Can Polyphasic sleep improve fatigue?
I have been struggling with fatigue for years. I don't know exactly how long, but I do remember making a coment several years ago that if I wasn't vigilant and held a blink too long, I could fall asleep standing up. This fatigue has become increasingly demotivating, and I often have to force myself to do pleasant, sociable things that I used to enjoy.
Unfortunately, my husband has the same problem, and we both have autoimmune diseases. The convential thinking is that autoimmune diseases CAUSE fatigue. However, as a result of endless research on sleep, I actually have a theory that it could be the opposite; poor sleep quality causes (or heavily contributes) to a malfunctioning autoimmune/macrophagy system which then becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.
I've been reading about polyphasic sleep recently, and since I'm always interested in experimenting with something new that has the potential to improve my life, this seemed like a no-brainer. Since I can literally sleep 4-12 hours with little discernable difference in how exhausted I feel, this seems like a the next logical step in my quest for sleep-quality improvement. I have no trouble right now falling asleep, but no matter how many hours I log sleeping, I always wake up more tired than before going to sleep.
A list things I've tried already/am currently doing in random order:
1) "Lights out' policy 1 hour prior to going to bed (no electronic lights, candles only)
2) Varying sleep monophasic sleep lengths between 7-12 hours
3) Cold showers/ice packs at night
4) Have an awesome memory foam mattress and pillow
5) Sleep with/without pillow, in varying positions (back, side, stomach)
6) No caffeine/stimulants (I'm not a regular coffee drinker anyway)
7) Blackout curtains in bedroom
8) ear plugs
9) varying sleep temperatures between 62-72 degrees
10) pre-sleep deep relaxation/deep breathing/meditation
11) keeping both a set sleep/wake schedule and going to sleep/waking whenever I feel like it
12) experimenting with different eating patterns (car- heavy dinner, vs. fat/protein heavy dinner, meal timing, etc...)
13) supplements like melatonin, 5-HTP, magnesium, valerian, etc...
14) exercise - both cardio and anaerobic weightlifting
15) no liquids in the 3-4 hours prior to bedtime
I'm sure there's more, and through this experimentation, I've found some factors that make my sleep EXTRA bad (even just one glass of wine in the evening ensure a crap night of sleep, for example), but so far no improvements.
***Right now, I am planning to start with the easiest 'siesta' type of polyphasic sleep, which mean sleeping 6 core hours at night, plus a 20 minute nap.
If anyone has used polyphasic sleep successfully, I'd love to hear from you!
If you want to read more about polyphasic sleep:
Sleep (or how to hack your brain) + Dustin Curtis
Last edited by BestBetter; 06-25-2012 at 04:49 AM.