01 March 2018

My Power Napping Experiment

I've recently had enough of having no time to do anything so I decided to do an experiment.

Time

Since I've started a full-time job I've been thinking a lot about time. Well, I've always been thinking about time. What exactly about time? Well, here we go.

A day has 24 hours and a week has 7 days. This means we have 7 * 24 = 168 hours a week to spend the way we like. If you work 40 hours a week that's 128 hours left. So we lose 40 / 168 = 0.2381 or 23.81% of our week to work. Now, of course, you need to sleep as well. The minimum sleep required is often said to be 6 hours. So that's 6 hours on 7 days or 6 * 7 = 42 hours. So we spent a minimum 42 / 168 = 0.25 or 25% of our week asleep. Now, some people may need more sleep some may need less sleep. If you're a longer sleeper you'll need maybe 8 hours. That's 8 * 7 = 56 hours a week. Taking this into perspective we get 56 / 168 = 0.3333 or 33.33% of our week. Isn't it good that we're doing the home office? Unfortunately, we don't. In my case even worse, I have to drive up to an hour every day to work and back because I don't like living in the city. So that's 5 workdays and 2 hours each for arrival and departure. So, 5 * 2 = 10 hours a week for traveling.

Of our 168 hours we have 168 - 42 - 40 - 10 = 76 hours left. That's only 76 / 168 = 0.4524 or 45.24% time left.

Comparison
• 25% of our week is spent sleeping at a minimum
• 23.81% of our week is spent working
• 10 / 168 = 0.06 or 6% of my week is spent traveling to work
• 45.24% of my week is spent for free time + needs like eating

Too Much To Do

Now this is partly my fault but I kinda got myself into the situation where I want to
• working on a leaderboard in a game
• raid in two different games
• play those games
• play and stream more games
• write these blog posts
• study game design, engineering and development
• work full time
• help a teen and a child in math
• do other projects (programming-wise)
• learn magic
As you might have noticed due to my disturbed frequency of Youtube publishes, streams and blog posts I can't keep up with it anymore. So I need to get time somehow. There are three options I have.
1. Give up work, I can't do that because I would have no income anymore
2. Give up some dedication, I don't want to do this though
3. Siphon the time from another activity
And this is where power napping came to my mind.

Power Napping

So, I've heard and read about this every now and then. People that say they sleep less and have more time for what they want to do. Well, how does it work? According to information, it's as simple as distributing your sleep over the day. This means you will sleep more often every now and then throughout the day but sleepless in total.

Now that sounds very interesting but I couldn't push myself to do it. Until Sunday that is. On Sunday I finally started to give it a try.

Science Behind Napping

On my search, I read some information on sleep duration, purpose and how it benefits us. I found the following information.

60-90 Minute Nap
Plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.

30-60 Minute Nap
Improves decision-making, memorizing or recalling  (e.g. vocabulary or directions)

Up to 30 Minute Nap
Resets the system, gain a burst of alertness and improved motor performance.

Additionally longer sleep times improve memory and creativity.

My Personal Plan

I've read about people creating or using a power napping plan that helps with napping and lets them have a schedule. I also gave this a thought and this is what I came up with first.

Since I don't want to lose any of the advantages I want to build each type of nap into my daily routine, while leaving the amount at a minimum. I've decided to go with a one and a half-hour long nap, a one-hour long nap and a half an hour-long nap. That's a total sleep time of 1.5 + 1 + 0.5 = 3 hours.

The next question is "When?". First I thought about starting with one and a half continuing with one and last but not least finishing off with a half, however, sleeping a whole hour at work will definitely cause problems. So I swapped that with half an hour. The next plan is when exactly. Since I wake up for work around 6am to 6:30am I would say half an hour earlier than that should do s we got 4:30am. Since I have three sleeping cycles it would make sense to distribute them evenly. Since a day has 24 hours that's every 24 / 3 = 8 hours. So that they would be:
• one hour and a half at 4:30am
• half an hour at 12:30pm
• one hour at 8:30pm
I've set up an alarm and calculate in up to 30 minutes for the time it may take to fall asleep. I'm a light sleeper so getting woken up from the alarm is no problem.

Problems Arose

At first, I forgot to use the alarm and I overslept.
When I created this I didn't take things into account. I have raided at 8:00pm. So what happened? The hour got shifted back on days I'm raiding.
I can't seem to fall asleep at work for those 30 minutes. The sitting position is very uncomfortable for this, with clothes, sometimes bad temperatures and constant noises it's hard. Though, I've read about using a face mask and earplugs.

Conclusion

Usually, if I sleep less than six hours three days in a row I'm all tired, grumpy and just want to sleep. It's Thursday already and I feel awake as ever. At least if it's not at work when I am supposed to have taken my 30 minutes nap. I'm gonna continue this experiment and I'm very excited about the results, especially on weekends. I might consider making a vlog instead of using the blog. It depends on the interest of people.
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