woensdag 23 december 2009

My last night in Tokyo - Tomorrow is the big day

All pictures can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/f6.popkorn

I haven't been sitting still for the last few weeks. Since I will be walking 30 kilometers a day from tomorrow on, I have done quite some preperation to get myself ready for the next few months. First there was the necessary preperation to get all the equipment that I will need on my trek. So I got myself a huge backpack with which I can probably steal at least 10 babies if I wanted to. (IF i wanted to, just to be clear, this is just a metaphor)
Got myself good walking shoes, a tent that hopefully won't rip apart the first night I use it, a very warm sleeping bag, a basic gas stove to make myself some food during the hungry hours, and much much more, enough to fill up the space of the 10 babies. I opted for quality stuff that hopefully won't get me in trouble.

Another piece of the preparation was to get my physique ready for walking these vast distances. I went hiking around the hot-spring region of Hakone, followed by a stay at an awesome Japanese style ryokan, hot-spring included. On this trip, I was honored by the company of my 2 year long friend Sachiko.
Another piece of preparation was walking the tour of Tokyo, passing through every station of the Yamanote trainloop. This is the major trainloop in Tokyo that passes most important places in Tokyo. That was mostly a flat walk, and I did this one alone, but it was nevertheless enjoyable. I took a picture at most waypoints, the Yamanote line stations.

The most serious and most challenging walk I've done was about two weeks ago. I planned to climb the Kumotori-yama. This is the highest mountain in the provinces around Tokyo, reaching slightly higher than 2000m. The starting point of the hike I planned was at a height of 1000m above sealevel, and obviously this was not a single-day trip. (the original plan was 1 day going up, one day going back down, following a different trail)
The main purpose of it was giving all my equipment a test in the field, and also checking out where my stamina was at.

This little hike actually proved to be one of the biggest adventures of my short life up until now. On departure day, the weather was looking great, and the weather forecast for the next day, the day that I was planning to arrive at the final destination (back down), was looking good too. I arrived at Owa, 320m height, at about 1pm. I was one hour later than planned because I had underestimated the journey getting there. In my guidebook where I found out about this hike, there was written about a cablecar ropeway going from this place to the starting point of my hike at 1090m, called . I got out of the bus at Owa, and practically found myself in a ghosttown. All buildings looked like they could implode at any second, and there was no living soul to be seen. There was also no ropeway to be seen, although I could find a direction sign pointing to the destination of the ropeway, Mitsumine Shrine. After a few minutes I found a guy of about 70 years old. 'Where is the ropeway?', I asked him. 'Nowhere. It broke down a while ago.' The weather was looking good, and I was in a good mood, so I decided to just walk my way up there, adding a 770m climb to the plan. I quickly came upon this sign:

In short, it said that this is bearcountry, and that you shouldn`t walk alone here, and that you better talk in a loud voice to let the bears know that you`re coming. I kept on going, and it was 3:30pm when I was past the shrine and at the point that was actually my planned starting point of the hike. I wouldnt be able to get to the checkpoint that I was planning on getting to on day 1, because it was already getting dark at 5pm. The original destination for the day, was a mountain hut with a camping ground, and where I could buy some food. But since I wouldnt be able to get there I bought some kiwi`s at the shrine, the only food that they were selling there. Then I started walking. I brought a flashlight, so I was prepared to walk a little bit when it was getting dark, so I could look for a fitting place to put my tent down or spend the night. It got dark earlier than I expected, because it was getting cloudy, and I was walking in a forest that didn`t allow a lot of sunshine anyway, and so, I was walking in a dark forest, with possibly bears that were nocturnal, on my own, with a backpack and a flashlight. I don`t usually get scared easily, although this situation did creep me out quite a bit. I was whistling now and then to scare away animals on the trail, and at some point I whistled, and somewhere in the direction in front of me I heard a whistle back. I thought there was someone else coming from the direction in front of me, so I whistled again. Then I heard the noise again, that I before thought was a whistle... It was an animal, I have no idea what exactly it was, but it was moving through the bushes near me, not really moving further or closer but just moving around, making that weird whistle-like sound now and then. It moved away after a while, but it sure had been creepy. I`m still not sure what it was, a boar or maybe a deer. Although situations like these are not that enjoyable at that time, it does make you stronger, and more able to make the right decisions when you get yourself into situations that are scary and might be dangerous.

After this I was pretty lucky. I got to a mountaintop of a mountain called Kirimogamine, at about 1500m height, 6pm, and there was a small building where they usually sell drinks in the hiking season. It was closed off, but I found a way in, and spent the night there. As you can see in the pics, in the morning I was in for another surprise. It had been snowing for a few hours, and it was still snowing steadily. The snow was not that deep (initially :D), and I was equipped for snowy walks, so I ate some of the kiwi`s I bought as breakfast, and started walking at about 6.30am towards Kumotori-yama. It was probably the toughest hike I`ve ever done. Not so much the snow, but the combination of the heavy backpack with the steepness of the trail was very hard on the stamina. When I was nearing the top of the mountain, I got so exhausted sometimes that I just dropped myself in the snow for a few minutes to rest, that had gotten pretty damn deep by now. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable for the most part, and the snowy scenery was amazingly beautiful. Near the top of the mountain, there was the mountain hut. I was extremely hungry, and got in to have some food and regain some stamina. There was an old lady. `Can I have a meal here?` `No, we got nothing`
I felt pretty fucked. `But we got some cup noodles if you want any...`
That was good enough for me, and I asked another one after I finished the first one.
I had gotten there around 11am, and I continued towards the top about 30 minutes later. The hardest part was over, and I didn`t waste much time at the top, because it was snowing to hard to enjoy any view at all. My guidebook told me that it was still about 7 hours to the finish, a village with a train station, in the valley.
It was 5 hours until it would get dark again, but I was thinking of maybe going all the way to the finish anyway, if I had the energy for it.

From there on, it was just an enjoyable hike, because going downhill though deep snow isn`t very tiring and it felt pretty safe. At 3pm, I got to what`s called an emergency hut. A hut at a waypoint where people can spend the night if they find themselves stuck during a hike. I took a look inside, and there was a guy there. I thought maybe he was keeping this place open, so I asked him if he sold any food, because the noodles that I had 4 hours ago were already well used up. He told me that he had food, and I quickly understood that he was another hiker, and not someone that managed this place as I had thought. He told me that the village was still pretty far away, and that it would be a good idea to stay. He was offering me food, so I decided to agree to stay there for the night. He was one of those Japanese veteran hikers that had hiked most of the European Alps, and even the Himalaya. He had his own cooking equipment, giving me good idea`s of what stuff to get myself when I would start my big trek. He first gave me another cup of noodles, and then made rice&curry for both of us later on. There was another guy in a tent near the hut, although he was more of a loner. Akiya, the guy I stayed with in the hut, told me that both he and the guy in the tent stayed here the whole day, because they thought the weather was too tough to hike in. Apparently there had been only one idiot crazy enough to go through this weather :P.

The next morning Akiya and me hiked together downhill towards the village. The weather was perfect, offering great views of the surrounding mountains, giving me the opportunity to see Mount Fuji for the first time in my life in its full glory. Definitely check those pics out. We found bear tracks in the snow at some point, walking on the same trail as we were walking. I took a picture of it. We didn`t see any bears though.

All in all, it had been a great hike, with a lot of new experience, making me feel completely ready for the real adventure to come.

vrijdag 4 december 2009

Life Beyond Boundaries: Introduction

After a long period of inactivity, I thought it was time to blow some new life into this weblog. This is going to be a new start, because the main subject is going to change from sleeping to something more active. When I think about it, I realize that I've never explained here what the real idea behind this blog is. As you might have noticed, the big title at the top of the page reads 'Life Beyond Boundaries', 'The only limit is your imagination'. It are lines that sound like they come from The Matrix, or some other fantasy or science-fiction stories. I think, however, that for many of us, if not for everyone, there's a strong unconscious inner drive that wants us to go beyond all limiting boundaries, not only in our dreams or fantasy stories, but in the 'real' world. For me, at this moment, it's not an unconscious drive, it's a conscious one. During the past four-ish years of my life, it's been a very powerful motto for me, that's been supporting me in everything I do. When I look back at it, I've come a far way, but I'm definitely still on the road.

