I'm up to Lesson 5: ON comprehensive. It covers UHETON together. I think one more time for some confidence before I move on. No rush...I can keep using QWERTY elsewhere until I feel like switching to Dvorak primary, QWERTY when I need to type quickly is reasonable.

I'm seriously considering trying polyphasic sleep, thanks to that nifty link, provided by [livejournal.com profile] muppetk. I may be insane, and this could possibly drive me there, I suppose. I think it's a neat idea. The plan is to do it for, say, a month as an experiment to see what it's like. I was thinking I'd start at the end of the month, right after Vassar Commencement/Balticon (which I'd like to attend if I can figure out how to make it practical). I mostly have more time then, depending on what sort of a time commitment I'm giving to "The Ocean is Big and the Sky is Blue" . . . I'm not really sure what that's going to look like. The idea is to use the time between now and then to train myself to wake up to an alarm, store up some food for eating, and the like. I'm hoping that even if the experiment fails overall, I'll gain some new tools for life from it. If I go with it, I'll be posting very regular updates about how it's going—probably approximately daily for the first week or two, then tapering off if things seem to balance out comfortably. Now's the first opportunity for you to try to talk me out of this as a bad idea. I think I have some good ideas for how to make it work in a way that's valuable. I may post more about it soonish.

Most of my other productivity has been in playing around with the computers. I did a world update a couple weeks ago and I've been playing with settings and things. I also got a DDNS account set up. I may start running a little BBS (anybody, particularly old-timers, interested in joining NSO BBS in exile?) off the desktop, throw Nethack and a couple of other games on there, have another toy to fool around with that maybe encourages me to hone my programming skills a bit. Lots of little customizations that make things a little more comfortable. Which is what led to the Dvorak thing I mentioned above.