A Spring of Experiments

For years, spring has been my time of experimenting with various exercise programs, eating plans, and anything else I’ve been interested in over the years. This spring is no different and comes with two of the biggest experiments I’ve yet committed to.

1. Polyphasic Sleep – the idea of getting only a small amount of core sleep each night supplemented with short 20-minute naps during the day. Without going into the science of it, you (supposedly) get more of the important (REM) sleep. Because I’m not completely insane, I’ll be starting with the Everyman 2-nap. With 4.5 hours of core sleep and 2 20-minute naps spaced evenly throughout the day, I’ll be sleeping just over 5 hours each day. I’ve been comfortable in the past with 6 hours of sleep each night, so I expect this to not only be comfortable after a few days of adaptation, but I believe I’ll be able to decrease the core sleep to 4 hours or less. Maybe it’s just the positivity talking, so I guess we’ll see.

2. Intermittent Fasting – extended periods without eating. It has a lot of pieces of effective eating plans I’ve used in the past, minus the fast. I’ve been eating 6-8 small meals for years so I’m a little nervous about my IF plan: 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour eating window. I’ll likely take in just 3 big meals, mostly consisting of protein and fat. On days of higher energy expenditure, like my long run days, I’ll throw in a few extra carbs. While most IF plans recommend fasting overnight through the morning, they also assume most people are monophasic sleepers (7-9 hours of straight sleep per night). Since I’ll be running my polyphasic sleep experiment at the same time, I’m worried about lack of energy in the morning while adapting to the decreased core sleep. That being said, I’ll be fasting in the afternoon through the night instead.

I’ll post weekly updates on both experiments. Let the games begin.

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