Category Archives: Everyman

Everyman sleep schedule – Days 7 and 8 (+reboot?)

This will be my last daily post, the next one should  be next Saturday. Also it seems like the “day” is somewhat confusing on this, as I’m already sort of writing in a weirdly offset manner because of when I started writing in the first place.

Waking up from the new core sleep was hard, but it just seems to be the case that it will be hard to wake up from the core sleep. It’s about 20 minutes after waking up now and I feel fine, so I just have to fight through it really.


  • Some non-work coding for about 30 minutes
  • Researched/started writing my blog for Skeptoid blog for about an hour
  • Read from Literary Criticism for about 15 minutes before feeling too tired and decided to go down for a nap at 6 am

So I think pretty productive and I did not consume any caffeine at this time.

Naps, and the Day

The “first” (now six am) nap went pretty well as I remembered it and I had coffee following it, so was doing pretty good though I did feel some tiredness creeping in.

Noon-time nap went fine but I felt a bit mentally tired but pretty sure I performed normally throughout the day.

We went to a friend’s house for dinner and I tried to take my afternoon nap around six there. However I’m fairly certain I never actually got to sleep, and just ended up resting a little bit. Following that I admit things went a bit downhill. I started to get a headache and had a certain feeling of being unalert/zombie-like. However, I was still able to play the board games we played and chat and not fall asleep. But when my wife and I got home and started playing one of the games on our own I could only get about 2/3 of the way done (around 10 pm) before having to call it a night. Was starting to micro-sleep and doze and still had the headache.


We got into bed and I tried to wait until 11pm or so for my newborn to wake up so we could give her the bottle feeding for that time. However, she slept until 1:15 or so (as did I). Because I’d only now slept two hours from that session, I was very tired and still had a headache (had actually gotten a bit worse). So I decided I would go back to sleep until 3 am or so, but did not actually set any sort of alarm. Instead, I reasoned, I let my new sleep cycle take over. That failed, I think because I was both over-tired and because it was only the second night of the re-adjusted sleep schedule (remember I had changed my core from 3:30 am to 11:30 pm or so). I didn’t wake up until 6:30 am. My wife was talking to me a bit around 4:30 or 5 I think but I just opted to sleep more rather than get up (she expressed feeling guilty that I hadn’t gotten up… but it was my doing).


I am not going to take this as a failure quite yet. Many of the journals I read online of fellow Polyphasers have some nights where they over-sleep quite a bit. Additionally, the previous nights were productive and I think it was “working” and I was adjusting. Puredoxyk, the sort of “chief evangelist” of Polyphasic sleep, definitely mentions it being a 4-5 day adjustment period. I was on the cusp of that, getting the most productive on my last couple of days. However I threw that wrench in by adjusting the sleep schedule to work better with married life.

So I am going to continue on for another week and re-evaluate at the end of that. If I have another Saturday (or any day) where I can feel myself being noticeably un-alert or have headache, I’m going to have to call the experiment a failure for myself. Additionally, I am going to lower my caffeine intake as well as switching to decaf (which I know, still has caffeine, but I like coffee). I think the stimulants are a bad idea on this sort of schedule, and can lead into a false sense of security. This is also the recommendation of the above mentioned Puredoxyk.


Everyman sleep schedule – Day 6

Stuff I did

  • Read for 30 minutes from book on Literary Criticism, was fully engaged
  • Worked for about 30 minutes on some non-work related coding
  • 30 minutes of Koine Greek study
  • Dishes (while listening to an episode of the Bible Geek podcast)
  • Began writing a more skeptically-focused article/blog entry on Polyphasic sleep

This was clearly a pretty “productive” night. Not sure if that’s a result of having some coffee following the evening nap, or if it’s an adjustment thing. I may try to go for no coffee tomorrow night and see if I feel the same. Slight tiredness going into the core sleep, but definitely not to the degree of the previous day where I was basically falling asleep on my feet. I actually was blogging right up until 3:30 am when I decided that I should call it a night so as not to deviate too much from the routine that’s being developed. Guess you could say I ran out of time.

According to the BodyMedia, I was was asleep from 3:50 AM to 5 AM or so (took about 20 minutes to fall asleep). Was only “laying down” around 5 am for a couple of minutes and then slept until 6:30. As the site terms it, “87% efficiency”, the best of the three days that I had the armband on (progressed from 76% to 84% to 87%).

The Naps

Fell asleep quickly for my core sleep at 3:32am, at least as far as I could tell. Woke up at some point when wife was feeding newborn. Woke up at 6:30am to alarm. Definitely “morning” tired but feeling ok after my shower.

I actually don’t think I ever actually fell asleep during my noon-time nap. I was possibly “jinxed” by a friend of mine saying he didn’t think he’d be able to fall asleep that fast during a nap. And for the first time, I didn’t. I did however feel rested and seemed fine the rest of the work day.