The reason why I made this blog, is not (only :P) to seek attention. There are several reasons. When I look at the experiences I've had in my life, and the things that are my reality right now, physically, mentally and spiritually, I feel like I have a lot of material that I can share, to be an inspiration to others that are on a similar path than I am, consciously or unconsciously. This path can be called many different ways. I've called it the path beyond all boundaries, but it can also be called the path to unlimited happiness, the path to unlimited fulfillment, the path to God etc...
This path is not a path that only has a goal inside dreams and illusions, in my experience. I feel myself getting closer to it every day. I've had a piece of the pie, and I'm very determined to have the whole pie. (it might be unclear for some people how happiness and freedom are connected, and maybe in the reality of some people they aren't connected. I'll explain later in my reality how they are connected very directly.)

In the past, when I was in the first half of my teens, I used to be a quiet, socially frightened, addicted, bullied, nerdy, spiritually hollow kid. In short, I was not very happy. I was resisting so many things that were reality, and seeking shelter in illusions and dreams. Nevertheless, I was rarely hopeless or depressed, because unconsciously I've always had a very strong drive to find that thing that would make me happy, one day. I was looking for it in the wrong places though. Even though I had a strong obsessive drive for the things that I was doing, there was a lot of suffering and frustration as a result of looking where I couldn't find it. The happiness that I was chasing after never came closer. I thought that in the world, there were happy people, and there were unhappy people, and it was impossible to make the change from unhappy to happy without reaching that 'thing' that I never really thought about, but I was sure was very hard to reach.

As a contrast, in the present, unhappy moments rarely happen. What made me happy are not the things that I thought in the past would. It's not that now the sun is always shining every day. I still have to cook my own food, there's no one cleaning my house, I don't know what the future will be, and I'm not having sex with a different sexy girl every single night.
In my experience, the thing that's important for being happy and fulfilled, is not your reality itself, but how you experience that reality.
I am thankful to countless people that inspired me on this path, either by reading their material or hearing from them. They put me on fire, or rather showed me how to put myself on fire, and with this blog I want to spread the flame.

Now, what's this blog going to become, concretely? I'm going to continue pretty much like the intro (polyphasic sleeping) has started a few months ago. I'm going to talk about weird transformative experiences that were important for me in becoming a more happy person. I'm going to try to make it enjoyable to read, while keeping it real and not going to fantasy-land. I'm going to talk about the past, and about the future. In the past, apart from sleeping 2 hours/day for a month, I've been a poker-semiprofessional, I've meditated for 140 hours in 10 days time, I was a Dungeon Master 8-), I've tried to master giving any girl I sexed with squirting orgasms, I've lived in Japan for a year, I had the chance to experience many kinds of drugs, I have fasted for a whole week on only water, (I've stolen my sister's cremekoek, sorry Tine...), I became a Pick-up Artist, I've learned energy healing, etc... In the very near future, from the 24th of december and for the 5/6-ish months after that, I will be walking the whole length of Japan, about 3000 kilometers from southwest to northeast, 100% by foot. I will be posting about my experiences. (and I'll upload pictures, to offer something to the eye as well.) As you can see in this post, pictures/images are not necessarily related to the subject, and are sometimes just placed for the lolz/to make stuff more colorful and easier to read.

In the past before I encountered any of this stuff, I would have labeled many of these things as good or bad, bullshit or interesting, and probably as a reader you do too. The reason that I'm going to write about my experiences, is not because I want to convince anyone that certain things are good or bad, or that I'm awesome or a douche-bag. I don't think all the things that I have done and going to write about are good in particular. I think what you do is not necessarily important, but rather how you do it, the reasoning behind it and the thought going around in your head before, while and after you do it. Also, by writing about the more unusual experiences, I want to show you that there is an infinite world outside the box that society and even your own mind wants you to think and experience only inside of, but mainly I want to inspire you to find your own happiness and fulfillment by showing how these experiences led me further on the way to having a happy and fulfilling life.

I want to warn you for something already. At some points, this blog might get personal, maybe so much that you'll feel awkward in my place. I don't particularly kick on sharing my awkwardnesses, but on the other side I couldn't care less if the whole world would think that I have sex with sheep or other critters every now and then. (this is just an example of course! Or maybe not?) Getting over the awkwardnesses in my life was a big and important step for me, so I'm not going to avoid them if they're part of the story. I also think lots of people have very similar uncertainties in life, and talking about them openly might do some good overall. I'm not writing this blog anonymously, and many people I know/knew in real life might be reading this blog, and might get surprised now and then.

You might think that after reading this post, I will be telling you the truth about life and happiness that I discovered. This is not really what I have in mind, however. I think everyone's path to happiness is different, and there is no universal truth about it. I simply hope that I can inspire you to find your own path towards happiness and fulfillment. If I'm not able to do that, I hope to offer you an enjoyable read anyway.

donderdag 19 november 2009

Polyphasic Sleeping Experiment : How it failed

Excuse me for not making an end post to the polyphasic-sleeping adventure. I ended up oversleeping a few times in a few days time. I still don't quite understand the cause. Or my alarm failed on me, not going off, or I had slept past them completely, waking up at a random time, a few hours after I went for the 20 minute nap. That happened at the end of august. I kept trying to keep up until the start of september, putting more alarms and being more strict on myself, but the amount of sleep-deprivation without real adjustment to the new system, made it impossible. I had to go to a multi-day poker-tournament in Prague at the start of september, and that was the complete end of it. Since there was quite some money involved, I wanted to be well rested, so I went back to a monophasic sleeping rhytm again since then.

A few months after the facts, I can say that even though my experiment didn't succeed, I am happy that I was able to have an experience like this. For some reason, this experiment made me much more aware in my daily life, and this effect continued even after returning back to a normal sleeping rhytm. Also, my sleeping system seems to have permanently changed after doing this. Even after returning back to monophasic sleeping for longer than 2 months, my dream-sleep, that usually only occurs after 90 minutes sleep, occurs much earlier in my sleep. When I take a nap of shorter than an hour now, I have very vivid dreams every time. Also, my lucid dreaming rate has gone up spectacularly, without doing special effort for it.
In a usual night of sleep, I can remember double as many dreams as before this experiment, without writing anything down or any other effort. I wonder if I am just more often in dreaming phases, or if I'm just more aware of them.
Another very positive after-effect, is that I don't need the 8 hours of sleep anymore that I used to need. Since september, I have enough with six hours, and I feel more energy than ever. Recently I'm even going more towards five/four hours, but there are other reasons for that, that I will get into in future posts.
Weirdly enough, the spectacular improved quality of my skin that I experienced during this experiment, went back to how it used to be, when I went back to monophasic. I can't really find an explanation for that.

Definitely read next post if you found the part about polyphasic sleeping interesting. This blog is getting a new active, although different life very soon. (as in, from tomorrow)

zondag 23 augustus 2009

Day 18 - Short review - I give up ='(

Just kidding about the giving up, although I must say I was very close to doing it today.
One would think that after the first 3 weeks of adapting to uberman, the hardest part would be over, but I don't experience it that way. Just a short history of my adaptation period so far:

- I've been following a very strict schedule, as recommended by the book Ubersleep. Napping 20 minutes at 4, 8, and
12. I always go to sleep exactly at 5 minutes before the hour, and wake up exactly at 20 past the hour. (I need 2 to 5 minutes to fall asleep)

- First week went completely flawless, no oversleeping and the tiredness was only at night and pretty easy to bear.

- From day 7 on, I started dreaming and feeling very refreshed after the nap.

- On day 8 I overslept one cycle of 4 hours, waking up to the alarm of my next nap.

- I didn't dream anymore between day
8 and 10

- On day 11 I started dreaming again.

