Polyphasic Sleep Hacking

Boost energy and productivity while sleeping less

Tag: caffeine (page 1 of 2)

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 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.

Day 22 | Caffeine for Alertness

Core | 11:00 PM – 2:40 AM

Nap 1 | 5:20 AM – 6:00 AM

Nap 2 | 10:30 AM – 10:50 AM

Nap 3 | 4:00 PM – 4:20 PM

This morning I had an important meeting for work. In order to make sure I was on top of my game, I had a cup of really weak green tea at 6:30 AM before my 7 AM meeting. I wasn’t tired when I drank the tea, but I felt super alert and creative during my meeting. This is the first time during adaptation I’ve drank caffeine for a reason other than feeling dead tired and needing to stay awake.

I enjoyed light caffeine intake for alertness today. I could see this being a normal habit once I’ve become fully adapted and if I have an important event to be extra sharp for. I felt awesome all day!

Day 21 | Nap Oversleep :(

Core | 11:00 PM – 2:30 AM

Nap 1 | 6:20 AM – 8:20 AM

Nap 2 | Missed

Nap 3 | 7:30 PM – 7:55 PM

Holiday Adaptation Struggles

I overslept, that’s my fault and mainly a problem with focus and self-control. However, it would be much easier to stay on track if it wasn’t the holidays with such variable schedules and most people being a bit slow moving over this time when I’m trying to do the opposite. For example, this morning my fiance sleeping in was just too tempting! I decided to curl up next to her for just another minute and boom! I had a two hour nap. Oops. Adapt over a time period with a normal schedule if at all possible.

Though don’t get me wrong, I’d take my extra hour cuddling over being awake in the middle of the night every time!

Oversleep Leads to Tiredness

It’s counter intuitive, but every time I’ve overslept I feel way more tired the rest of the day. I’m honestly not sure why that is scientifically. A two hour nap should have resulted in more deep sleep and REM which you would think results in a more awake feeling Eric – but that’s not the case. Breaking from my typical schedule makes me tired the rest of the day.

Today, I was at a family friend’s holiday party for a good chunk of the day and I alternated between caffeine and beer at the party. I know that doesn’t help, but it’s hard not to when you feel social pressure to drink and internal pressure to go to bed!

I need to keep on my ideal schedule consistently!

Day 19 | On Schedule and Feeling Great!

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:40 AM – 6:20 AM

Nap 2 | 7:20 AM – 7:40 AM

Nap 3 | 3:40 PM – 4:00 PM

Today I felt awesome! Good energy, amazingly productive in the night awake time, and optimistic about this whole Everyman thing! No caffeine still and I went on nice, slow, long run which felt good during and after.

Day 18 | Adaptation Timing

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:45 AM – 7:30 AM

Nap 2 | Missed

Nap 3 | 3:40 PM – 4:00 PM

I overslept my first nap in the morning. It’s Christmas today and I planned to have a bit longer of a first nap as a present to myself, but it wasn’t supposed to be almost 2 hours! This falls in line with most of my issues so far come from trying to break away from the standard schedule.

Adaptation Timing Advice

I didn’t think much about timing for my sleep experiment here. I needed more awake hours, was becoming caffeine dependent, and also had issues ‘feeling bad’ throughout the day (potentially related to a health condition). Then, I found out about polyphasic sleep, researched the hell out of it and then decided to dive in on a whim one evening.

Having my adaptation line up over the holidays is certainly less than ideal. I’ve spent 5 days on a ski vacation, and 7 days staying with family so far. This just adds in schedule constraints and social stress that wouldn’t be there otherwise. One good thing is that I’m already used to explaining to people what polyphasic sleep is, how it works, why I’m doing it, why I need to go take a nap now, etc. So, I’m pretty much a seasoned veterans when it comes to the social aspects of polyphasic sleep.

