September 24th, 2009

Under the Weather

I’m not feeling too well today, so updates will have to wait till I get better. See you soon.

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September 18th, 2009

Bad Sleep Day - Polyphasic Sleep Update

Despite being really tired yesterday (running around a number of places lugging two heavy bags continously for 6 hours), I was well-rested and productive at night:


6.30am-12.30am: Sleep
1-7pm: On my feet
8pm-11pm: Slept 3 hours. Woke up refreshed
11pm-6.30am: Work

Today is a different story. I had 3 interrupted sleep periods and was very sleepy and unproductive the whole day.


7am-9.45am: Slept for 2hr45min, woken up by a phone call
9.45am-1.45pm: Work
1.45pm-2pm: Decided to do some light workout. Still sleepy
2pm-3pm: Took a nap
3pm-4pm: Phone rang. Talked for an hour
4pm-9pm: Home
9pm-11.30pm: Intended to sleep for 3 hour but awaken by cat at hour 2.5. Another interrupted sleep cycle means waking up feeling terrible.

Here’s a nicely illustrated article on How to Nap. It should have included the all-important tip — “Remove cat from room.”

Improvement to the current natural polyphasic sleep system: I will limit my afternoon naps to between 20 and 45 minutes on days I’m expecting an important phone call by setting an alarm.

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September 14th, 2009

Natural Polyphasic Sleep Pattern

I’ve fallen into a biphasic/polyphasic sleep pattern the last couple of months. I didn’t plan this but it seems to be doing me a lot of good so far. A weekday may go something like this:

9pm-4am (7hr): Work
4am-8.30am (4.5hr): Sleep
8.30am-4pm (7.5hr): Work + Nap (90min-3hr)
4pm-9pm (5hr): Home (family time, cooking, cleaning)

I usually sleep 4.5 or 6 hours straight for my main sleep period. The total number of hours for this is usually in multiples of 90 minutes, which is a unit of my sleep cycle (in case you’re wondering, I wake up to a giant Ikea clock so it’s really easy to tell the time). To wake up at the end of one of these 1.5-hour cycle is ideal – I’ll feel well rested and will wake up without any grogginess.

The duration of my nap in the day depends on how much I got for my main sleep period at night. I wake up mid-cycle during my naps a little more often than my main sleep period because of phone calls.

The best day (feeling full of energy, brimming with ideas, very productive) I had this week  was polyphasic that went like this:

6am-9am (3hr):  Sleep
9am-1pm (4hr): Work
1pm-4pm (3hr): Sleep
4pm-9pm (5hr): Home
9pm-10.30pm (1.5hr): Sleep
10.30pm-5am (6.5hr): Work
5am-10am (6hr): Sleep

Getting used to Biphasic or Polyphasic Sleep Pattern

A divided sleep pattern may or may not be for you. Many people I know are satisfied and perform well with the usual monophasic sleep pattern. If you are one of these people, I don’t see why you need to change your sleeping habits. But if you are like me, always struggling to stay at my peak performance level in throughout the day, then this is worth a shot.

People starting on a biphasic sleep routine may experience extreme sleepiness during the first few days. I think, and this is not supported by any research, it is better to gently ease yourself into it instead of forcing yourself to conform to a fixed time. Everyone is different and you know your own body best, so it’s difficult to follow someone else’s sleep routine with the same amount of success they had.

Here’s a suggestion (again, this is just a suggestion, you know your body best). You can start by identifying how long is your sleep cycle is (do this on a weekend or when you’re not working).  Then reduce the amount you sleep at night by one sleep cycle (if you are currently doing 5 cycles of 90 minutes, try 4 x 90 instead). You will find that some time in the middle of the day you need to take a nap, go ahead. I do not set a specific time I need to be asleep/wake.

Benefits of Polyphasic Sleep

Higher energy/More productive hours
One of the main benefits is that my alertness level is on an all-time high. That dip in the middle of the day is now replaced by a reviving nap. I had also long suspected I’m a nocturnal worker and this is proven true in the current system — I’ve accomplish so much more (completed nearly twice normal workload) during the main work shift at night. I’ve also managed to sneak in a couple of minutes of workout daily now. So for people who have the tendency to feel sluggish in the middle of the day or who work best in the quiet of night, you may wanna try biphasic or polyphasic sleep.

Less stress
Dividing my work day into two shifts has yielded incredible results. I feel less stressed about work in the day. I like to do a lot of planning and brainstorming before delving into the actual work stuff so to know that I have another shift at night is great. It’s like I have an additional work day every day.