- From day 13 or 14 on, effects from sleep deprivation have become worse, and I find myself feeling really tired and micronapping more often when I'm sitting down. (this happens only between 3 and 9 am)

- I slept an hour through a pretty loud and annoying alarm, after which my parents woke me up because it was annoying the hell out of them during the night.

- Between day 13 and day 16 were completely according to plan.

- On day 16 I fell asleep during the day for an hour while lying on the grass. Normally I didn't have trouble feeling tired or falling asleep during daytime, but this time it did happen.

- Yesterday morning, I slept through a complete cycle again, sleeping for 4 hours.

- This morning I suffered from the biggest
blow, almost making me decide to give up. What happened was this: After waking up from my midnight nap, I had been outside a bit, and around quarter before 1AM, I went inside and sat down in the sofa to meditate and listen to
an audiobook with earphones at same time. When I meditate I sit very straight, in a position tha
t's not really that comfortable that I would fall asleep in it. I normally have no trouble staying awake at all, and also I didn't feel tired at all at this particular time, but still, next thing I notice, I'm waking up from my 8AM alarm screaming in my ears, laying down in the sofa. (note: I have all my alarms scheduled on my iphone, so I don't have to set them up every time.) It's a complete riddle to me how the hell I ended up laying down. I'm very strict to myself about laying down during night hours, so nothing in my sane mind would allow me to do that. Also I'm wondering if my 4am alarms weren't enabled for some reason, or if I slept through them or just unconsciously put them off. If the alarm really went off, there would be no way that I woulnd't have woken up from it, because I had my earphones in when asleep, and the alarm was coming from the earphones at maximum volume. (not something I normally do, it scared the hell out of me when I did wake up at 8AM)

Now I realize that it just can't continue the way it is. I wanted to give up this morning, because I felt like it just didn't seem like it was working out for me. That was pretty painful for me, because I'm someone who never gives up on goals that are within my reach. I have a ton of willpower, and have achieved a lot of things for my age, but I just didn't seem to have control over this one.

Then I sat down and started looking up some information about people who actually succeeded at adapting to uberman. I could only find two people two that had kept blogs or reports that are readily available. (apart from Puredoxyk, the author of Ubersleep, but I had read about
that in detail already) On one hand there was Steve Pavlina, the famous blogger, and on the other hand Aya Hu, member of the Polyphasic sleeping google group. I noticed that both of them have a schedule that's different from the one that Puredoxyk emphasizes so much on in her book. Pavlina had an extra nap in the period where he felt most tired in the early hours, having 7 instead of 6 naps, in the first 10 days or so, and after that he completely threw away the schedule and just took a nap whenever he felt that it was appropriate. (ending up in 6 to 7 naps a day) In Aya Hu's case, I understand that she even combined her adaptation with her job, so she had no choice but to put more naps in nighttime and less naps during daytime. This looks like a logical thing to do, when I think about it, because during daytime I have no trouble at all usually to stay awake, while nighttime is when all the oversleeping etc happens. Aya Hu actually became sick after day 10 or so, went to an everyman schedule succesfully, and then went back to uberman after a week without any trouble. Reading about this made me feel rediculous for giving up on it, because she had a far less strict schedule, even fell sick, and succeeded at it anyway. There's no way that I can just give up like this.

I also noticed one common factor between most of the ubermen, and that is vegetarianism. I eat meat myself, although I'm willing to try being a vegatarian until I'm fully adapted.

So now I'm kind of wondering what's the best thing to do. I'm wavering between the method how Pavlina did it, and the method that Aya Hu did it. So I could switch to an everyman
schedule, which will probably be the easiest thing to do, and
once I feel comfortable to that in a sustainable way, go back to
uberman. I'm not 100% sure
about it, if this is a smart thing to do though. I think creating
the habit of having a core sleep of 3 hours at night, will maybe
make my adaptation period stretch out even longer again, and will get me further from
uberman instead of closer maybe. On the other hand I
could put in an extra nap between my midnight and my
4am nap, or/and my 4am nap and my 8am nap, because that are the times that I'm having
trouble. I'm pretty sure that it will be manageable with 7 or even
8 naps a day, and I would be able to adapt to that pretty
easily, and seems less like a detour. In the end I could also
maybe try switching to a system where I nap when I feel that I
need the nap, like Pavlina ended up doing.

vrijdag 21 augustus 2009

Day 16 - Adapting, but not flawlessly

Copy/paste from a post I made on the Polyphasic sleep google group.


Today I'm 16 days into an uberman schedule. I can see that I'm
adapting, not feeling like a zombie anymore but very sometimes.
I have a little issue with micronapping though. Especially when I'm
doing things like watching movies, or sitting on the train, etc... I
often find myself waking up from a sleep that could have been at least
one second and at most 10 minutes. Now this morning I had something
that never happened before. I woke up from my 4am nap, walked around a
bit, not feeling very tired at all. I took somethign to eat and
started watching an episode of a drama I'm watching. Next thing I know
is that I wake up from my 8am nap. When I check my memory, I was not
very tired at all when watching this drama, and tracing back in it, I
remembered the first 20 minutes very clearly, and everythign after
that I'm pretty sure that I haven't seen before. So somehow I became
unconscious quite suddenly, and I sleepwalked to my bed, because when
I woke up at 8.20, I was in my bed. (wearing all my clothes though)
I don't remember myself standing up after 20 minutes in the drama, nor
any reason to do it. Also there should have been no reason at all to
lie on my bed, I'm very strict about not laying down in my bed except
for nap time...

I'm wondering 1) if this is common, and it's also just something that
I have to get over, and 2) will I be able to adjust even though I
might oversleep for a few hours every 5 days of so.

dinsdag 18 augustus 2009

Getting there, but not quite yet

Good morning. Today is the 18th of august, and it's 7.20AM now, about 13 days exactly into my little experiment. I guess not updating the blog for three days made quite some people think that I gave up on it, but I can prove that hypothesis wrong. In the period between Saturday evening and Monday morning, I almost died of feeling tired but not allowing myself to fall asleep. Oversleeping for 4 hours on day 8 effectively rewinded my progress a few days, the days after that, REM sleep was gone again, I wasn't getting any of my well-deserved dreams anymore, and even though waking up from naps was easy, the sleep I was getting was very light, and did not give me a lot of mileage.

The weekend was a big test for me. Saturday was the day that my performance was scheduled with my amateur rockband. I had hoped that when I started the sleeping-experiment, that I would be mostly adjusted by this day, but that hypothesis wasn't either the case. On top of this, I still had to write a few pages for my bachelor's thesis, the last puzzle piece to get my bachelor's degree. The deadline for it was monday, so tired or not tired, the weekend was going to be pretty active either way. The rockperformance was a challenge, but I had been looking forward to it for quite a while, so it didn't really give me a lot of additional stress. The bachelor paper that had to get finished on the other hand, certainly did O_o. I was already feeling kind of tired before the performance on saturday. We had a last repetition at 2pm, so I wasn't sure if I would be able to get my 4pm nap. I ended up sleeping for a few minutes, lying in the sun outside while we were chilling. I was lucky that the performance was already at 5 o clock. That's around the most active time of the day for me on this rhythm, so I didn't feel sleepy. I was actually feeling somewhat overly active during the performance, and even though I was highly sleepdeprived, I was able to give the best that I have. Looking back at it now, I have no idea where I got all the energy from. I have a good afterfeeling about it anywayz. After the performance I got really tired, had to take my 8pm nap a little bit inconveniently again inside a driving car. Sunday was a bigger challenge. Even though I felt dead tired all day long, I still had to finish that paper. I finished it at monday morning. Together with handing in my paper at my university, a big weight fell from my shoulders.

