Polyphasic Sleep Hacking

Boost energy and productivity while sleeping less

Tag: alarm (page 1 of 2)

Day 93 | First Nap Wake Up

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:10 AM – 7:50 AM

Nap 2 | 11:50 AM – 12:10 PM

Nap 3 | 5:20 PM – 5:40 PM

Waking up from my first nap is hard sometimes (like today). In my old schedule I used to not sleep nearly as deeply in my first nap because 1) I was getting back in bed with Amanda and careful about not disturbing her more than I was trying to get comfortable and 2) it was a lot colder that time of year and it was hard to warm back up! Also, waking up was easy because we got up together with tons of alarms and the lights being turned on.

Now, I go to sleep by myself after she leaves, get nice and comfy, go deep into sleep and then wake up on my own from my bed.

I have been setting two alarms, one silent on my phone at 6:50 AM and the other loud at 6:51 AM. This morning I woke up got my phone and then somehow it was an hour later and I woke up again on my own… oops.

From now on I’m going to set my smartwatch alarm, and two loud smartphone alarms a couple minutes apart to make sure I’m more awake at the initial wake up time (6:50 AM). I also sleep with the lights on and my sleep mask keeping things dark while I’m asleep. This helps a ton! Then, I’ll set a backup alarm about 20 minutes later just in case I don’t make it out of bed – it’ll limit damage done.

Day 89 | In the Flow

Core | 10:30 AM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:10 AM – 6:50 AM

Nap 2 | 11:40 AM – 12:00 PM

Nap 3 | 4:40 PM – 5:00 PM

Day 5 of my new adaptation. I did a great job today and I felt awesome! This was the best sleep in my naps I’ve had so far – in each nap I fell asleep in what seemed like less than 2-3 minutes and slept all the way through to my alarm, with dreams to remember.

I also hit my ideal schedule perfectly! (You can make your own pretty sleep schedule diagram here)


The thing I’m most happy about is I did this in spite of a challenging social situation as I had a friend/coworker over at my house working on our startup for the second half of the day. Previously, I would have just worked right on through and skipped my nap as I didn’t want to ‘leave him hanging.’ Today, I went and took a 20 minute nap and left him to work on his own for a bit – no problem at all!

My napping strategy

Napping this adaptation and this period of Everyman has already been WAY more successful. Not just more successful than the adaptation period of my first time at polyphasic, which is to be expected as I’m more accustomed to dropping into REM faster now than I was back then. I’m napping better already over the last 5 days than I did once I was adapted for the latter 4-6 weeks of previous Everyman stint.

The main difference is that now I’m napping as much as I can in my bed, where it’s comfortable and I have a routine of going there and falling asleep. Before, I was napping mainly on the couch because it was WAY easier to get up from a nap on the couch than in my comfy, warm bed. The trade-off however is on the couch I wasn’t getting into REM as fast or staying there as long.

In order to make waking up from my bed easier, I’ve been A) setting two alarms for each nap as learned here and B) sleeping with the lights on bright, shades open, and my dark, comfy sleep mask keeping things blacked out. The alarm is just to make sure I get up. The lights on and sleep mask combo help me get up because when I take off my sleep mask to turn off my alarm it’s daytime/bright in the room which makes getting up about 10x easier than a dark, sleepy room.

Day 88 | Overslept – More Alarm Lessons

Core | 11:00 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 1 | skipped

Nap 2 | 11:40 AM – 12:00 PM

Nap 3 | 5:20 PM – 5:40 PM

I slept right through my alarms. I had no conscious thought until I woke up at 5:40 AM – frustrated.

When I went to bed I knew waking up was going to be rough as I was very tired for the first time of this adapation. I honestly don’t know if an alarm failed to go off or if I was tired enough to not stir at all when they did go off.

I had my smartwatch alarm set for 2:30 AM, a silent phone alarm set for 2:32 AM, and a loud phone alarm set for 2:34 AM. I sleep with my phone plugged in next to my bed. This is typically more than enough to wake me up.

