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Day 5

August 23, 2014

Day 5:

12:30 – 2:20 AM:

This sleep was much-needed and very much enjoyed. I woke up feeling still slightly blurry eyed, but less tired than before the nap. Slightly irritating, I overslept by about 20 minutes, so it was actually a 110 minute nap. A relatively small difference compared to yesterday, so probably irrelevant, but too close to yesterday for my comfort.

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I’m attempting to lower my sleep deficit by taking extra 90 minute naps. I’ve heard a couple of difference places, mainly here, that you should stay awake at least 90 minutes between naps because this breaks the sleep cycle completely instead of your brain treating two naps like one stretch of interrupted sleep. Not sure what the difference is, but they probably know more about it than I do, so 90 minute breaks it is!

With this in mind, the AM of Day 5 went like this: Slept 90 (12:30 – 2:20 AM, very little deep sleep), awake 90, slept 90 (4:30 – 6:00, 70% deep sleep) , awake 90, slept 90 (7:30 – 9:00, 35% deep sleep < average). This third nap was my regular second nap pushed up an hour to avoid the baleful light of dawn. The deep sleep thing is interesting, it definitely indicates that the extra nap should help a lot with the sleep deficit. For each of these naps, I laid in bed, making sure I stayed awake after the first one, and rested more. Shouldn’t do this, doesn’t help falling asleep (according to Pavlina), which still take me 3-15 minutes to do.

7:30 – 9:00 AM:

I woke up at 9:00 very slightly groggy, but largely awake and alert. For the next awake block (7.5 hours),  I did some construction work, some driving, some social outing, all of which went over really without any apparent negative effect from the sleep-related things going on.

4:30 – 6:00 PM:

Finally back to the original schedule! Heh, I say ‘finally’, but it’s barely been a day. I didn’t feel too tired going into this nap, but I slept in a cool place with my new sleep mask, and patiently waited to fall asleep. All told I probably slept 60 minutes of the 90, with 15 of those being lying awake at the end. So, not the best nap every, but I did get 25 minutes of deep sleep in, so I woke up refreshed and energetic (a friend commented that he hadn’t seen me this energetic since before I started the experiment). All went well for the rest of the day. My energy level dropped off the deep end around 12:00 PM and left me banked on a couch till my next nap came at 1:00 AM.

Sleep mask: An impressive sleep mask coming from my background, which lacks any experience in sleep masks :). It does a very effective job of shutting out the light, is molded so doesn’t touch your eyelashes unless you press against the mask. The elastic strap is adjustable, this is important to keep it from digging into the tops of your ears and giving you a headache. My nose is just too wide for the mold, so it lets in just a sliver of light; tightening the strap decreases the light. Since my nose is a little wide, the mall “pinches” the bridge if my nose, but the feeling is so small it’s very easy to ignore. The mask comes with earplugs. Nothing special, but sufficient for the job, and stay in your ears nicely. Some customers have said that the mask comes apart easily after a few months; I feel like if you take car of it, or put a few stitches in it’ll be fine, but I’ll keep you posted.

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