I started dreaming again in my naps too yesterday, and the sleep I'm getting from it feels very energizing. If my naps stay like this, I can imagine that I can really start regaining all that spent energy from them. The only thing that I gotta watch out for, are all the hidden ninja's hiding in the shadow of sleep. Somehow, together with dreams, comes also a type of sleep sometimes that's very hard to wake up from, and this morning I slept a straight hour while my alarm was buzzing. It were my parents that woke up from it that saved me. The next coming week will be very key. Firstly I hope that oversleeping for an hour hasn't set me back again. If not, I have the feeling that if I can somehow make it though this week, I will probably have the tough moments behind my back, and making this sleeping rhythm really work systematically will only be a matter of days. Apart from making plans that tackle my oversleeping-issue, I'm not really planning a lot of stuff. I just want a few relaxing days, where I don't have anything or anyone that needs my attention, so I can focus all my willpower on bringing this to a good end.

vrijdag 14 augustus 2009

Crosspost: Revolutionary stuff going on here

My last naps since my oversleeping have gone all according to schedule, and I don't feel any more or less tired, so I think oversleeping once hasn't done a lot of harm. I'm pretty relieved about that.

Now, for the main part of this post, something pretty awesome happened, and I made a post about it earlier on the google group of polyphasic sleep, and since I don't really feel like typing it all over in a blog format, I'm just going to copy/paste. It's pretty dang amazing either way.

I was so extremely pleasantly surprised when I noticed this. I am now
about to enter day 9 of Uberman. Just a few minutes ago, I became
conscious of something that's pretty against what you would think
would happen to a sleep-deprived person.
To my great astonishment, I noticed that a few chronic skin conditions
that I have are gone without a trace in some locations, and in the
process of disappearing in other locations.
For example I had a light chronic form of hives for 2 years now, and I
suffered from it about once a day usually when just waking up, or
undergoing sudden temperature changes. In the past week, I haven't
experienced it even once!
I also have a pretty rough skin overall and also a light form acne on
my arms, back, face and neck. I was standing under the shower this
morning, and I very randomly noticed that my skin felt really
different to the touch than usual. I noticed that my nose for example,
where I've had very light acne in a chronic way since I was 13 years
old or so, was COMPLETELY smooth, without a trace of the acne that
I'de been having for the past 9 years. I started feeling my arms and
back, and they felt like I was touching a girl's skin, so perfectly
smooth, and most places had no sign of roughness or acne AT ALL
Has anyone else on Uberman experienced this?
I consider this kind of weird, because one would think that your
health would suffer from being sleep-deprivation. My intuition tells
me though, that it is because of the increased consciousness that I
have now I am doing Uberman. I feel like my meditations for example
are on a completely other level when I'm on uberman than before, that
I'm having an energy vibration incomparable to what I usually have. I
have done energy work before, and I have a basic certificate of energy
healing from doing a weekend course on it. From that background, a
metaphysical background, it's easily explained why my healing rate has
gone to extreme levels now I'm on uberman. More consciousness equals a
higher vibration of energy particles. The principle of energy healing
is that when you create a high energy vibration near a body part that
you want to cure of a client or yourself, it will start healing faster
than normally. I do feel like my whole body is vibrating on a higher
level since I started doing Uberman, and I think that might explain
this phenomenon. Since I'm only in the adjustment period of Uberman,
I'm waiting eagerly to what other stuff will happen to me further on
the road.

donderdag 13 augustus 2009

War against unconsciousness

I had my first big slip today. Yesterday I ended my post, asking myself if it was coincidence that at the previous day I had very vivid dreams at the 4AM nap, and at current day, I had them again at the 4AM nap. I think it's no coincidence. Yesterday I overslept 30 minutes in my 8AM nap. Today I overslept for 4 hours, being lucky that I had set up my first alarm not only to go off for my 8AM nap, but also for my 12AM one. The 12AM one saved me this time. Strangely enough, I was still semi-sleepwalking when I woke up from the 12AM one, taking a shower without thinking about anything really and only became conscious when I was gettign out of the shower and that's when I realized that I had overslept.

There is still hope though. I'm not going to give up from just one slip-up. I believe what my mind's throwing at me is it's last line of defense, and even though it will be tough getting past it, with a good method of keeping myself from doing this again, it is possible I believe. Firstly, I can set up my first alarm to go off at 4 differnt times, and I will set up all of those alarms between waking up time and every 5 minutes after. I will also wrap a few bags around my second alarm. It's a very annoying sound, so I hope getting the bags from it reminds me that it's time to get conscious now. Also, my parents will get home from holiday today. I am pretty sure that 'my mommy (^_^)' will help me by waking me up / asking me what 5158+849 is, to make sure that I'm really conscious.

When things continue as they do, my naps every day should be happening in a parallel way. I should get a nap with REM sleep at 4AM, I should be getting another type of sleep in the 8AM one, which has to be a phase where I'm most unconscious. I've never had any trouble at all with my noon, 4PM and 8PM naps, and I don't really expect trouble there, even though I'll take the necessary precautions anyway.
I believe that if I can get this phase, I will succeed. I think if I can get past week 2 without slipping it up again, I'll be pretty safe, but first things first, getting through week 2 will maybe have more challenges.

Confusion attack + Altered consciousness

Today without doubt the weirdest day of the week, holding some of the weirdest mind-trip I ever had.(and I've had my fair share already tbh) My educated guess is that my mind wanted to surprise me with something entertaining to celebrate my one week into uberman. This is what happened:

4AM (wednesday 12 aug, aka yesterday): Had my first real dream-nap (as described in last post) My mind surprised me for first time, by making 15 minutes seem like hours.

8AM: I went to nap like any other time, and maybe I was getting a little bit too confident about uberman, because he made it quite clear that uberman's not someone to take lightly after all. I'm afraid I can't go into accurate description, because my memory completely fails me on this one. I don't know what woke me up, but for reason it was 30 minutes later than it was supposed to be. I had slept for 50 minutes, so I overslept 30 minutes. The most logical way that it could have happened is like this: My alarm went off at 8:20, I sleepwalked out of my bed to put it off, and I went in my bed again. It's a total riddle to me though, because I'm very sure that I put that alarm on. It's a pretty damn loud alarm, so I think it's improbable that I slept through it. (it keeps on going for 10 minutes)
Lucky I have my second alarm, although for some reason I can't remember that it was that waking me up, since it's kinda illogical that I woke up 50 minutes in the sleep, when I put my second alarm on 25 minutes. (5 minutes after my first alarm)
Anyway, I don't know how it happened, but when I was conscious of it, it was 8:50. This is pretty weird for me, because I've never experienced unconscious actions and memory loss like this before. I don't really care so much that I overslept for half an hour. It's the first time that I oversleep in my schedule, and it's not a rediculous amount of time. Although I did feel tired after this 50min nap, I don't feel like it will have much of an influence on the overall progress to adjustment. The thing that surprises me the most when I read blogs and reports of people trying uberman, is that they all have big problems with oversleeping for several hours, and they all say that they had no control over it. I think I've had an episode of this, although I already came up with a tactic to tackle it if it would happen again in the future. I'll put a small container of eyedrops on my first alarm, so I have no choice to encounter that in my waking-up process. I hope that even when I'm unconscious, it might bring me to consciousness just taking the eyedrops off the alarm before putting it off. Hopefully it will trigger me to put some eyedrops in, which is a sure awakencall, because they sting on the eyes very strongly. Because I haven't said anythign fancy for quite a while, I'll do that now. This brand of eyedrops is actually kind of unique. In Japan, people put in eyedrops as part of culture when they feel like their eyes are getting tired. I got the ones I use from a Japanese female friend, while I was there. She thought the way how I put eyedrops in my eye, and how I reacted to them, pretty hilarious for some reason, so she bought me the strongest type of eyedrops that's available on the market. They're kind of notorious, because people from Japan put them on ebay and sell them abroad. It's a very good ally anyhow.