From now on I’m going to A) put my alarms closer together at 1 minute intervals, B) set an additional smartwatch alarm as alarm 2 and C) set another loud phone alarm as a catch all 15 minutes later.

I felt pretty good today after getting all that sleep actually. I slept well in both my naps though both took me 5 to maybe 10 minutes to fall asleep so I didn’t get as much time asleep.


Day 86 | Good Schedule – Okay Naps

Core | 11:00 AM – 2:30 AM

Nap 1 | 6:10 AM – 7:10 AM

Nap 2 | 11:40 AM – 12:00 PM

Nap 3 | 4:50 PM – 5:10 PM

Day 2 of my re-adaptation was smooth. I don’t feel exhausted at all, I actually feel really good. My naps were just about the same as Day 1: good sleep in nap1, maybe some light sleep in nap 2, and good sleep in nap 3 (though it took me too long to get to sleep in nap 3 today).

One thing I re-learned today is to set more than one alarm for every nap! During adaptation your body wants to sleep more than the time you’re giving it in your nap, so it’s easy to involuntarily roll over and keep sleeping. I did this with my first nap, thankfully – I woke up 20 only 20 minutes later so it wasn’t a huge oversleep. From now on… two alarms for each nap!

Day 85 | My New Sleep Schedule!

Core | 10:30 AM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:10 AM – 6:50 AM

Nap 2 | 11:40 AM – 12:00 PM

Nap 3 | 4:50 PM – 5:10 PM

I’m really excited to start my first day of adaptation to Everyman 3 again! I’m being smarter about my adaptation this time too, hopefully so I can give feedback on what works and what doesn’t (at least for me).

Determining my schedule

The four main considerations that went into developing this E3 schedule are:

  1. Roughly evenly spaced awake periods, but with awake time getting longer as the day goes on. My awake periods after core are: 4:10, 4:50, 4:50, 5:20. It’s important to not have more than 6 hours of awake time between sleep on the Everyman schedule. More than 6 hours not only leads to more tiredness, but makes it harder to ‘sleep-off’ that tired with a nap.
  2. Getting my core as close to dusk as I can reliably pull off. Taking my first nap in the early morning when my sleep pressure is high and so I can have a ‘normal’ morning after I wake up.
  3. Being in-sync with my immovable everyday routines. My fiance gets up at 5:40 and leaves at 6:05 every morning for work. So, the idea is to spend a couple minutes with her in the morning and then go right to bed after. She gets home most days at 5:15 PM, so I will have just popped up from a nap when she gets home. A 10:30 bedtime feels natural for both of us these days and is already a part of our routine.
  4. I’ve set each of my naps to be at transition times for my day. Nap 1 comes after Amanda leaves and before I eat breakfast and “start my workday.” Nap 2 comes right before lunchtime. Nap 3 comes at the end of the workday. I noticed that it’s hard for me to be in the middle of something and take a break to nap as my mind is still racing on that task. By making my naps happen more frequently at break points, I’m hoping to have a more quiet, clear mind when my head hits the pillow.

Day 1 in the books

Day 1 went really well. Waking up to my smartwatch alarm was easy and I was excited to jump into my big list of to-do’s. I slept deeply and dreamed in nap 1, I was very close to sleeping (or was maybe in/out of light sleep) in nap 2, and I slept the second half of nap 3. That’s much better than not sleeping at all and certainly not hitting REM in any naps like my first adaptation.

I attribute my greater success in napping on day 1 not only to the fact that my body and mind are more trained to get into REM fast and take advantage of head-on-pillow time, but also… I’m setting myself up for success with my schedule, I don’t have anxiety over sleep or the adaptation this time, and I have better nap practices this time. I’ll share more things I’m doing differently in the next coming days including my napping techniques, but the schedule is a huge part of it.

One thing I can share for certain is that I got way more accomplished on my first day of adaptation than any of my monophasic days over the last couple weeks.

