Polyphasic Sleep Hacking

Boost energy and productivity while sleeping less

Tag: exhausted (page 1 of 2)

Day 134 | One Wonky Day with lots of Sleep

Core 1 | 11:00 PM – 5:00 AM

Core 2 | 6:30 AM – 7:30 AM

Nap 1 | 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Overall, things have been going really well on DC1. This was one sleepy day apparently. I overslept my first core and my afternoon nap and totaled at 9 hours of sleep! I haven’t slept that much in months, since I was adjusting back to monophasic after my first bout of Everyman.

To be fair, I was visiting my parents’ home over this weekend, which is always a really relaxing and comfortable place for me (luckily). Back at home I sleep on my old waterbed (heaven) and my mom has blackout blinds all through the house because she used to work night-shift and sleep during the day.

I’m going to keep an eye on myself and see if this turns into a common thing – passing out for long periods of time after a week or two of DC1. If it is a pattern and not just a case of the comfy beds and laziness on my part, then I’ll increase my second core sleep time a little bit to make sure I’m getting enough sleep daily.


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 37 | Healthy(ish) and on Track

Core | 10:30 PM – 2:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 2 | 9:30 AM – 9:50 AM

Nap 3 | 4:50 PM – 5:10 PM

I’m feeling a lot better today after getting tons of rest over the last few days. I’m not totally healthy as I still have running nose, cough, and headache, but my energy level and mental clarity is way better and I can tell I’m on the upswing.

It was extremely easy getting back into my normal schedule since I kept the same core throughout my rest period!

I also am grateful for the early bed times the last few nights and I see how that can make a big impact.

Sleeping to Fight Sickness

First off, in my opinion there are two levels of sickness: 1 where you feel a bug coming on and are fighting it off or have a mild flu, and the other when you feel like you’ve been hit by a freight train. If you have the more mild type one that you are trying to fight off, I highly recommend maintaining the same core length and extending or adding naps as much as necessary to get enough sleep to combat the sickness. This will make it extremely easy to convert back to your schedule when your health is back. However, if you have the more severe type two sickness, throw the entire polyphasic thing out the window and just stay in bed as much as you need (or even as much as you can!). It’s better to be completely out of commission for a couple days than to have a lingering sickness for weeks. Adapting back to your schedule won’t be too bad as you’ve already trained your body to get into REM fast and you’ve proven you have the self-discipline.



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 33 | Getting Extra Sleep

Core | 11:15 PM – 2:25 AM

Nap 1 | 5:20 AM – 5:00 AM

Nap 2 | 9:20 AM – 10:00 AM

Nap 3 | 5:00 PM – 5:20 PM

Today was a good day! I had a fairly good energy level and had a hard training session at 7 AM that I was alert and focused for.

However, I felt some extra sleep deprivation symptoms in the morning – a little groggy and honestly hung over feeling. A bunch of old college buddies met up at a bar and drinks were flowing last night. I was fairly responsible having 3 drinks and getting home by 10:30 PM. It still had it’s effect on me, especially after being out later than normal 2 nights ago too (and drinking some beer).

Playing sleep catch up without falling off the wagon

I did some research into this and the recommendation is one of two things: add an extra nap, or slightly extend one of your nap periods. So, I took a 40 minute second nap and felt extremely revitalized after! When I woke up I wasn’t sure where I was/what time it was/what I was doing/etc.

The sleep deprivation symptoms I was feeling were from a lack of REM sleep. Getting an extra 20 minutes of solid REM in an extended nap makes a world of difference on how your day goes.

Two notes: 1) this is more of an advanced move once you’re getting consistent REM in naps and not something to even consider for the first ~1 week and 2) keeping your core the same time and as close to the same schedule is the most important! Playing with # of naps and nap duration is more flexible.



Day 32 | Temporary Sleep Schedule Adjustment

Core | 12:15 AM – 4:00 AM

Nap 1 | 6:30 AM – 7:10 AM

Nap 2 | 10:30 AM – 10:50 AM

Nap 3 | 5:50 PM – 6:05 PM

Last night I stayed out late (for me at least) at a comedy show. Plus I drank two beers and had late-night pizza. Waking up at 4 AM was difficult and my smartwatch alarm didn’t actually do the trick when it started buzzing at 3:45 AM. Thankfully, I setup a few backup alarms to go off at 4 AM if I wasn’t awake already. I believe the difficulty in getting up was due to alcohol and the later shifted sleep by about 1.5 hours.

