Like I mentioned yesterday, I started experimenting with my nap times to see if I could reduce drowsiness. I started with the theory that increasing my nap times to 30 minutes and possibly waking up before the alarm would do the trick. It did not — but it did give a very valuable hint: I woke up from that just as horribly drowsy as I usually wake up from my night-time naps.

So that got me thinking… these naps are all about sleep phases, so maybe the problem was the opposite: sleeping so long I ended up in a different sleep phase and thus had problems waking up. So the next few naps I went the other way instead, and set the alarm clocks for just above 20 minutes. I may have been sleeping longer during the nights due to other circumstances, so maybe that was the problem.

This worked a whole lot better — I woke up feeling more refreshed and not very drowsy at all. This may seem counter-intuitive to some people, but always remember that sleep is a complex process — more sleep is not necessarily more of the same sleep. Still, I need to try this more, especially with night-time naps.

The rest of the day was a disaster. Both my naps between noon and midnight were interrupted by different things after 10 minutes or less, so I was extremely tired in the evening. I tried inserting an extra nap at 10 PM to counter this, but that nap was also interrupted, this time by the cats fighting near my bed. Argh!

The whole thing ended predictably in me oversleeping after the midnight nap. The exact details are somewhat fuzzy (as they tend to be), but I am guessing I slept for a total of 4.5 hours.

With things being what they were I am simply going to accept this and go on with things. It is not strange at all that my body simply crashed and grabbed rest when I was already feeling tired from not having found my optimal napping conditions and then adding several low quality naps onto that. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on getting back into the schedule.

My main focus now will be trying slightly different nap times, starting out with the 20 minutes I had yesterday. This is not all that easy, since you have to account for the time it takes to fall asleep as well, which varies a bit. Still, trying changes for 3-4 naps should give me a good feeling for how well it works.

Overall results

On the experiment overall this far, I would say I seem to be in the middle of the pack somewhere. I know of people who haven’t adjusted at all for weeks and weeks, but I also know of people who have adjusted in 5 days or less.

I am feeling slightly worried about not being able to get 100% adapted. I am doing a whole lot better than people who are not adapting at all, that’s for sure. I don’t usually feel bad effects of sleep deprivation at all anymore. However, I also do not come close to being 100% rested very often (though it does happen).

I feel somewhat that I have been stuck at this point in the process for a fair while now, so at this point, I am really hoping the nap time experimentation can teach me something on how to move forwards.