Day 57 | Still Issues with Whacky Schedules

Core | 12:30 AM – 5:00 AM

Nap 1 | Skipped

Nap 2 | 9:00 AM – 9:20 AM

Nap 3 | 5:20 PM – 5:30 PM

Note: this is the first day off my schedule in the past week – that’s why I’m writing about it!

I wish I could say that Everyman is working for me flawlessly every day without thinking about it and that I no longer set alarms and my body knows my new timing, etc… But that’s just not true.

When I hold my schedule or even +/- 1 hour to my schedule for everything it works and I feel great! More energy, tired at the right times, quality naps, and good times all around. However, when I have to edit my schedule things get pretty off. I had to finish something up for work which held me up late – two hours later than ideal and about 1.5 hours later than typical for me. (It was pushing a new app to the app store to hit a deadline – so a fun reason to be up working late!). I set my alarm for 3.5 hours later (4 AM) when I went to sleep, but “my alarm never went off” (read: I slept right through the alarm without knowing it). The good news is that I woke up naturally 1 hour later with a quick snap like something was wrong – it was.

I woke up at my typical Nap 1 time, so I decided to go ahead and skip that nap and resume a normal day. I napped really well in my Nap 2 and felt good throughout the day honestly. The roughest time was getting moving when waking up at 5 AM. I woke up from Nap 3 after 8 minutes of sleep and felt super rested, so I went ahead and got up!

The moral of the story is stick to your schedule as much as you can, but once your adapted a schedule mishap is WAY more minor an issue than it is in the earlier stretch. I’m finding things get more and more flexible as time goes on.

Day 50 | In a Rhythm with Everyman

Core | 11:00 PM – 2:30 AM

Nap 1 | 5:15 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 2 | 10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

Nap 3 | 4:40 PM – 5:00 PM

Today was a normal day for me in almost every way. I was really busy with work (I counted and today I put in 15 hours on my startup – holy hell!) and I felt good on Everyman! My first nap started a bit late because I got sucked into something and didn’t realize I was late getting back to bed. This first nap is my most strict one because I get up with Amanda at 5:40 AM consistently.

I have been pushing back both my 2nd and 3rd naps by about an hour to baseline them as 10 AM and 4:40 PM. I did this because I was rarely very tired at 9 AM and it allows me to make it until 10:30 or 11 PM feeling good as opposed to getting very sleepy at 10 PM and battling to stay awake that last hour or so. I’m really liking the adjustment.

Holding Strong on Everyman – Enjoying it!

My Everyman schedule is great for me! It is no longer a struggle to follow unless I mess something up in my schedule, then the next nap can be hard to wake up from… but in general it’s awesome! I have high energy levels all day right up to nap time, I’m consuming no caffeine (used to regularly drink tea), I am having high quality exercise consistently, and I’m more productive than ever before.

The worst parts are 1) having to think through social plans and my sleep schedule before committing and 2) bothering Amanda at 2:30 AM because 25-50% of the time my silent alarm doesn’t wake me up.

The best part is being awake from 2:30 to 5 AM. It’s so peaceful, I’m wide awake, and it’s my most productive and creative time of the day by far.


Day 44 | Smartwatch Silent Alarm

Core | 10:45 PM – 2:15 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 2 | 10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

Nap 3 | 4:10 PM – 4:25 PM

Today felt great! I’m getting back into the swing of things after extra sleep to fight off the flu. Getting readjusted isn’t very difficult – just a slight bit harder to get up from my first nap the last few days. That’s getting better though as I kill off the lingering effects of the bug.

I want to revisit my alarm system as I have it pretty well down at this point.

Core Sleep Alarms

This is the hardest for me to get up from. It’s dark, quiet, 2 AM, etc. so that’s no surprise. This is also the only time I have the consideration of bothering my fiance as little as I possibly can. For this I use the following combination of smartwatch and phone (phone next to bed) with typical times for reference:

2:00 | Smartwatch vibrate silent alarm

2:03 | phone vibrate silent alarm

2:08 | phone loud and annoying alarm

2:40 | phone loud alarm as a fallback

I’d say ~75% (and improving) of the time I get up to my smartwatch alarm. 15% of the time I get up to the phone vibrate alarm. 8% of the time I get up to the loud alarm. One time I woke up to the later oversleep stop alarm.