My next three naps were pretty normal, and I woke up like every time exactly when my first
alarm went off, without any trouble waking up. Weird thing is that I wasn't dreaming again during these, and in contrast to my dreaming nap at 4am where I woke up fresh, I woke up feeling tired from these naps. On the next nap after those three, the one at midnight, was when the really WEIRD stuff started happening again. I 'wake up' standing up straight in my room, 10
minutes after my first alarm should have gone off, with my second alarm (radio) going off (should have been going off for 5 minutes already while I was standing there). The state of mind that I was in at that time is very hard to describe, but let me just call it a confusion attack. Everyone has had a time in his life where he's confused about something. It's something trivial, not something that you really give any attention to when it happens. This type of confusion was a very differnt kind of animal though. Firstly: I was thinking in terms of the computergame that I had been playing during the past day for quite some hours. I was thinking in terms of enemy base, friendly base, skills, hero kills etc, and even though I knew I was standing in my room, those thoughts seemed natural. I was also in the assumption that it was just time
for my nap. I stood there staring at my clock that said 00:33 or something for several minutes, trying to make sense of the time, because I was pretty certain that it was nap-time now. That
the time was not in
accordance to nap time, was something that I was unable to get. For some reason I also tried putting out the earphones of my mp3player out of my ears SEVERAL times, but I wasn't even wearing any! Then very slowly things started making sense, I realized that my second alarm was going off (was radio, so I didn't identify it as alarm when I was in confusion mode). Things started falling into place, and I felt pretty weird about it...

(Disclaimer: In the next paragraph, I don't guarantee that any of the New-Age bullcrap I say is the truth. It's how I perceive things, and you shouldn't take my word for it until you experience the structure of mind and body for yourself) It is known that when you adjust to a polyphasic sleeping pattern, your mind is your single worst enemy. Most people in this world are slaves of their mind. People who are identified with their own minds, think their thoughts are coming fro
m themselves, so they can't be lying. Many people exploring the planes of consciousness have found out on the other hand, that the information of the thoughts you're getting from your mind, is often very misleading. Mind and ego go hand in hand. Ego is a creation of the mind, and the thoughts you're getting from your mind, have a very agenda of their own, protecting that ego. Your ego is that part of you that's creating your desires. Your desire to be safe, your desire to control, your desire to get approval etc... The desires of the ego most often come from a standpoint of scarcity. For example, a person who identifies with his ego wants the biggest piece of the pizza/pie, as if it's the last meal he'll ever have. It wants to get approval from it's surroundings, because it thinks that without it, he will be seen as burden and will be ruthlessly killed by even friends. The ego knows no love, it wants to survive and reproduce. It's goal is self-preservation. The reason why I'm saying all this weird stuff, is because I think it's the reason for my mind acting so weird on me here. I've never before ignored the wants of my ego and mind so ruthlessly as during this week. I am ignoring and ignoring and ignoring my minds demand to go to sleep, because the ego is fundamentally uncreative, and can't see any other possibilities than the things as they have always been. During this week, I am slowly but surely turning my mind and ego from a master into a servant. The ego does not like this and is fighting for his life. I think weird states of mind like the ones I had today were the result of this unstableness.
There's another indication why this might be true. In a post of a few days ago, I described thoughts and feelings from mind and body as the fog that's in the way to get to real consciousness, freedom and happiness. I think you can make a nice metaphor of attempting a polyphasic sleeping rhythm like uberman. It's probably doing to this fog what a flamethrower does to a cloud of gas. In the last 5 days or so, I am experiencing very hightened awareness and consciousness. I'm pretty sure the fog is clearing up a very little bit.

My last nap I had at 4am an hour ago, was without doubt the best nap I've had so far. I had a very vivid, nice dream that seemed to last hours. I woke up easily from my alarm and I felt very fresh and energetic, like these naps are supposed to be. I wonder if it's coincidence that my first real dream was also in the 4am nap.

woensdag 12 augustus 2009

Hacking my own brainz: Great Succes!

It's been a long long while since my last point. (at least in the way I perceive it ;) I had a very interesting day yesterday, but somehow I didn't feel so much like posting. During the last 2 days, I haven't had any of those moments that I was REALLY tired. On the other hand, I hadn't had a lot of moments either that I felt really wide awake. I still hadn't had a real dream in nearly 6 days, which indicates the lack of a very important sleeping phase: REM. Even though I myself have always been driven, awake and motivated, I felt that my body on the other hand was starting to have a hard time because of the sleep deprivation. I figured that my body could use some care. Personally, the one thing that I consider the nicest treat to my body, apart from really good sex, is getting a massage from a pro who really knows what she's doing. I thought that I deserved one. I couldn't go to a kind of massage that would result in me falling asleep on the table though. That left somewhat every
kind of massage out, except one: Thai massage. I'de had 2 real Thai massages before in my life, and really loved them, so I went on the interwebz to look for a good reputable place. (you should try typing thai massage in google, you'll figure out very quickly that its NOT easy to find a good reputable Thai massage place in Belgium)
Because of epic google skillz, I finally did find one that looked good (which means has gotten certificates of traditional Thai massage in Thailand). I could get an appointment in on the same day, although there was one problem. It didn't really fit with my napping schedule. It was from
6.30PM to 8.30PM, and 8.00-->8.20 is napping time for me. I thought that it wouldn't be such a disaster to miss one nap... I'de be relaxing either way. Anywayz, I ended up getting the number 1 (or maybe 2) best massage I ever had in my life. It was a nice lady that was fluent in English, and she stretched me in ways that I never knew was within my skilltree. Even though the massage was quite active, I ended up getting REALLY sleepy during the time of my nap. I didn't have a clock, but intuitively I knew exactly from when to when it was, because I coulnd't keep my eyes open, and had something like 50 very short microsleeps within those 20 minutes, being on the verge between being awake and asleep, while an Asian woman was doing some really weird things with my
body. It was an 'interesting' experience ^_^.

I haven't experienced any special tiredness because of 'missing' my nap there, so I guess I haven't done anything too bad. Also yesterday, I got into the beta of the new stand-alone version of Defend of the Ancients, also known as DOTA. Most of my childhood, I've been a game addict, and even though last years I don't play games so much anym
ore, it's still something that I can put a lot of time in, if I get into it again. Since it's a highly improved version of one of my favorite games ever, I was pretty excited
about it, and that gives me the most effective tool for if extremely sleepy times occur.

Then the most important point of this post is the following. I reached the most essential checkpoint in the adjustment period of the Uberman schedule.

(Picture unrelated)

I had my first real dream, for the first time in the 6 days that I've started this whole thing! It was a pretty weird experience. I got into my bed at 4am, and fell asleep pretty quickly. Then, when I wake up, I wake up out of a very vivid dream (that was for some reason about my brother, finding an LSD trip-report on the back of a Lara Croft poster on my wall O_o. I've never written an lsd trip-report on the back of a poster, let alone Lara Croft, so I have no clue
where that stuff comes from :P) Anyhow, the dream was vivid and it seemed like it lasted a long time, like a dream that you remember when you've slept quite long. When I woke up, I KNEW that I had overslept SEVERAL HOURS. I jumped out the bed, ran to my desk to check my phone for the time... It showed.... 04:15. That was a really weird feeling. If I were checking for dream-signs to get lucid, I probably would have genuinely thought that I was still dreaming. I
went back in my bed for those last 5 minutes, just laying there... I felt extremely refreshed, unlike any of the other naps I had had this week. I'm feeling for the first time that I got a really high quality nap in, and it's the first signpost to getting my fatigue-level back to normal again! It's also the sign that I now know for sure that I'm adjusting in a good direction, since I've got into REM-sleep in only a 15 minute nap. (and normally REM sleep doesnt occur before the first
90 minutes of your sleep-cycle)

I'm excited about being able to dream again, because there's lots that I want to try out concerning lucid dreaming. These powernaps give you great opportunity to practice and try new things out. Normally you only get one shot a day, but when I'll have dreams in any of my naps, I'll get 6 shots a day O_o. I hope to be giving some lucid dreaming reports soon too ;).

# of hours into Uberman schedule: 143
Hours of sleep, of those 143: 11 hours and 40 min

maandag 10 augustus 2009

The original Uberman video, before it was called uberman

The uberman schedule was created based on this system. 1991-style guaranteed.
The subject doesn't really seem to succeed though. I think a major factor that will decide succes or failure is your own motivation, and in this experiment the subject didn't seem very motivated at all, and did it because of external pressure rather than internal motivation.

