Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Polyphasic Sleep Update

Those of you following along know I began a modified polyphasic sleep schedule with my son to help treat both of our unique mental dispositions. Things were going along just okay. I never got really disciplined into a set schedule at night. Day time naps, yes, but my bedtime varied so much I had no real schedule. During the last week getting ready for carnival and starting baseball in the evenings really threw us off. We ended up "falling off the wagon."

Believe it or not, I didn't even realize it until yesterday.

I have been increasingly aggitated, sleepy, and short tempered. In fact, I have been down right mean. I just challked it up to stress and a really bad case of PMS. Totally by coincidence, of course, Jonathan began having behavioral issues again. Stealing, lying, teasing the other kids. All I could think was, "WHAT is his problem?!?!"

Discussing it with Jim yesterday we realized we haven't been following our sleep schedule.
Without the nightly dose of "calming chemicals" released during up-time to help during the day, asking him to behave and stay on task is kind of like asking a medicated ADHD kid to concentrate without his daily meds. Looking back, I realize it was much like when I would miss my anti-depression meds, without the physical headaches.

One of the power principals I have learned in my growth is "correct and continue." So, last night we "corrected" by going to bed on time and had our up-time. We will continue, this time with a schedule. I think I unconsciously balked the whole schedule thing before. A friend of mine use to be VERY into his bedtime, 10 pm. Things had to be scheduled around it. Although I repected him, I hated it. I felt it was very restrictive and cut into our "play time." Perhaps that programming surfaced and created the circumstances that kept me up so late every night. I can tell even as I write this "my ego self" is so not going to have a "bedtime." Come on. What am I? A kid? Besides, I have stuff that keeps me up later all the time!

This will be a good excersize in learning self-discipline, won't it?

Update: After rereading Steve Pavlina's post about becoming an early riser, I realized that I was having my greatest success when I followed more of these principals. I went to bed when I was tired, regardless of time. I had a set time I woke up for up-time, a set amount I was up for, then went back to bed. Problems started occuring when I started varying what time I woke up based on what time I went to bed, and how long I stayed up varied by how tired I was during that time. So, I will plan for a 10 o' clock bedtime, but will adjust as my body dictates. I will wake at 1:30, be up for 30 minutes, JJ for 15-20 minutes, then back to bed.


Anonymous Amy said...

I'm glad you keep posting on this. It is a very interesting idea and I'm fascinated in following along as you work with it. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Wed May 24, 12:56:00 AM MDT  
Blogger askthemaven said...

Hey Dawn, this is Sophie from Elite Trainers Boot Camp. I am fascinated by this way of sleeping and I will borrow it... I used to sleep 3.5 hours a night and was happier, more creative, and healthier, than I am now. I also took 10-minute naps throughout the day at the time. When I got myself a boy friend I fell off the wagon, with me my creativity and health. I will try your polyphasic sleep schedule, I am sure I can be creative again! Love you and thank you. Sophie

Mon Nov 27, 04:52:00 PM MST  
Blogger Poly-Phaser said...

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog, I'm a polyphasic sleeper and have asperger's as well. However until now I had no idea that my polyphasic schedule could be helping with the aspergers. The calming chemicals you spoke of is something I have not heard of in my research.

I would love to hear an update on how you and your son are doing on the schedule. I have a community site for polyphasic sleeps at:

Stop by and say hello, share your story. I'm sure the other's would love to hear it as well.

Thu Jul 05, 03:44:00 AM MDT  

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