On the positive side, after I stopped the fast days, I almost immediately lost five pounds because I couldn't bear to even look at a fucking cheeseburger.
Mess With Your Sleeping Patterns to Get More Waking Hours
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For the longest time, my sleeping patterns have been what science tends to define as "completely and irrevocably screwed." Or, so I thought! Again, thanks to that article I mentioned earlier, I found out that I was actually sleeping all right -- society was just shaming me into a member of the "sleep eight hours a night because we tell you to" horde. If you're not familiar with sleeping patterns and can't be bothered to click that link, here's a short summary: Human beings tend to naturally sleep in short segments, instead of a longer, single period of sleep -- which, of course, is what everyone perceives as "true" sleeping.
Inspired by this, I started reading around and found a bunch of different (theoretical, but there you go) sleeping cycles, one of which seemed to fit my natural pattern almost exactly. All of those years I had spent convinced that I was a hopeless insomniac who would doubtlessly drop dead of sleep deprivation, I had unwittingly been following what is apparently called an Everyman sleeping cycle -- four to five hours of sleep and two 20-minute zone-out/power naps during the day.
Pick your poison.
So, upon learning this, I let out a sigh of relief and carried on life as usual.
Ha, of course not! I went right ahead and started experimenting with another potentially bullshit sleeping cycle.
Futurist supervillain-in-the-making Buckminster Fuller is a multiple-time Cracked alum and a crazy architect extraordinaire. That's why, when I learned that his famous(ly disastrous) Dymaxion brand included a goddamn sleeping cycle, I had to give it a try. The Dymaxion sleep schedule consists of a grand total of two hours of sleep per day, divided into 30-minute naps every six hours. Dymaxion, incidentally, is a combination of the words "dynamic," "maximum," and "tension," all of which bode really well for sleeping. Apparently, Fuller himself followed this schedule without a worry in the world and only switched back to normal ("monophasic") sleeping when his wife started giving him shit about the whole falling-asleep-every-six-hours thing.
So, I came to try the Dymaxion a few years ago, during a vacation when I had the house to myself. I had drafted my schedule completely around my new sleeping pattern. I was prepared for the inevitable drowsiness, even a little excited at the prospect of getting by with such a minimal amount of sleep. Man, can you even imagine all of the things I would have time to do with all of those extra hours? They would be devious, I thought to myself. Devious. Full of confidence, I started my project ... and lasted nearly two-and-a-half days of near-constant tiredness before I dozed off, literally, in the middle of writing an email. Not once had I managed to fall asleep immediately (which is kind of a prerequisite for this sleeping cycle), and not once had I woken up refreshed. It was bullshit. The next night, I slept for 13 hours, and, when I woke, I vowed never to try shit like that again.
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Stick to the domes, guy.
I get that switching to a new sleep schedule takes time. I fully understand that dropping two-thirds of your sleep time out of the blue is going to make you feel like shit for a while. But, how long exactly is your body going to take until you can Dymaxion it up? Even when it does, do you actually get any benefit from those extra waking hours you gain, or do you stumble your way in the world in between naps like the drunkard that constant sleep deprivation is going to make you seem like? I don't know, and, frankly, I don't ever want to find out. Sleep the way that is best for you, people -- it's the only way.
Still, I feel I gained some valuable insight on exactly how Buckminster Fuller came up with his geodesic domes, non-drivable cars, and other bullshit. If anyone can follow this sleep cycle for even a week, I bet he or she will begin drawing plans to encase Manhattan in a glass dome, too.
Pauli Poisuo sometimes thinks he's people. Like him on Facebook and stalk his Twitter.
For more from Pauli, check out 5 Real-Life Versions of Marvel's Avengers and 5 Awful Things You Don't Realize Until Your Phone Breaks.
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