Improve international relations (!!!)
I respond to clients from different time zones more promptly now because I am working “round the clock”. I can see full-time bloggers taking advantage of this system, especially when you audience is a few GMT hours ahead or behind you.

When Biphasic or Polyphasic Sleep Might Not Work

While Travelling
Though my current sleeping habit started when I was traveling by rail around Europe (a couple hours here and there), I don’t see a good way you can incorporate a nap into a day of sightseeing. Unless of course, you are traveling on your own RV.

When the other half is not a willing participant
To actually have long-term success with segmented sleep, one may need to sleep alone or have a partner who is willing to be on a similar sleeping pattern. Lucky for me my husband and I sleep around the same times.

Days when you need to meet multiple clients/friends
Well, your social life have to continue, right? Unless you choose exist only in the virtual world or get all your friends and family into this.

You work in an office/outdoors/need to stick to certain work hours
A few offices have introduced power naps to increase productivity of their staff but overall but this is still not the norm.


  1. I don’t have an alarm clock set unless I have an appointment. When I feel sleepy, I just go to bed, when I have enough rest, I’ll naturally wake up.
  2. I have a cup of coffee on weekdays, anytime from 10am-4 pm. It doesn’t seem to affect my naps.
  3. I usually adopt a monophasic sleep pattern on Saturdays because I am out and about doing stuff. I zonk out after lunch but this is fixed with an espresso.
  4. Before this I usually sleep about 7 hours at night. I bought into the believe that 7 or 8 hours of sleep is the ideal time for an adult human and set my alarm accordingly. I didn’t know much about sleep cycles then. 7.5 hours is  ideal for me but that doesn’t stop me from feeling drowsy in the middle of the day.
  5. I have been having more lucid dreams these past few weeks. In one of the dreams, I made Daniel Craig meet me in Thailand. In a tux. As James Bond. And then we built a school for disadvantaged kids. Ahem!
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September 2nd, 2009

Nap and Kittens on a Vacuum Cleaner Made My Day

I kept seeing little floating stars from about 10 am today. This aura is usually an indicator of an imminent migraine attack. By afternoon I felt like a headache is coming so I took a nap . I woke up an hour later feeling better. Thank God!

Although my day started with a little pain, it ended with a smile – I watched this video of a bunch of kittens on a Roomba vacuum cleaner about 18 times today. Now I know the exact reason why I need to get a Roomba!

I hope your day is full of smiles!

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April 30th, 2009

See You Later

Hey all. I’ve just crawled out of my week-long semi-comatose state. I was down with a particularly bad cold. Had fever 4 days straight. I was convinced I had the flu but no, just the common cold, insisted the doc. In my drug-induced stupor, I kept trying to console myself that some good will come out of this and whaddaya know! Having spent my days mostly in deep slumber and awake in the wee hours of the night, my body has somewhat adjusted to Central European time! Yup, I will be leaving for my European adventure in a few days’ time. I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging on the road so if there are no updates here next month, do pardon me!

While lying sick in bed the other day, it dawned on me how we tend to really be in the present during extremes in our lives — in mirth or gloom, when we’re experience great pain or pleasure or during moments when we were this close to death. The other parts — those that make the bulk of our lives — we merely go through the motions, only to be referred to when current times are bad: “those were the days”, “I wish things were back to normal”, etc. Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to live my life positively in the present and I have to say that it has helped tremendously in the way I see and live my life. I genuinely believe that living with a positive mindset coupled with affirmative action has helped me achieved a lot of my goals — one of which is this very trip I’m taking. :)

Red hearts - love, hugs and kisses

Tomorrow is May Day for many of you folks, so enjoy the long weekend!

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April 7th, 2009

No More Fear for Tears

My weekend was full of tears.

It’s not what you think. We had a DVD marathon on Saturday and somehow I ended up crying watching ALL the movies . There was Before Sunset  (I was sad throughout the movie actually but the tear pipes burst at the scene in the car) The Wrestler (kinda predictable but can I say perfect casting, Mickey Rourke!? I cried when he told his daughter he didn’t want her to hate him, and when he had to work at the deli counter) and… Wall-E! I can’t believe I cried so much watching an animated film! Ha ha!

You know how when you’re watching a movie with a couple of other people and you get a bit choked during a scene (especially one that didn’t seem all that sad)? You would glance over to check if the others watching are getting as emotional as you are, right? And then you note that everyone else seems unaffected (or pretend they are) so you decide to hold them tears? That’s really hard work! I’ve decided that if I’m gonna cry when I watch a movie – let the tears flow. :D

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