Today is Day 1 of my segmented sleep routine. I didn't wake up with the sun today, but I am going to sleep with it - and that's the hardest part for me - getting to sleep. I have a lot (A LOT) of energy at night. Because of this, I decided to start with a simple article from New York Magazine published in this week's issue. It's called "The Everything Guide to Sleep" by Jason Feifer.
The article is split into 6 distinct parts, of which I will talk about 4. Overall, I found the article flashy and sort of distracting with too many pictures and divisions and not enough useful information. But hey - it's a popular magazine. Further, it suggests that electric light has something to do with the trouble people have sleeping, but it never directly states this. I am looking into the matter. See above for the full article.
Feifer starts us off by telling us that "Getting sleep is not easy." I completely (personally) disagree with him. This is one of the reasons I chose to do this experiment. On myself. I sleep 8-10 hours every night. And while I do have a hard time calming down and getting to sleep - I don't have a problem sleeping. Feifer does cite an article on 'metabolite clearance' in Science journal, which I had to creatively track down since magazines only reference, and don't make proper citations. In the reference, Feifer claims that "sleep, in effect, takes out the trash." I find this to be a no-duh moment, but I'm going to read that one later and see if there's anything else to it.
Section 1 of "The Everything Guide to Sleep" is interesting and has a few pointers from some medical expert that gives tips for a lot of different kinds of people. If I ever become an on-call doctor - I will NOT be sleeping on my pager. Talk about uncomfortable. One bit that I found personally useful was the back-up for my own lifestyle. Here, the expert claims that "biologically, some people function better at night." That would be me. One less reason to have to justify how that makes me somehow less of an adult.
I also found parts of Section 5 useful. I take melatonin sometimes when I just can't get it together and get to sleep. I was told (by a very unreliable source), to take a few, and then lay down and stop moving. But here the recommendation says, "take it two hours before you want to sleep and then stay in dim light. But don't make this a nightly habit. Melatonin can cause wild or violent dreams, and in animal testing has been shown to shrink testicles." Well - my unreliable source, who takes this every day, often has "wild or violent dreams" - so that answers some questions.
Section 6 gives a few instructions on lucid dreaming, which I find fascinating, since I am a naturally lucid dreamer. But it has nothing to do with this experiment, so it only gets a mention.
Last, I leave you with the really cool infographic a bunch of people sent me in preparation for this study: http://nymag.com/health/bestdoctors/2014/genius-sleeping-habits-2014-6/?mid=facebook_nymag - I apologize as this is my first time using this blog in this way. I'm still trying to figure out the gears. I linked you above. I love infographics, and this one is pretty cool, but I have one question for the designer: Do we REALLY think these people slept these hours all the time? Isn't this a bit misleading? What, exactly, are your sources? Here is his website, if you need to contact him.
Tomorrow, I will begin the narrative portion of my journey through segmented sleep cycles. For now, I have to figure out exactly how I'm going to get myself up in the middle of the night.