If I was doing it again, I would time my adaptation to be during as much of a normal schedule as possible. So, during normal work time with few vacations or holidays. Adaptation should have the most schedule rigidity and also will have the most desire to quit. Vacations, schedule freedom, and free time actually contribute to both contemplating quitting more and a less structured sleep schedule.


Day 8 | Consistent REM Naps

Core | 11:00 PM – 2:20 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:30 AM

Nap 2 | 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM

Nap 3 | 5:40 PM – 6:00 PM

I’m consistently falling to sleep quickly for naps, dreaming, and feeling rested when waking up – I’m hitting REM quickly! That means my naps are efficient in revitalizing my body and are almost immediately diving into much needed REM. My body is starting to adjust to the stress I’m putting it through to help me cope long term.

Another long day required and this sleep schedule felt good again! I went snowshoeing which I’m positive helped maintain sharpness as it was quite a workout in the freezing cold. I drank two cups of tea today, though it wasn’t as bad as my mega caffeine day. I had an important work meeting in the afternoon that fell right at my normal 4 PM nap time. I stayed mentally sharp and creative via caffeine.

Awesome day, felt good overall.

Feel Better – Sleep Less

If you need to squeeze more time out of your days, feel sluggish when you wake up, or just like self-experiments – you’ve come to the right place.

Sustainable polyphasic sleep cycles can cut your sleep time in half while making you feel more energized, creative and driven. Sounds crazy right? Simply put, it works by breaking up your sleep into multiple segments per day (yay for naps!) which increases how efficiently your body uses sleep time.

My goal is to wrap up the important things I’ve learned researching and living polyphasic to help you transition to a happier and more productive you.

Get started by reading my adaptation sleep journal and checking out the resources I couldn’t have done it without! Plus much more coming soon. Comment or shoot me an email if there is something that you’d like to see on the blog or if I can help out.

Day 5 | Social Life Conflict

Core | 11:0 AM – 2:30 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:25 AM

Nap 2 | 9:30 AM – 9:50 AM

Nap 3 | Missed

Today was my first day not feeling worse than the previous day!

I was able to align more accurately with my ideal schedule and I had good energy level and mental sharpness. I also completely cut caffeine today – we’ll see how long that lasts.

Social Life Gets in the Way

The day was going great until my social life got in the way of a nap… My good friend and work teammate visited for a long afternoon meeting and stayed into the evening which is fairly common. We worked, bullshitted and then went out to a late dinner with a few more friends.

I couldn’t get myself to take a nap and leave him sitting on my couch for 20+ minutes. So, I did what I typically do and suffered instead of facing a difficult social situation. I did not feel well at dinner or into the evening – I was exhausted.

What I should have done…

I am going to have to get used to social conflicts with my new schedule and I need to either prepare by shifting sleep around or take the more socially difficult way out and take a nap at an inconvenient time for others. It seems this will be one of my biggest struggles.

Day 4 | Peak Caffeine Consumption

Core | 11:30 PM – 3:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:30 AM – 5:55 AM

Nap 2 | 7:15 AM – 7:40 AM

Nap 3 | 9:40 PM – 10:00 PM

Day 2 of the conference was the most exhausted I’ve been in a long while! I struggled to stay awake at all during about half of the talks. Bobbing for apples at a big, important conference isn’t a good look. Oops.

Tea City

In order to stay awake and maintain a sliver of mental sharpness, I drank a lot of caffeine for me. I had three cups of strong tea mid-day. Including a back-to-back tea dose in the early afternoon. The caffeine really boosted my alertness to get me through, but I was still struggling. If I keep this up it will really effect the quality of my sleep. I must stop with caffeine!

Intense Workout

I had my first hard core workout on the polyphasic everyman sleep schedule… It felt great! I trained Muay Thai for 1.5 hours, got my ass kicked, and felt sharp during and after.

Then, I accidentally fell asleep on the ground right before bedtime. My last ‘nap’ at 9:40 PM was completely accidental. I don’t think that’s good.


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