The video shows that I was misinformed about a certain aspect of uberman though. Apparantly, some of your naps will be REM sleep, some will be deep sleep, some will be blahblahblah...
That's nice to know, because that was pretty much the only real doubt that I had about it. If the human race has certain sleep-phases, they should have a reason for it.


zondag 9 augustus 2009

Day 4 renamed - Day of Rebirth

(stop reading this post if you're not interested in the psychological background of me doing this sleep-experiment. Also don't read this if you're the kind of person that gets all frustrated with people doing things with conviction that are not 'scientifically proveable. Experiment-progress-wise, this post comes down to me feeling energetic again using my epic willpower skillz, without having reached REM-phase in my naps yet. If you wanna know more about how I managed this, who I am and what drives me, read on.)

Renaissance, the pseudonym that I'm using, meaning rebirth, has various meanings to me, even though I didn't come up with it myself. The name was given to me on the 2th of december 2007 by Kane, a person I admired at that time, and that I can call a friend since then. There's a Latin saying 'nomen est omen', which means literally: Your name becomes your destiny. Coincidence or not, from that period on, my life has been a rapid succession of symbolic rebirth after rebirth. In order for you as reader to understand the reason of today's events in my uberman experiment, and the reason behind my drive to do this experiment in the first place, I must talk a bit about myself. I haven't introduced myself yet anywayz.

I'm Belgian, male and close to 22 years old to this point. I've always been an introvert. As far as I can remember, I've always had big projects that I have been working on, on my own. May it be puzzles and videogames that I took really serious as a child, and various types of personal development at my current age. Those loner-projects have always had priority in my life, over the social aspect of it. (although this changed majorly around my 'Renaissance' in the end of 2007.) When I'm alone, I feel at home. For most of my life, I have been dealing with the paradox of having high self-confidence and motivational drive in the stuff I'm doing and myself in general, but low self-esteem and confidence in social situations. I've never had trouble in social situations where I felt like I was qualified to get respect. For example in primary school, where I was the smartest kid in class, and child of the headmaster, I felt completely at ease, no problem. (hiding behind symbols that aren't of any value anyway) But in social situations on the other hand where I didn't feel like I didn't have any real qualification to get respect, where I had no fake symbols to hide myself behind, I felt like a total piece of crapshit basically, especially in guy-groups. (for some reason I don't have that problem with girls. I'm probably an exception in the fact that I have more trouble having male friends than girlfriends.)

(I took some pics today)

Needless to say, I had accumulated a lot of negative emotional baggage up to 2 years ago. I was never really aware of it, that something had gone wrong that could be fixed. I knew/thought I was fucked up, but I thought it was a fundamental part of who I was, and there was nothing that I could do about it. Although I'm not writing this blog anonymously, I'm saying this because it's the reason behind getting into the personal development stuff. Although talking about this stuff used to freak me out 2 years ago, I've pretty much come to a point now where I've come to peace and acceptance with this aspect of my past, and got rid of most of the emotional weight of these matters.

Because I'm just giving a quick overview here, I'm not gna go into the thing that really got me to look into personal development. For some reason it's culturally pretty taboo and it's not something that I only want to press into a few lines. I might go into it later as a separate post. Anywayz, from that thing that I started my personal development with, I later got into the metaphysical views on personal development. Most of this stuff is considered New-Age, and people who haven't looked into it have a first instinct of declaring everything here as flower-smoke crap. I won't be going into details, but I thinkt there's a lot of crap out there, but also a lot of truth. What's important for today is just the notion of your body (source of feelings and emotions), mind (source of thoughts) and core/soul (source of willpower) being separate entities. This is pretty much accepted by every spirituality and meta-physical theory. If you've never
thought/heard/read about it, know that it's pretty common sense for nearly all people who have thought about it.

The metaphysical notion of happiness and freedom (these two are very directly connected), is that happiness and freedom is actually the default state of our soul/core. It's our mind and bodies that blur the default state of happiness and freedom through unwanted thoughts (mind) and emotions/feelings (body). The ultimate happiness and freedom in this concept, is using your body and mind as tools that you're in control of, instead of being controlled by every crap your mind and body send at you. The way how you can be the master of your body and mind is the part where a lot of spiritualities and new-age theories go completely in a wrong direction in my opinion and experience. They say that you can, by year-long-practice or whatever, condition
your body and mind to only send you thoughts and emotions that you want. In my opinion, this is utter crap, and it's never possible to control what the next thought is you're going to think or the next feeling/emotion you're going to have. Although there are definitely elements of truth in the popular book/movie 'The Secret' and positive-thinking stuff like it, it's still impossible to condition yourself to think only positive thoughts.
The way to go in my opinion, is losing the emotional charge that your thoughts and bodily
sensations have over you. In that way you can see your thoughts as some kind of tv channel that's not directly influencing you, but where you can pick the things from that are useful for you. Losing the emotional charge of your thoughts sounds complicated, but is actually pretty easy to do as a habit, once you get used to it. (something I'm working at since last month)
Your thoughts come in different categories, and the ones that you suffer from the most are thougths that are caused by a want of approval, want of safety, want of control, want of seperation, or want to be closer to/be one with. I'm not really going into the technical stuff, because it's not really the point of this point/blog anyway.
The big reason behind the other reasons why I'm doing this uberman-challenge, is because I want to prove for myself that I choose the boundaries of my life myself, hence the name of this blog.

From early today until after my 4pm nap, I was feeling completely exhausted and useless, like my previous post described so well as a zombie-state. I was thinking about the fact that in the last few days, when I felt tired I was often able to make the tiredness go away a
little bit by concentrating my attention on something interesting that kept my head involved. Then I came up with the idea of 'letting loose' of the feeling of tiredness that my body was
sending me. Since the default state of every being at any time is freedom and happiness, there must be a way to 'let go' of this tiredness or at least not having it bother me. I noticed that I had destined myself to feel like crap because I had read people's experiences on uberman, and assuming that the same was coming for me. I thought about this, and decided to give it a try if I could just release this feeling of tiredness without resisting it. I'm not going into the technicities of this, because it might make this post way too long, but long story short, I succeeded pretty well at doing this.

The weather was good and I was feeling better again, and I decided to go for a walk, from my house through the farm-fields to the next town. Having let go of the influence of my thoughts over me, I really enjoyed myself in the present moment. I was amazed by the nice colors of the flowers and plants, I climbed over a bridge instead of passing under it just for the adventure of it, talked to the cows... and gave my grand-mother a visit. It's been really ages that I visitted my grandmother on my own initiative. She was very surprised and happy to see me. For some reason or another, I realized that I had never had a real conversation from person to person with her in my entire life. She's very traditional and catholic, and until today I had always been afraid that it would shock her too much if I would talk openly to her about the things that were going on in my life, and how I thought about life. I saw my grandmother as a real person for the first time in my life I think... We talked about all kinds of stuff, how we both see religion, my grandfather that died a few years ago and she told me about stuff that happened before I was born. (something she rarely had done to me when I was a child) Her eyes were shining as she was talking to me, something I hadn't seen from her for quite a while.

(count ladybugs ;))

When I went home, I had a nice feeling... Seeing my grandmother so happy had made me happy too. (I didn't tell her about my sleeping experiment though :P Surprisingly enough, you can't see it on my face that I'm suffering from sleep deprivation )

I came home just before 8pm nap-time, and woke up with an exhausted feeling again. Pretty quickly, I was able to release that feeling again to feel pretty awake again.

Good news, I think I started dreaming a bit in my last nap at midnight. I'm not 100% sure because I can't remember anything, but I have the feeling that I did dream for a short time. If I'm right, the toughest part of the challenge might be over already!

