2007-06-10 16:20 in /life/sleep
I’ve decided to suspend my attempts to switch to Everyman for a couple weeks. It’s just been too difficult to try to sustain the schedule while we’re in LA. My core sleep has been somewhat regular, but my naps have been all over the place. I’m finding it hard to actually fill the hours being away from home and my usual amusements. Most importantly, I’ve had to drive 2-3 hours most days we’ve been here, and I feel like I’ve been in very questionable condition to be on the road so much.
Due to all these factors, I’m going to go back to monophasic (or maybe biphasic) for a while. We’ll be in LA for another week, and then a couple days after we get back, we’re going on a camping trip. After that, I think I’ll give things another go.
2007-06-07 11:01 in /life/sleep
This week has been pretty chaotic on the schedule. (Well, it’s been pretty chaotic overall.) Monday I let myself sleep 6 hours to help recover from the train, and then just had one nap. Tuesday I was back on schedule, sleeping 4.5 hours then driving into the Burbank office. I got to experience the joy of napping in the car, which didn’t work all that well; I don’t think I got any sleep during either nap. Yesterday I was in the office again, and my first nap was similarly unsuccessful. For my 5pm nap I tried laying down in the back seat rather than sitting in the passenger seat and that worked much better. Unfortunately, I woke up with a lot of sleep inertia, probably because I’ve had such unsatisfactory naps for the last couple days.
Last night, I rejoined S. and her family out at her dad’s house in Camarillo. Unfortunately, the long drive and late dinner really took it out of me, and there’s not much there to keep me stimulated, so I crashed shortly after midnight, then turned my alarm off at 5:30 and slept another 3 hours. If there was actually hot water in the house, I might have gotten up for a shower, but without that to tempt me it was just too easy to go back to sleep.
Right now, I’m working from a coffeeshop, and I’m really wondering how today’s naps are going to go. There’s not really any privacy to be had in the house at the moment, so I’m a little worried.
2007-06-04 09:40 in /life/sleep
The last couple days have been quite a challenge for my schedule. First off, it seems like the psychological impact of an oversleep is more severe than I would have expected. After what happened on Weds, there was definitely part of me that wanted to just give up. Because of the amount of sleep I ended up getting that night, I had difficulty with my naps, and then I had to fight the temptation to go to bed at my “normal” time.
The last couple nights, I’ve ended up staying up later than I wanted trying to get ready to go out of town, so my schedule keeps floating around. Plus, yesterday was another one of those days where the little one woke up at 6, despite staying up until midnight. My naps did not go well. This morning I was really dragging for about 3 hours after I got up. On the positive side, my morning nap today was really good. In fact, for the first time I had a proper dream during a nap. Previously I’ve only had light daydream-like dreams about stuff going on that day. This was a full-on, out-of-nowhere, mildly surreal number. So, I think that’s progress.
Today, I’m on the train on the way to LA and I’m wondering how the heck I’m going to manage this for 30 hours on the train. Naps should be easy. Staying awake is going to be the hard part, with limited modes of amusement. At least there’s a lot more room to move around than on an airplane.
(A bit of train secret-tech: On the Amtrack Superliner cars, there’s a couple seats with power outlets, but you have to look carefully to find them. The staff seems completely unaware that they even exist.)
2007-06-04 09:40 in /life/sleep
Well, the train has proved to be a disaster for trying to maintain my schedule. My 5:00 nap didn’t really yield any sleep at all, and once they turned the main lights off at 10, it was extremely difficult to stay awake. I watched a movie for a bit then gave up about 12:30. My sleep was extremely light and fragmented, so while I got up a bit before 6 when it got light, I was still exhausted and have let myself nap freely thoughout the day. Basically, the train is both sleep-inducing and sleep-preventative at the same time. So, I’m writing today off and hoping that I can get back on my schedule tonight.
2007-05-31 09:20 in /life/sleep
Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Today I had my first oversleep. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I seem to have had some sort of alarm malfunction.