Also felt like I struggled during my 6pm nap, but I did finally end up sleeping there as far as I can tell.

Slight Adjustment

During dinner my wife said she felt like I was never in bed, so we decided to change the “core sleep” to actually be around 11 pm, midnight. This means that I am actually going to bed at the same time as my wife, just “waking up for the day” between 2 and 2:30 am. My first nap will be around 8 am (after taking my older daughter to Pre-K). I again actually get the weekend to adjust to it. The only potential drawback is that currently my newborn gets up pretty regularly around 2 or 2:30 am for a feeding, so if I’m not asleep by 11 or 11:30 then I will almost surely get woken up in the last portion of the core sleep. But, as I’ve stated from the beginning, if the schedule can’t work with my real life, then it doesn’t work.

Everyman sleep schedule – Day 5


Not much due to the tiredness and mildly counter-productive amount of time spent on these entries themselves as well as feeding baby (tonight wife will probably handle the feeding at 2 am). I did,  however, spend some time on my weekly email to my protege for the ACM MentorNet program.

The Naps

Around 2:40 started crashing pretty hard, even while coding. In fact, I ended up falling asleep while coding. As I was writing the previous I found myself waking up around 3:15am. So decided to go bed where I slept soundly until woken up by my newborn. Went back to sleep after that until my alarm at 6:30 at which point I was definitely feeling pretty tired. So a bit of a “fail” there. Didn’t have any random wake-ups like on previous nights, so my body does seem to be adapting there. I felt pretty good once I was up for a few minutes and in the shower.

Felt great throughout the morning and going into my noon-time nap (at 11:40). Fell asleep (I think) within a couple of minutes and was woken from a dream with the alarm on my phone. Slept all the way through to the alarm, so again no longer having the issue of waking up with 5-8 minutes left. So my body does seem to be adapting to the 20-minute nap time, if the dreams are a good sign there. Though may just be very tired as well.

Took late afternoon nap around 5:15, woke up with 30 seconds left on timer nice and refreshed.

Took final one around 11 after feeding newborn. Not super tired going into it but definitely was starting feel nap time creeping on. I actually didn’t set my 20 minute alarm for this one, but still woke up after about 30 minutes or so feeling slightly groggy. Having some coffee now to counteract some of that and hopefully not be falling asleep on my feet at 2 am.

Goals for Tonight

  • Start with Literary Criticism reading (catch it before the tiredness that isn’t conducive to reading kicks in)
  • Non-work coding (unfinished due to falling asleep last night)
  • Greek exercises
  • If any time left, think about blogging topic

Another Everymaner’s Experience

Oh God, The Chicken:A Successful Year of Polyphasic Sleep – Bit more motivating than the last one. They have theirs actually average 5.5 hours of sleep based on varying the schedule as necessary throughout the year. I could see myself ending up doing this as I am less or more tired or am in a situation where the 3 hour core + 3 20-minute naps won’t be appropriate.

Everyman sleep schedule – Day 4

Still feeling very successful.

Things I did last night:

  • Some reading from book on Literary Criticism of the Gospels but found that it made me very tired
  • Exercises from Koine Greek workbook, about 20 minutes
  • Blog update
  • Dishes, cleanup of living room

The naps

Around 1:40 started feeling very tired while feeding baby. Decided to do some “physical” activity in the form of dishes and general cleanup around the living room area. That helped for a bit but when I tried reading around 2am, I really really struggled to keep my eyes open.

I decided to move my core sleep up for the night to 3am rather than 3:30am. Just like other nights, I found myself out of bed at 5 am firmly believing that I was “supposed” to be up. Looked at the clock and went back to sleep and I think I woke up one additional time. Woke up very tired, but again not necessarily any worse than on some mornings after “normal” sleep.  The BodyMedia arm band confirms the times, showing me sleeping between 3:15 and 5 am, waking up, and then going back for another 45 minutes, waking up and then completing the rest of the night. But definitely something I’m going to watch and see if it continues. I felt pretty much normal by the time I go to work.

I took my noon-time nap later than normal, around 12:40 as I had a phone call to make at 12 that I didn’t want to miss and was busy working up until then. I don’t recall if I woke up short of the 20 minutes, but I believe I slept through. What’s been interesting is that I keep trying to refine my process of letting my mind drift and I can actually feel my mind falling asleep (though immediately the awareness sort of wakes me up more).

I also took my late afternoon nap later than normal, much closer to 7, after dinner instead of before. Slept fully through it and I think I got to sleep quickly. I definitely felt like the nap was much needed going into it. I didn’t feel tired per se, so much as just feeling a bit off, leading toward not safe to drive a motor vehicle.