Day 4 - Day of the zombie

Eighty hours have passed since I slept longer than 20 minutes for the last time. Like I had anticipated, I got pretty tired around 6am. In previous days, I was okay again after 9, but today the extreme feeling of tiredness doesn't go away. Lucky for me it's not so bad yet that I have real trouble keeping my eyes open, but if I don't get some REM sleep in any of today's naps, it's going to get pretty rough. I'm not despairing in any way though. I still got enough things to keep me busy, and getting to REM in my naps can't be too far away anymore. Most people who have gone before me started getting REM on either end of day3, day4 or start of day5. (or later, but that's pretty much always because of oversleeping in some way or another.

56 Hours in - Staying strong - Trippy side effects naps

Hi folks, tonight is my third night of the experiment, and I'm preparing myself mentally for the truck that's going to hit me somewhere between 4.20 and 8am. Even though chances are pretty high that it's going to hit me hard tonight, I am prepared for it like a soldier laying silently in the long grass, knowing that something dangerous will come pretty soon, but confident that whatever happens, I will prevail against anything that's coming at me. At the moment I'm in a pretty dreamy state. Not extremely alert, but no pressing exhaustion that's urging me to fall asleep. I'm getting more and more used to the naps. Probably because of a mix of factors, I'm falling asleep pretty quickly. Last nap, falling asleep was pretty special. Normally I have a pretty hard time falling asleep when laying on my back, but I know out of experience when I do fall asleep on my back somehow, the quality of my sleep is better.
Up until now I've been falling asleep laying on my side like always, but tonight at midnight I got into my bed, lay on my back and waited for relaxation to wash over me, like the waves of an ocean. That's what it felt like, wave after wave of relaxation, while I was consciously feeling my body getting paralyzed and getting into sleep state just a little bit earlier than my mind did, and after about 3 minutes of this from the moment I got into my bed, I lost consciousness, and next thing I knew my alarm was going off.

The fact that I got my body to fall asleep so easily before my mind did makes me VERY excited. I had heard already from the book Ubersleep, that a polyphasic sleeping rhythm, makes you more likely to have lucid dreams. For the ones who haven't heard of lucid dreams, I'll explain it shortly. Lucid dreaming is being aware in your dream that you're dreaming. Since you're the one creating your dream, realizing in your dream that you're dreaming gives you ULTIMATE freedom. It's one of my favourite topics really. I've been madly intrigued by dreams since I was a child, and since about 6 months ago I heard about lucid dreaming for the first time. I read a
book about it (Stephen Laberge), and after applying the techniques that the book recommended for having higher chances of dreaming lucid, I had a few of them over the past few months. In the past, I have experienced several types of drugs, mostly psychedelics, but lucid dreaming beats the crap out of all of them. It's so intense, and so extremely fun. People that have experienced flying in a dream might have an idea what I'm talking about.
Now... to get back on track, the reason why I'm so excited about my body falling asleep before my mind, is because it could be a straight gateway from consciousness right into a dream, and since you went straight from awake to dream, it's pretty obvious that you'll know that you're dreaming. I've experienced it in the past, waking up from a dream during the night, but knowing that when you'll close your eyes, you'll fall asleep again in seconds. At that time, I used to let my imagination make an image in my mind eye of an environment. When you're so close on the border between being awake and sleeping, it sometimes happens that this environment that you're imagining, materializes right around you, and becomes your dreaming world. I've had it happen twice, and it blew me off my socks. It probably won't work until I'm getting into REM-sleep (I'm not getting any of it yet... REM sleep is the phase where you dream). I'll try this technique of lucid dreaming when I'm starting to dream during my naps. It should start to happen tomorrow or the day after it I think. If not, I'm fucked, because as long as I'm not getting any REM-sleep, I'm not getting any real energy from my naps basically. *abrupt end, without any reason in particular*

zaterdag 8 augustus 2009

First obstacle succesfully dodged

I woke up at 12.20 noon today, feeling pretty fresh, put on some clothes, and took train to Kortenberg, the town where we do our repetitions with our band. Although I was kind of drowsy during the train ride, sometimes wondering wether those strange random thoughts in my head were microsleeps of a single second, or just mere daydreaming. (things started to relate in my head that were completely 100% unrelated)Seeing some people gave me a lot of new energy somehow. I just felt normal, even more energetic than usually at repetitions. My sound quality wasn't really to write home about, but it's kind of to be accepted that my voice suffers a bit when being deprived from sleep. I just caught my train back at 4pm by seconds, and took my nap on the train. It wasn't that succesful of a nap, being split up in a few 1 minute naps, a few 2 minute naps and one of 5 minute, which was the one that was responsible for missing my stop =P. No worry though, it's not that I was in a
hurry. I'm back home now, and feeling around a 4.5 on the scale of sleepiness (see last post).

This blog is being followed at a pretty big Dutch forum called http://forum.fok.nl/ , and someone asked me a good question that probably more people are wondering about, and to be honest I'm wondering about it too. I once read a book about sleeping quality, and that book seemed to put a lot of importance on the 'Deep Sleep' phase, which speedens your regeneration rate (limbs start growing back and stuff like that...) and on the organizing of your brain. Note that the sleep system that I'm aiming for, doesn't have any of this.
Because I'm very much into personal development overall, I know a few random things that might give an answer to it. I'm actually a pretty active meditator, meditating an hour of active meditation a day since about 6 months ago. For that purpose I'm using Holosync technology, it's a system where you put on an audiotrack on headphones while you meditate, and by sending differen
t frequencies into different ears that influence your brain waves. You get lead through different types of brain waves, and ultimately half an hour of delta waves, which are th
e type of brain waves that you're in during deep sleep. The benefits of meditating seem to be exactly the benefits you get from deep sleep, and a few other random things that I won't get into, because I'm not going to turn this blog into my personal New-Age playground. Since I started meditating, I often find myself being passively into a meditative relaxed state during random parts of the day, and the longer I'm into it, the more I notice this.
Although I don't really think it's a smart idea of saying anything definite about the difficulty of this challenge, I have the feeling at the moment that it's kinda 'easy' compared to all the horror stories that I'de heard about it, a lot of people not making day 4 by oversleeping during day 2 or day 3 or just falling asleep all over the place. Maybe my habit of being in a light meditative state is of a big service to me here. I would like to end my post with a very meaningful piece of wisdom that an old monk once told me in a hightened state of enlightenment.

by the way, I fixed time format of the blog \o/

Introduction Stanford Sleepiness Scale

While I was browsing the google group of Polyphasic sleep (http://groups.google.com/group/Polyphasic), I came upon a good tool that makes me able to monitor myself better, making me able to predict my awakeness/sleepiness rhythm better. There's a so called Stanford Sleepiness Scale, and like the name says it allows you to determine on a scale how sleepy you are.

Degree of Sleepiness - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Scale Rating
Feeling active, vital, alert, or wide awake - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1
Functioning at high levels, but not at peak; able to read a book and have a conversation - - - 2
Awake, but relaxed; responsive but not fully alert - - - - - - - - - - 3
Somewhat foggy, let down - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4
Foggy; losing interest in remaining awake; slowed down - - - - - - - 5
Sleepy, woozy, fighting sleep; prefer to lie down - - - - - - - - - - 6
No longer fighting sleep, sleep onset soon; having dream-like thoughts 7

Up until now, for the first 52 hours, I've been mostly in zone 3 and 4, with the occasional 2 and 5, and the rare 6 that on friday and today happened between 7.30 and 9am.

vrijdag 7 augustus 2009

40 hour Mark - Feeling surprisingly comfortable

Good things have happened since my last update 16 hours ago. To be honest, I wasn't too certain anymore about this while I was writing. I was feeling so damn tired already, only one day far. Before I took my nap at 8am this morning, just after I had written the 24h mark update, it was probably the only time since the start of this challenge that I had some trouble staying awake. Lucky for me, things got better again. I woke up at 8.20, feeling strangely better. I got into the shower, and that really got me awake again. I'm at my parents house at the moment, although my parents are gone to Norway for a few weeks. I have no clue whatsoever when they're coming back to be honest. Up to a week ago, I had my own appartment in Leuven, but I moved out of it because I'm planning on moving to Japan from the 1st of october. No solid plans yet though, I don't even have my plane ticket yet, but it'll work out somehow, like it usually does.