I had my alarm clock set for 5:45, having gone to bed at 1:15. However, I was woken up about 4 by the neighbor’s cat coming in through our open window and making a big fuss. After dealing with that and closing all the windows, S. suggested that I should change my alarm and give myself some extra time, so I moved it to 6. (She thought I should have added an hour.) Next thing I know, it’s 7:30 when I woke up, and then I dozed for another half-hour, since I’d already blown my schedule this morning.
My initial assumption was that S. had just turned off my alarm, which she has a habit of doing when she thinks I need more sleep (and which annoys the heck out of me because it usually ruins my morning when I get shocked out of bed by the realization that I’ve overslept). However, the alarm was still set, and indeed set for 6AM. The only unusual thing was that it was set for music rather than buzzer. So, my best guess is that it went off at low volume and I just slept through it, which I’m somewhat trained to do, since S. often turns on the radio while she’s getting ready for bed.
At any rate, I’m trying not to stress too much. I’m going to stick with my planned naps for today, and tonight I’ll make sure the alarm is actually set on buzzer.
2007-05-31 00:30 in /life/sleep
After three days of sleeping only 4.5 hours at night, I’m definitely feeling somewhat out of it. My focus and attention span are pretty short, and motivation is lacking. One thing I know I’ve been slipping on is physical activity, but I just can’t seem to get myself out to move around. It’s not helping that it’s gotten crazy hot all the sudden, so going outside is just unpleasant most of the day.
I’m starting to wonder if my sleep changes are having effects on the rest of the family. The little one has been staying up later and later, to the point where I once again barely have any time between her falling asleep and the time when I need to get ready for bed. And, now that I’m getting up at 5:30, I’m actually waking up just as S. is finally going to bed. Yesterday was particularly insane. S. was still up when I got up, and then the little one woke up about 6:00, while I was still in the shower (after she went to bed about midnight). After that, S. stayed up until about 1:00 in the afternoon before crashing for a couple hours. I’m not sure what to make of all this. It’s a weird contrast, though, between my very disciplined sleep and the chaos of the rest of the family.
Also, yesterday and today my 5:00 naps were pretty poor. I’m not sure whether this is linked to noise around the house, the high temperatures, or it just being not the right time for a nap. Although, I’m definitely feeling sleepy a little before then, so I would expect to be dropping off easily and quickly.
As an aside, I’m trying not to do much proofreading or editing of these posts (although, flyspell catches some of my spelling errors). I figure a crude measure of my mental abilities may be captured in the quality of the writing. I’ve definitely noticed some typos after the fact, but that’s pretty normal. I’m not sure about the quality of the writing, maybe you can tell me.
2007-05-28 20:20 in /life/sleep
I’m definitely more tired today, after dropping to 4.5 hours of sleep last night. It comes and goes, at some points in the day I’ve been completely exhausted, and other times I feel just fine. It doesn’t seem to be closely correlated to my nap times, either. I’m thinking I should start keeping notes of when I’m tired and when I’m alert and see if a pattern arises. Potentially, it’s about that time each day and I should adjust my nap times accordingly.
I did have two naps today, at about 10:30 and 5:30, and they were pretty deep, although I still had that mid-nap wakeup during the first one. Unlike a lot of people, I haven’t been particularly consistent about where I’m napping. Based on what else is going on in the house, I switch between upstairs in our bedroom and downstairs in the guest room. The same is true for my core sleep, although I’ve mostly been sleeping in the guest room to avoid interruptions. If I start oversleeping my naps, I might have to re-evaluation this, but for the moment, this particular bit of advice doesn’t seem to apply to me.
One other thing that I’d been meaning to mention, and was reminded of by Toad008’s last post is that in addition to quitting caffeine, I’m also refraining from alcohol entirely as well. I don’t expect this to be permanent, but I figure that the last thing my body needs at this point is a depressant. This hasn’t been too tough, particularly since I made a point to stop buying beer and wine a few weeks in advance and to drink up what we had in the house. So, at home there’s not really anything for me to drink. Most of the geek gatherings happen at pubs around here, but it looks like we’ll be out of town for most of them this month, so there won’t be any temptation there either.