Nap Adjustment

I felt good all day. A lot of that was because I successfully adjusted my naps to fit with my adjusted core sleep time. Notice that each nap is shifted back almost exactly 1.5 hours from typical. This started because I didn’t want to go back to bed at 5 AM after waking up at 4 AM. I’ve done this before and it makes me feel worse the rest of the day as if I had a weird awake period in a longer core. You want to be awake for around 2.5-3 hours after your core at least to let your body wake up and to better space your naps throughout the day.

My strategy worked great! I had good energy all day. It seems like the core timing is the anchor that the rest of the day’s schedule should mold to.

With that said, I’ve felt by far the best when I stick to the basic schedule (within maybe 30 minutes) for multiple days in a row. My body gets in the routine and my energy level improves as well as tiredness pretty much going away. Social and work makes this difficult to do, but it may be required to stick with my sleep schedule long term.

Day 26 | First Full Night Oversleep

Core | 10:45 PM – 7:30 AM

Nap 1 | Missed

Nap 2 | Missed

Nap 3 | Missed

Damnit! I slept through the night!

This is really frustrating. After this long without too many mistakes I completely slept through the night for an almost 9 hour core. This is my first time sleeping completely through the night. I was the most tired I’ve been in the last 27 days when I went to bed after partying the night before, which probably explains my mistake.

I obviously turned off 1 alarm without waking up, but it seems like I failed to set my other backup alarms. This was a big mistake as I require a backup alarm about half the time to get up from my core.


It seems like all of this work was for nothing if I just slept right through the night on accident. I guess I’m back on a monophasic sleep schedule right now then! Instead of quitting though, I’m going to push through and get back on track with my adaptation.

Everyone has setbacks. I will push forward!

Feeling Damn Good

I felt better today than I have in the last few weeks! I was hoping to be groggy all day as I’m not used to that much sleep, but it was actually the opposite. My body must have loved the sleep – I felt more alert, happy, and sharp than I have in a while. This makes me nervous.

The Everyman sleep schedule has really boosted productivity and has made me feel better at times. However, I want both sharpness and productivity increase! We’ll see if that comes through further adaptation. If not, I may be pulling back to monophasic for the benefit of feeling more awake throughout my 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 15 | Exercise Differences

Core | 12:30 PM – 4:00 AM

Nap 1 | 5:00 AM – 5:40 AM

Nap 2 | 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Nap 3 | 6:00 PM – 6:20 PM

Half way through my month long test!!! This may just work :)

I somehow managed to way oversleep my second nap. I think this has to do with me being a bit more tired due to the late night and alcohol. Also, I got lazy about setting the third alarm as I typically have no trouble getting up from Nap 2 or Nap 3.

Right after oversleeping I felt pretty groggy getting moving. I probably dropped into deep sleep in the nap as it was hard waking up when my fiance came to check on me as it had been a while.

Slow to Adapt to Exercise

No matter how I feel when I start exercising, I always feel better after. This has been true for me my entire life (thankfully!) and plays a big role in how active I am.

However, when I’ve been really tired during adaptation it has been noticeably more difficult to get my body and mind into exercise mode. Today, I played tennis after oversleeping that nap and it took about 20 minutes out of a 90 minute match to get up to speed. I felt like I was both mentally and physically warming up for the first 20 minutes. Focusing on the game and strategy was difficult and I was moving noticeably slower than normal.

Once I got in the groove I felt just like usual, but getting there has been taking a lot longer than typically when exhausted. It’s interesting and not particularly surprising.

Day 12 | Extreme Exhaustion

Core | 11:00 PM – 2:30 AM

Nap 1 | 4:30 AM – 5:30 AM

Nap 2 | 11:00 AM – 11:40 AM

Nap 3 | 5:00 PM – 5:20 PM

I somewhat failed at staying awake today. I was in a state up until 7 that was very questionably awake… more like half napping while sitting/standing/walking. The roughest was 2:30 AM to 4:30 AM. I was “bobbing for apples” pretty much the entire time. This was different than body exhaustion and from emotional exhaustion. It is a more simple type of exhaustion. Simply, my body wanted to go to sleep really badly!

I went to the gym for a 7 AM Muay Thai class and I literally struggled to stay awake while doing a 10 minute jump roping intro. My mind wandered and slowed while my body was jumping rope. I must have hit my feet 10 times more than I typically do. Once I got into the class and somewhat tried to hit me I woke right up though!

Longer Naps

To combat this extreme exhaustion I purposefully took longer naps. This seems to be a good tactic that doesn’t set you back on adaptation much and helps get you through really hard days. It seemed to work and by the evening I was feeling pretty good!

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