So for the past weeks I have been experimenting a lot with sleep and how to optimize it.
I briefly tried various Everyman and Uberman schedules most importantly uberman which went ok for a few days and then had me crash by oversleeping due to SWS deprivation and after that Everyman 3 with a 3 hour core and 3-4 naps 20 min naps. during the day.
Now my experimental e3 schedules involved (despite the fact that the naps aren't equidistant):
- Core 01:30-04:30
- Nap at 05:30
- Nap at 08:30
- Nap at 19:00
- Nap at 22:00
This worked out ok however still meant a lot of time wasted and me feeling not 100% top of my game.
Now things changed after receiving a Zeo for xmas allowing me to get proper feedback and data on my sleep cycles. So for the last few days I have been mostly sleeping monophasic collecting data on how my circadian rhythm appears to work.
Concerning the charts: (light green=REM, dark green=Deep, grey=Light, Red=Wake) – each bar shows a 5 min. range.
My assumptions proved to be correct (~90 min. cycles, hitting REM on naps) and additionally I discovered things I wasn't fully aware of yet.
- I am getting lots of REM
- I am getting about an hour in one block during the morning hours
- Deep is mostly handled in one block in the first 1.5-3 hours of the night (fragmentation seems to be affected by alcohol consumption)
Based on this I decided to, instead of trying to adapt to some made up schedules, adapt my schedule to my already existing rhythm. I also didn't want to eliminate deep sleep completely (as would be done with an uberman cycle of 6x 20 min. naps a day).
So after examining the data I figured why not try to split up the core into 2 parts:
- Deep Core: 01:30-03:00 with mostly deep sleep and a little REM
- REM Core: 06:00-07:00 with mostly REM
- Add in 2-3x 20min naps during the day depending on how I feel and need them
In theory this should have no sleep deprivation and adaption symptoms at all as I would cover SWS deprivation by still getting deep sleep plus my I would probably end up getting more pure REM time than on a regular e3 schedule.
So I went ahead with my plan and first made sure to get a maximum of deep sleep by using all the knowledge I acquired that could possibly aid me in my task:
This especially involves one hour before having my Deep Core:
- Turning all lights off and avoiding bright lighs to get melatonin production going
- Activate Redshift on my pc to dim the PC monitors and putting on sunglasses
- Drinking a 200mg Magnesium tab
- Switch to calm Music (selected tracks from NIN's Ghost I-IV)
30 min. before hitting the bed I additionally
- Have a hot shower to raise my body core temperature and
- Cooling down my sleeping room in the meantime
I will then lay in bed for 15 min. reading with socks on and the window still open to cool the room and my body further down, while the blanket is only covering my feet to keep those warm. The effect of a decrease in body core temperature while keeping the extremities (hand/feet) warm induces sleepiness and should decreasethe time needed to hit deep sleep.
At ~01:30am I put on a sleeping mask and the zeo headband. I keep the socks on however I do sleep with the blanket covering my whole body then. Via relaxing/proper breathing and some speed meditation I am usually able to fall asleep in 5 minutes max. (it usually takes me about 2 min.)
Now for the REM Core, in order to maximize the potential REM time I set the alarm to 07:20 with a smart wake window of 30 min. In theory the smartwake should wake me up as soon as I exit REM which should, based on my calculations, happen somewhere at 07:00.
I hit the bed at ~06:00 with the target of ~ 1hour of sleep with a maximum of REM.
In order to ensure proper REM sleep I do most of the things the same as I did before the Deep Core (cooling the body down, listening to calm music and no lights)
Results: First night
Everything went better than expected. Will see how the day goes by but I am already satisfied that everything went exactly as predicted.
We shall see if this turns out to be a sustainable long term solution. I will update the post later this day once the majority passed and I had some naps to comment on.
Deep Core: Zeo alarm set to 03:15 + Wakewindow of -30min*.
Actual sleep time clocked in at 01:15 min. from 1:26-2:50.
REM Core: Zeo alarm set to 07:15 + Wakewindow of -30 min*.
Actual sleep time clocked in at 01:02 min. from 05:55-6:59am
*Zeos smartwake window allows you to setup the zeo so that the alarm may go off a maximum of x min. before the intended wakeuptime should an ideal opportunity present itself (= just leaving REM).