Lifehacking Experiment – Finding an Extra 4 Hours a Day.

Dec 20

Lifehacking Experiment – Finding an Extra 4 Hours a Day.

There’s something about me that just isn’t happy with the status quo. I hate the feeling of living in a box, and “needing” to do things the way everyone else does them. I always have to know “why?” and I like to find better ways to do things. Better for me, anyway. No one else needs to adopt my quirks if they don’t want to!

Drives my poor family nuts…bless them.

The end result of a lifestyle like this is that I’ve done a lot of experimenting, and tried things that many folks I know have never tried. It forces me to live authentically, because I challenge a lot of norms to discover if they’re really “true” or just tradition. A few topics like living by faith (i.e. living without a regular salary which I did for 5 years in Germany working as the Music Director for “Youth for Christ” over there), wearing a headcovering (which I did for 4 years), wearing bizarre shoes when I do my walking, creating an online income, and striving towards a location independent lifestyle are just some of the things I’ve done or am currently working on. None of these are particularly dramatic, but they all took a reasonable amount of courage (and ribbing/odd looks/rolling eyes from friends and family) and most people thought they were dumb. I, however, believe in self-experimentation, and stretching the limits, even if it makes you look foolish. At least you tried something different instead of sailing along unquestioningly with everyone else. I’d hate to miss out on something just because I couldn’t be bothered or was too afraid.

Last Tuesday, Tim Ferriss came out with his second book “The 4-Hour Body” following the huge success of his “4-Hour Workweek” book. The latter was all about lifestyle design/location independence, and this current one is all about body hacks – how to do the least amount of work for the greatest result on the road to becoming “superhuman”. His stuff fascinates me. There’s no “box” anywhere near Tim Ferriss. I love that.

Challenged by a particular chapter in this new book, my current experiment is with polyphasic sleep.

As an extremely busy introvert I need a considerable amount of time on my own for the sake of my mental health. With working out of the home 2x a week in a “people intensive” job, homeschooling two teenagers, doing volunteer work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the necessary “face-to-face” work required for our business in addition to just needing to be around for my husband and kids, this can be a real challenge. With all that “people time” already going on, I find it a real struggle to then make time for friends and extended family without causing a nervous breakdown. Where do I find the time to just be quiet, by myself? To read a good book, or plan out a project? How do I get a large chunk of time to just sit at Jesus’ feet and regroup?

Enter polyphasic sleep. In a nutshell, polyphasic sleep is a way of seriously reducing your sleep by exchanging several hours of sleep for several short naps. There are different levels of polyphasic sleep from “Siesta” (5 hour “core sleep” plus a 20 minute afternoon nap) all the way to the “uberman schedule” which is 6 20-minute naps spaced four hours apart.

I’d been researching this for quite some time before Timothy Ferriss’ book came out but hadn’t yet found the courage to try it. Now that my work schedule is vastly reduced over Christmas, I thought his might be the ideal time to give it a try.

The schedule I’ve set out for myself looks like this: Core sleep (3 hours) from 11:00pm to 2:00am and three 20 minute naps at approximately 7:00am, 12:00pm and 5:00pm. This means I spend a total of 20 hours awake, and only 4 hours asleep. They say the first few weeks are the hardest, and then you suddenly find yourself much more alert and focused as you go through our day, once you’re used to the sleep pattern. You actually end up training your body to sleep differently. There isn’t a lot of real research on it yet. Some think it’s dangerous, some think it’s great.

This is my first day. At 7:55 I have had a morning snack, done a 40 minute workout, had a 2 hour prayer/devotional time, had coffee and chat with my husband, had a proper breakfast, tidied my room and gotten myself ready for the day, had my first nap, got dinner and lunch prepared, set up the automated part of my social media on both PraiseWalker and HotSpot Promotion, and got 75% of my way through this blog post. I’m about to go have “social tea” with the kids, who are just now waking up. I am feeling a little “fuzzy around the edges” and could really go for a nice long sleep, but I’m determined to keep this up until at least the end of the first week in January, and see how I do. If it fails, at least I will have been able to catch up on a lot of things during the experiment! 🙂

Want to explore the topic yourself? I’ve set up a “bag it” page with lots of information:

I’ll keep you posted!

Darlene

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