Didn’t get to the late night nap until 11:40 pm, about an hour later than normal because of a software deployment as part of my day job. I didn’t feel tired going into it and slept fully through until the alarm went off. I also feel like I fell asleep within a minute or two. Hopefully the armband will show that. I was tempted not to take it because I felt fully awake.

Goals for tonight:

  • Think a bit about a topic for a weekly Skeptical blog I’ve committed myself to. I am considering doing one looking at Polyphasic sleep as I think it’s a perfect topic for looking at misinformation vs reality
  • Daily review of Greek flashcards (normally gets done earlier in the day, but didn’t get around to it)
  • Review some previously done exercises from Greek workbook (was finally able to obtain an answer key from the publisher)
  • Haven’t decided yet, but possibly some non-work coding
  • Dishes, organizing (might stop mentioning this as this is now sort of default)
  • Perhaps a bit of planning of a routine to get the most done in my extra time

Another Everymaners Experience

Kel’s Everyman Sleep Diary: This one is pretty depressing. Looks like they lasted about a week in April 2010. They were exhausted on the first day and it only got worse from there (including vomiting and pain).

They also report feeling cold, which I have also felt… but I have found that I’m frequently cold if I’m up late (regardless of doing Everyman or not), which I’m sure has a good explanation. It’s worth the quick read as a cautionary tale of how things apparently could go but it in no way matches my experience. My main problem is that I haven’t yet gotten an organized routine so that I can definitely feel that I’m getting benefit out of the modified sleep.

Meta-note. It can sometimes take me 30+ minutes to write these, which is obviously counter-productive for the goals of the schedule (though 30 minutes out of 4+ hours isn’t horrible). I will most likely switch to a weekly update once I reach a week on the sleep schedule and then bi-weekly, monthly etc. I can’t imagine maintaining interest in maintaing a daily log of my doings for a long period of time, as this is mostly to help me reflect on how I am progressing so there will quickly be diminishing returns.

Everyman sleep schedule – Day 3

Last night’s “accomplishments”:

  • Completed essay on the character of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark
  • did some reading from book on Literary Criticism of the Gospels (noticing a theme?)
  • Watched the documentary “Indie Game:The Movie” on Netflix

Felt good going into my core sleep. However I woke up 2 times (I think) convinced that either my alarm had gone off or that I had overslept or something. I think I got out of bed at 5 am before noticing that it was only 5 am and that I still had an hour and a left left of sleep. So that’s odd and hopefully isn’t a continuing trend as it doesn’t bode well for getting a solid block of sleep in.

Noon-time nap went well, though I again woke up about 13 minutes into my nap and so just relaxed and tried to get back to sleep for the remaining 7 minutes. Felt fine afterwards going into lunch with some co-workers where we talked about the experiment. One talked about some studies (and his own experience) that getting only four hours of sleep a night over a long period of time can be detrimental. Definitely something to look into! But the self-reporting of those who have done Everyman for extended periods of time (6+ months) seems to indicate that it works out well. But self-reporting could obviously be very deceptive.

Did my afternoon nap at 6:20 after I got home. Didn’t have to worry about newborn so was easy to get to sleep and I slept until my alarm went off. Felt refreshed going into dinner. Final nap was around 10:40 and I actually felt tired after that one as I remained in bed afterwards feeding newborn and then reading a bit of news on my phone until my wife fell asleep. So finding that if I remain in the dark around normal bed-time I feel very tired. Almost immediately after I get up and come into the living room I feel fine so perhaps it’s my former routine trying to take over.

I have started using my wife’s BodyMedia FIT, but I guess I need to wear it for a day or so for it to be calibrated to my body. I can sort of see when I’m napping on there, but it’s not totally obvious (and it might never be, as it’s not actually the point of this armband).

Goals for tonight:

  • Gather some information for the Synoptic Problem for a discussion I’m in over email
  • do some non-work coding
  • do some reading from book on Literary Criticism of the Gospels (noticing a theme?)
  • Exercises from Koine Greek workbook (didn’t get to it this morning)
  • Maybe round it out with some Netflix

It is probably no surprise that I’m not the first person to have blogged about my attempts to do Everyman. Seems like the type of person who wants to try polyphasic sleep is also the type of person who wants to write about it frequently. For the next few days I’ll include a brief summary of how successful (or not) someone was and tips they had.

First up… – two engineers who tried it together. Last post is from 2009, by which time one of them (Chris) had been doing it off and on for 32 days. Intriguingly in their “Day 3.4 Chris” posting they mention that sleeping on your back is effective. I’ve also stumbled upon that conclusion. Any time I’ve tried sleeping on my side, which has traditionally how I’ve slept, I don’t feel very relaxed and so all of my naps have been flat on my back with my arms on my stomach. They also seemed to do 30 minute, rather than 20 minute, naps. Chris found that he was very refreshed after naps, but not so much after the core sleep, which so far jives with my experience. By about a week in they were feeling bored rather than tired, which I’m hoping to avoid but could happen.