Nap Alarms

The only nap that I have some trouble waking up from is Nap 1. For this I set:

5:40 | Smartwatch vibrate silent alarm

5:42 | Phone loud alarm

My fiance and I get up to this alarm together to tackle the day, so it’s much easier to get up with someone else. If my smartwatch alarm wakes me up enough I turn off the loud alarm and wake her up. Otherwise we both get up to the blaring alarm a couple minutes later.

The rest of my naps I just set one loud alarm to wake up to as it’s easy to get up from these naps for me. A lot of the time lately I’ve been waking up after 15-18 minutes on my own too.

Day 42 | Easier on Relationship?!

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:00 AM – 7:40 AM

Nap 2 | Skipped

Nap 3 | 5:00 PM – 5:20 PM

This schedule of a longer first nap and skipping my second nap is seemingly becoming my weekend sleep schedule. It’s hard to get up at 5 or 6 AM for the second time when it seems like everyone else in the city is sleeping in and having a lazy morning. That said, I feel just fine on this weekend schedule and it’s easy to jump back into a normal weekday schedule afterward (so far). More on this to come, but…

My fiance prefers my polyphasic sleep schedule!

She gives a few great reasons why she prefers my Everyman sleep to when I was sleeping monophasic:

  1. We get to spend more time together in the evenings! I work less evenings now (I have a demanding job) than I used to due to increased overall productivity and more time.
  2. It pressures us to go to bed earlier (and together). She gets up at 5:40 AM for an early job and a long commute, so it’s nice to have both of us want to get to sleep early.
  3. We wake up together in the morning instead of her sneaking out of the dark house with me sound asleep for another hour or two.

I never thought this sleep schedule could make things in our relationship work better and honestly make our schedules line up better than they used to.

The downsides that these positives outweigh are mainly the slight social difficulties of me needing to take a couple naps per day and the times that my 2:30 AM alarm wakes her up too. (She didn’t complain about the alarm thing – but that has to be annoying)

Day 34 | Everyman Partying Recovery

Core | 12:45 PM – 4:15 AM

Nap 1 | 5:30 AM – 8:00 AM

Nap 2 | Skipped

Nap 3 | 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Disclaimer: my definition of partying these days is more than 2 drinks and staying out passed 11 PM. That used to be called “a weeknight” in college, but times change!

Last night was a big night. We had 16 good friends over at our tiny apartment and had a killer time eating, drinking, and being merry until after midnight. This is obviously not good for my sleep schedule.

One night of staying up late and having some drinks I know isn’t the end of the world and I can recover from the next day with maybe one extended nap and a cup of tea if required. However, it’s been 3 nights in a row of partying, with each night getting bolder. That’s hard to recover from. In fact, it proved fatal to my sleep schedule today!

Being really tired day after

I was really damn tired waking up from my core today. I believe after drinking and staying up late which makes me very exhausted when going to bed, my body is just craving extra rest! In the future, when this happens I’m going to try extending my core duration to see if that helps. Typically, after staying up late and drinking, I’m tired until either: a) I exercise, b) I intentionally take a longer nap or c) I oversleep on accident.

Main Lesson Learned

How closely I stick to the schedule is not a day-by-day concern. It adds up between days.

One day of partying with a few ‘responsible’ schedule days on either side of it is completely doable and I’d say healthy from a social and emotional point-of-view. Two days in a row is not insane, but will have significant energy level impacts and will take a day or two to recover from. Three days in a row is sleep schedule suicide! Keeping a reasonable sleep schedule and being productive (which requires not feeling exhausted) I’ve decided is impossible for me right now. I turn into a zombie and click off all alarms that come at me to catch up on rest.

I’d love to hear your experience with partying on polyphasic as I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s very person dependent.

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