These two days have been difficult ones. After the oversleep on day 9, I kept going ok-ish through day 10. The night to day 11 was hard, but doable, and day 11 sucked. I spent most of the day really tired, and after having to move one of my naps early and then being out on town for some shopping I was basically exhausted and dying to sleep before my 8 PM nap. After that one, I felt better, but after midnight I felt terrible again.

For the past few nights I have slept in bed with my girlfriend during night-time naps (she wanted me to do that since the temporary bed I had really was not working out). I decided to add in an extra nap at 2 AM to counter some of the extreme drowsiness I was feeling, and went to bed in the couch in order not to bother her even more than she had already agreed to. I failed to set a double alarm, and failed to set my alarm out of reach.

It ended in a 3 hour oversleep, which seems to be settling in as a familiar pattern now. I am basically failing once my sleep deprivation builds up to a certain point. This simply means I am repeatedly going through all of this pain for no good reason.

Not adapting

I have basically taken a step backwards towards non-adaptation. It is pretty clear that this is because of my oversleeps, which has happened once more since (like my body is trying to put a core sleep in there). At this point, I figure I am pretty much out of options — this has to work, and it has to work now.

I have rigged my phone to be a complete annoyance the 15 minutes following each nap, which should be a good guarantee to keep me from falling back asleep (which has been the problem two of the times). I have also imposed a strict regime that if I am tired enough that I could fall asleep, I am not allowed to sit or lay down at all — I have to stand, do some exercises, go for a walk or take a shower.

With my subconscious finding ways to add in sleep cycles, my body doesn’t have to adapt, and thus it doesn’t… continuing in this state would be stupid, since it basically means dragging out sleep deprivation — this is what I had the cutoff dates for back at the beginning, so since things are going this poorly now I am essentially giving myself this once chance.

If it fails, I have the options of quitting back to monophasic  or adding in a core sleep and switching to an Everyman schedule to save the experiment at all. That really throws off my plans and would feel like a complete failure, though, not to mention the fact that there is no real reason why I would cope with the longer-term sleep deprivation of an Everyman adaption any better.

Adapting: what you are up against

At a first glance, it could seem like adapting means combating your  bodys physical sleep deprivation. This is actually not true — your body is getting enough sleep, it is your mind which is not. What you are actually fighting is your mind’s sleep deprivation, and it is not as much about pain as it is about your subconscious deviousness.

Your subconscious will want to sleep, so there will be points where it uses gaps in your consciousness (usually around the naps) to simply tell your body to sleep. No amount of self discipline will fix this at that point, since your consciousness is not really there, the only way to get around it is to be one step ahead all the time and to plan for it. This is the aspect of adaptation I wasn’t ready for, which is causing my failure.

This also explains why having a friend to adapt together with must be such a blessing — in case you make a mistake in this game, your partner will wake you up and not much harm done. I am alone in this experiment, which means my mistakes cause much greater consequences.

My solution to this is to try to use my phone as a  substitute. I can set multiple alarms, so I am setting a multitude of alarms to go off after each and every nap. I am going to write a pre-nap checklist of setting at least one alarm clock out of reach.

I am going to move my naps out into the couch during the nights in order to be able to have alarms beeping all over the place and to be able to add extra naps without bothering my girlfriend extra much. You could say that my oversleep last night was caused by sleeping in the couch, so why am I doing it regularly now? The problem wasn’t so much sleeping in the couch as it was not sleeping where I was supposed to sleep. Going back to a consistent place is good, and the couch actually worked much better as a sleeping place than the matress on the floor I had previously set up as a temporary bed.

Time to punch through and come out the other side now.