As was promised earlier, I will give a summary of the first ten days (transition period) of my sleep cycle. It goes as follows;
Before the experiment began I was nervous and excited. I had imagined that it would be difficult to stay up at first because I would be tired all the time. I had also thought that it would take longer than ten days to make the adjustment because I had been sleeping in eight hour blocks pretty much since I was born. I had many concerns going into the project; I wouldn't be able to follow through, I would be too tired, and many more. This however was not the case.
The first few mornings in I woke and got up right at 5:00 a.m. This surprised me as I thought that I would be too exhausted to wake up. I also went for runs almost immediately and I'm sure they helped prepare my body for the day. There were some other surprises for me; ones that I had just been too busy to notice. One was how cool it is in the morning. I have never gotten up this early in all my summers and due to this schedule I have discovered that mornings are awesome even just for their coolness. I normally dislike the heat and in the morning there usually isn't any. Another observation was that I had to eat more and constantly be eating. I didn't gain any weight, fortunately and I haven't been eating any better. The last thing was that I had so much time in the morning. Usually on the weekends I would sleep in to 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. and would eat and shower taking me to 10:00 or later. Then I would do some pointless things (reading, TV) and I wouldn't start doing homework or yard work until the afternoon. Now I can be lazy for a couple hours and it will still be 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning; I still have the entire day open. This was a huge revelation.
As the transition period wore on I became more lazy in the morning. I would wake up at the alarm but then sleep in to 7:00 or 8:00. This was easily fixed by using the snooze button but it's still worth noting that my body was less comfortable with the schedule as the trial wore on.
For my afternoon rest periods, I got used to them almost immediately. I didn't find working my way into these challenging at all, and if you've been keeping up with the blog, you'll remember that I was able to freely change the periods from 2:00 to 1:00 to 4:00. This is an important aspect for those of us needing a flexible schedule.
I was never able to grasp the nightly sleep periods. Once in bed I was almost at once asleep however the most challenging task of this project was to stay awake until 1:00 p.m. Now I know that this doesn't sound hard but for me it was. I had trained my body to fall asleep around 10:30 and to push this back two and a half hours was very foreign to my body. I'm not sure if I'll be able to combat late night sleepiness better in the future but this is something that I will still keep an eye on.
As far as the miscellaneous stuff goes there wasn't too much to note. It felt weird sleeping in someone else's home but everyone was understanding. It did not feel strange to sleep in the afternoon even though I had never done this before. These periods just felt like naps and I never took the risk and tried to power through a day without my afternoon nap (soon, maybe). As mentioned before, I usually always want to sleep longer in the morning when thinking about it the night before. I rarely want to sleep in once I wake up though. I also always want to go to bed earlier and it feels like nonsense when I HAVE to stay up. That's about it for there though.
My last point that I would like to make is about productivity. I had envisioned myself being more creative and more productive and able to handle more. The truth about this is that you have to be productive yourself. You have to do it. You can't depend on parents or sleep cycles or agendas to make you more productive. You get what you put in. I would like to end this post with a quote from Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try."
This is what you can expect tomorrow; tips and advice for when you start your own cycle. I'm personally excited as the survey shows that most people are looking to do something like this. After that post I will also be explaining the next step with this blog. You'll want to read it.