Everyman sleep schedule – Day 2

Last night before my core sleep I definitely experienced a bit of tiredness, but nothing major. It was mostly the same feeling any time you are approaching “bed-time”. I ended up avoiding doing my Koine Greek study as I felt like it was the type of thing that would only progress my tiredness. I instead did this at my “normal” time of 7 am before work. 

Last night’s “accomplishments”:

  • fed the baby at 2am (so wife could sleep)
  • worked on my essay on the character of Jesus in Mark
  • spent an hour or so getting some “day job” work done to help get closer to a client commitment
  • blogged (about this experiment…) 

As I started this experiment on a weekend, today was the first time being at work on Everyman. Work-mates were curious about how I was feeling, and I can honestly say I felt very good. By the time my noon-time nap rolled around I only barely felt like I “needed” it. It was interesting taking a nap in my car, but it worked. I ended up dreaming that I had missed my alarm, which I suspect was actually the alarm itself starting to invade my sleep. I do find that I’m a bit groggy following most of the naps, wonder if that will dissipate. I took a walk immediately following the nap which helped a bit. 

I opted to do my afternoon nap after I got home from work, which will most likely be the trend, though this is the one most likely to be awkward depending on how Rachel’s day has been and how our newborn is doing. It happened that today I was able to just go and take the nap without taking the newborn, so I didn’t have to worry about her settling. What’s cool is I wasn’t tired at all before that nap, though this admittedly could stil be residuals from my normal sleep cycle such that 6pm isn’t exactly sleepy time. That said, I lately have felt pretty burned out/sluggish when I get home from work and I didn’t feel that at all. 

In a way I feel like my “think about getting on an airplane” strategy for going to sleep is itself a mini experiment. I almost never actually make it to the point where I’m “sitting down” at my seat on the plane. My mind tends to just go off in a different direction by then, which I think is good as at that point I’m no longer actively thinking about anything but passively letting my mind do what it needs to do. I think this is a desired end point of the short naps. Of course I’m aware of it enough to write about it now, so obviously I’m still conscious during those early few minutes, but I think I’m generally asleep within 5 minutes.

I am thinking of borrowing my wife’s BodyMedia FIT armband, which detects sleep/wake cycles. I’m very curious there. Or else I’ll get some watch or something that is specifically intended to monitor sleep cycles, especially if it has an alarm that will go off at the appropriate time around during the three hour core sleep. Perhaps a reader has a suggestion in that area. I have an iPhone app that tries to do it, but I’m not sure the accelerometer is really that sensitive. 

Goals for tonight:

  • work some more on essay on character of Jesus (hoping to finish soon)
  • do some non-work coding
  • feed baby
  • do some reading from book on Literary Criticism of the Gospels (noticing a theme?)
  • perhaps watch a movie or something on Netflix 


Everyman sleep schedule – Day 1

Today went really well. I expected to be both really cranky and really tired but turned out to be neither. That’s not to say I didn’t look forward to my naps, because I did, but I didn’t feel like I was going to die without them. 

In what I suspect won’t be an infrequent occurrence, my three hour “core” sleep was interrupted 30-45min in by my older daughter not being able to sleep and so climbing in with us. I have no idea how much this affected things, but I still felt as decent as could be expected when my alarm went off around 6:35 am. 

Drank plenty of coffee at breakfast while having a great conversation with a friend of mine. As far as I can tell I was coherent during that. 

My first nap of the day I took around 11:40 am, right before lunch. I ended up waking up still having three minutes left of my nap. Hard to tell if I was woken up by talking around me or if it was part of some natural cycle that my body is still working out. Similarly, I woke up with about four minutes left during my 5:40 nap. In this case I had may newborn in my arms and she was having some trouble settling but again it sort of felt like that’s just when I happened to wake up. My final nap was around 10:30pm and I think I slept through most of that. 

My “strategy” so far for going to sleep during the naps is to start trying to run a sort of movie through my head to try to get my brain to just convert it into a dream. It’s basically just me walking through a jetway onto a plane and choosing my seat. So far it has seemed to help me get to sleep and so far I don’t seem to quite make it to my seat before my brain begins to wander. I think this is good. One of the times however I ended up thinking about work and was trying to solve some problem. I’m not sure how “regenerative” that is. 

I decided to watch some TV in bed with my wife before she fell asleep and found that I was very tired during that. Not too surprisingly, my body was ready to start sleeping while sitting in a dark room watching TV at 10:45 pm. Was able to fight in and now feel quite awake (back in the living room with the lights on). Planning on doing a little bit of “day job” stuff, work on an essay for my Biblical Literary Criticism course and then see what comes up next. I should also work on some Greek, as I didn’t get to that yesterday (did some dishes and cleaning up from a dinner party we’d had last night). 

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