Finally, I took a walk this morning while everyone was still asleep. It was pretty neat to just stroll down Hawthorne with no crowds or traffic, and I kept going a ways past where we usually walk, so I got to check out a bunch of shops that I didn’t know existed before.
2007-05-28 00:40 in /life/sleep
This weekend has been more of a challenge socially than physically. While working during the week, it was easy to remember to nap, but both days this weekend I nearly forgot to schedule it in. On Saturday, I made plans in the morning to meet friends at 2, then remembered I was supposed to be napping then, and had to move it a little earlier. Today, I was about to head out the door for the afternoon with the little one, when I realized I needed to nap. I imagine this will become more habitual.
Tonight I’m going to try dropping down to 4.5 hours. For the last week with 6 hours, I’ve been somewhat tired, but managing. I don’t feel like there’s any real adaptation happening, though. I’ve noticed in the past that much of the time, 6 hours of solid sleep is at least as good for me as 8 hours of semi-interrupted sleep. So, it doesn’t surprise me too much that this week hasn’t been enough to force any real change in my sleep cycles. And, I’m still having this weird wakeup in the middle of most of my naps. So, I’m going to push a little harder in hopes that changes start to happen.
My big concern at the moment is that it looks like we’re going back to LA at the end of this week. When I decided on this timeline, I thought this trip wasn’t going to happen, but now it’s back on. We’re probably going to be down there for about 2 weeks and I imagine it’s going to be a bit tough to keep on schedule, particularly without having all the normal stuff to amuse myself with when I’m trying to not sleep.
2007-05-25 23:40 in /life/sleep
Nothing too exciting to report today. As I wrote earlier, I was really tired when I got up, but it passed by mid-morning. I took my afternoon nap earlier, at about noon, and once again found myself waking up after 10 or 12 minutes then going back to sleep. I tried a second nap around 5:30, but it was a complete disaster. It’s the first time I’ve seriously tried to nap while the little one was at home, and she ended up waking me up about 7 minutes in, and then there was some more noise a few minutes later, so I never really got to sleep.
In general, this might be a serious challenge. It’s going to take some work to get her to understand that she really needs to not wake me up while I’m napping. I guess that’ll be a project for this weekend. Also, I’m probably going to need to try earplugs for some of my naps this weekend.
I realized today that while I’ve certainly been feeling a little unfocused the last couple days, it’s a little tough to figure out how much of that is the sleep changes and how much is the fact that I got yanked onto a new task at work, and it’s just not exciting me that much. Basically, I’m reverse-engineering configuration file formats. What fun! I’ve gotten a couple chances to drop back to something enjoyable for a few minutes, and then I’m productive again, so there’s clearly some effect coming from this specific task, although I might do a better job just pushing though it if I were less tired.
2007-05-25 08:30 in /life/sleep
Yesterday was not too bad — pretty similar to day 1, or maybe a little better even. I did sleep in the guest room, so perhaps that made the difference. In the morning I was starving when I woke up. I also think I may not have been eating enough the last couple days. That’s something I probably need to keep a closer eye on.
My 2:00 nap went well. The last couple naps, I’d been waking after 13-15 minutes; this time I actually slept for the whole 20 minutes. Perhaps that means that my body is getting accustomed to this nap length, but it’s probably to early to really say.
In the evening, I went out for a geek gathering, and then to meet up with a friend who’s in town for the weekend. I ended up getting to bed 15 minutes late, and although I moved my alarm back to compensate, I was still very tired upon waking up. I’m skeptical that it’s due to the schedule shift; maybe all the walking around downtown wore me out more than I realized. I’m contemplating two naps today, but I’ll see how I’m feeling as the day goes on. I’m not sure if that would be beneficial, or a hinderence to adaptation.