Where was I... I came out of the shower feeling fresh, and noticed that the house was a mess. I saw my backpack on a chair, still laying there from going to the supermarket a few days ago. I looked in it , and I had forgotten to put the pizza's that I bought into the fridge. I live on a quite chill location, farmlands around our house, and a bit from our house there's a big fenced grassland with goats, chickens, ducks and an ostrich. I went there to feed them the pizza's that I wouldn't be able to eat myself anymore anyway. Being outside in a natural environment often gives me a nice feeling, but this morning I felt really at peace. Then a few hours later I spent a whole hour laying on my belly on the grass in my garden, looking at how long it was, the flowers that I usually don't notice, and the bees going from flower to flower. Strange how everyday things like that get so beautiful when you're not busy. It makes me think... do I feel less busy now becau
se I have more time now, or just because I'm in another state of mind than my day-in-day-out busy behaviour?

In my nap at 12o'clock, I had the feeling for the first time that I had really been sleeping, and every nap it's getting a little bit better. That being said, there's no way that I'm already getting into the right sleep-phase. That will probably take a few days longer. The first days will probably be pretty exhausting. Even though I feel pretty comfortable right now, I know that the next 24h will get really tough.

Another thing that's really strange that I noticed, is my feeling for time. I'm perceiving time
differently as usual. Because I have been conscious for such a long time without being unconscious for longer than an hour, it feels like I'm still in the same day as yesterday morning, when I started this challenge. Time seems much more like a continuous thing, opposed to seeing time as a cycle of every day a new beginning like I used to.

Tomorrow will be the first time in my challenge that I have something social going on that I have to attend. There's a repetition with my band at 2pm. We usually practice for about 2 hours, so hopefully I can hop on the train back at 4pm and take my nap on the train. I'm definitely not going there by car, for obvious reasons. I fall asleep isanely quickly when I'm on a train, so taking my nap there shouldn't be a major setback. There was also a party going on in the evening that I was asked to attend, although I think I'm going to excuse myself for that one. I feel a bit bad about it, because the organizer had complained to me already about how many people couldn't come already. Going to this party would probably mean being back to square one, because I'de have to miss one nap, on the same day that one of the other naps is pretty irregular already.

I'm off for today, midnight nap is in about half an hour.

First 24h finished

After 24 hours of little to no sleep, since I've only been getting microsleeps in my naps on the first day, I'm starting to feel a little tired.
To give a little bit of background information... I'm a 21 year old male finishing last Bachelor year of Japanese studies @ K.U. Leuven. I never failed an exam, although I decided to finish my bachelor thesis over the holidays because it looked convenient to me. This has to be finished by the 17th of august, so this brings quite a bit more pressure to the table than if I could just relax throughout the experiment. Good thing is that I'm almost finished. Gotta put about 15 more hours in it, so I can do that when the first five days of the adjustment period are over.
Another thing that might be a source of slight trouble for my schedule, is a perfomance I have with my band on the 15th of august. According to the data, if I stick very well to the schedule the first week, I should be getting my energy back after the first 5 to 7 days. I'm still a complete zombie the day before the performance, I'll have to make a pretty big adjustment to my schedule, and put in a few hours of sleep, which might end up ruining my attempt. It's a pretty big gig, and since I'm the main vocal I can't rly afford to be completely miserable on that day. First things first though, day 2!

Some people have asked me more details about the scientific support for this little experiment I'm doing. It's basically this: To feel awake during the day, you need REM-sleep. REM = Rapid eye movement, so basically it's the phase of sleep where your eyes start moving from their own, and when you're dreaming. Usually this phase only happens after about 90 minutes of sleep. This is the reason why the first few days of adjusting are so hard, because with only 20 minute naps, I won't be getting any of it the first few days, which gives me a feeling equal to not sleeping at all for 3 days straight before any of the REM-sleep starts happening within those 20 minute naps. Your secret weapon is your schedule. If you're doing stuff with a very steady rhythm to it, your body takes you seriously. What's supposed to happen, is that after a week into the experiment, I should be going directly into REM-sleep from the moment that I close my eyes at nap time. Let's hope that actually does happen =].

Something that I have to do today, is make a list of things that I can do that keep me awake, but don't spend a lot of energy. If you have any good idea's, I'de appreciate it ;)
The last few hours I've been playing a game called DOTA, which definately keeps me awake, but I'm afraid it's not something that I'll be able to do on day 3.
I'll post my current list of idea's later on.

donderdag 6 augustus 2009

Uberman Sleep Schedule

(This post is second part of the introduction of this blog. Read first post first if you like common sense)

I'm probably what could be called an impulsive person. I found out about a book this morning named Ubersleep, I looked it up, downloaded it, read it, and decided that I was going to do it NOW.
I'm pretty used to getting into stuff pretty impulsively like this, but I don't think I ever
really regretted anything I did like it. (at least I'm reading about it before I act =)
One of the last times, I decided that it would be a good exercise to try fasting for 5 days, retaining from anything but water, because I wanted to test my own willpower. After reading about it, it seemed pretty healthy too for cleansing reasons, to do once in a while if you know what you're doing and you know what you might expect. Having that experience might help me in getting through the first week of the 'Uberman Schedule of Polyphasic Sleeping'.

The book Ubersleep is not written by a scientist, but by a person that goes by
the alias Puredoxyk. People of the
interwebs call her the Internet-Guru of Polyphasic Sleeping, because she's the person who co-developped the Uberman-method and helped a lot of other people succesfully achieve it. In 2008 she finally released a book which holds all her knowledge, tips, tricks, epic skilzz, talents, aspects, upgrades, flying mounts, etc... for Polyphasic Sleeping.

Now, what exactly is polyphasic sleeping, and what is the uberman-method?!(sounds kinda nazi to me, but can't help it that it's named that way.)

Polyphasic sleeping is sleeping several small chunks of time a day. (of altogether
80 to 240 minutes of sleep a day, according to the schedule you're using)
It's the opposite of monophasic sleeping, where you sleep for one large chunk,
like most people do.
The Uberman-method in particular is a system where you take naps of 20 minutes, exactly every 4 hours. Strictness to the schedule is of life importance, because you have to persuade your brain that there's a new system in place, and that you're not planning to be careless about it. (I wonder if this is going to be
easier or harder for me, since I don't really have a biorhythm to begin with)

Why do I want to do it?

There are several reasons for this. The first thing being that if I feel the challenge to do something, I feel really attracted to actually doing it. I proved for myself a few months ago that I have the willpower to live without eating 5 days straight, this is taking that reason a step further. For that part, I believe in the motto:'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
Another reason is quite obvious, how awesome would it be to have 6 hours extra in one day?! One issue that's been following me since I'm 13 years old or something, is that there have always been so many things I want to do, but I don't have the time for it. I understand that this has also to do with other things like scheduling and psychological stance, although it's still obvious that you can do more things if you have a quarter as much time as you usually do.
Another thing that attracts me to the Uberman-method is that people who practice it, note a feeling of euphoria, higher consciousness and the notion of never ever feeling tired, unless they're coming close to a nap.
Another small reason that attracts me in the uberman-method, is the fact that explorers before me have noted that sleeping this kind of schedule allows for a higher rate of lucid dreams. It's a subject that I'm already very into since half a year, and I'm having moderate succes with it. It would be cool if it actually upped my rate of lucid dreams too.

Will it be easy?

One thing I can already say for certain, is that it won't be a piece of cake. Even though it sounds completely awesome to being wide awake every day and only needing 2 hours of sleep a day, the way getting there won't be so pleasant. This doesn't mean that I'm not excited to try, but still, there's a reason why only about 10% of the people who try to install this program in their head actually succeed in doing so effectively, and the ones who do often have to give it up because Western lifestyle often doesn't allow a person to nap for 20 minutes every 4 hours.
Nevertheless, I am going for it!