failing like never before


Maximum Cow Capacity

This sign (a sort of precursor to modern speed limits and bridge maximum carrying capacity signs) hanging over a foot bridge, located next to Greenback Lane and spanning the American River in Folsom, California (Google Maps link), has always amused me. Based upon my scant knowledge of Folsom and Sacramento, I would estimate that the sign and the bridge are about 100 years old. During those days, $25 dollars would have been considered a fairly substantial sum.

Although I have always tried to obey the speed limit (walking speed)  while crossing the bridge, I have noticed that most other cyclists pay no attention to the sign and that no one seems to be enforcing the speed limit across the bridge. Housing developments have sprung up in the area surronding the foot bridge during the past hundred years and I doubt that anyone has driven cattle across it in at least four decades. Nevertheless the sign still stands to amuse all those who happen to look up as they walk across the bridge.

And for those who can't be bothered to click on the picture and experience the slightly tacky yet cool lightbox effects, here is what it reads:



Everyman Attempt 1

My first crack at the everyman schedule lasted a pitiful four days.  My failure is due mostly to my not adhering to the sleep schedule, and a terrible inability to fall asleep during the daytime. So of course, my attempt at polyphasic sleep was a total failure. Thoughout my four day experimenation period, I remained tired and rather out of sorts. I am hoping to start another attempt at polyphasic sleep starting tomorrow.


Day 3 of the Everyman

3am   – 6am - (Monday, August 10)
11am – 11:20am
4pm   – 4:20pm
10pm – 10:20pm

Last night I overslept my 10pm nap until 2am. I fell asleep at 3am and then woke up to my alarm at 6am.


Day 2 of the Everyman

3am   – 6am - (Monday, August 10)

Again, as mentioned in the previous day's post, I missed naps yesterday and overslept my 10pm nap and didn't wake up until 5am. However, I'll still be trying to continue the everyman. Right now, I'm still feeling a little bit tired, but all in all not bad.

Net speed: 77 WPM
Accuracy: 93%
Gross Speed: 83 WPM

11am – 11:20am

I laid in bed for about an hour but was completely unable to fall asleep. Like I said previously, I have always had difficulty falling asleep during the daytime even when I'm extremely exhausted.

I'm going to stop taking the typing tests because I'm pretty sure they reflect nothing about my reflexes and wakefulness.

4pm   – 4:20pm

Tried to fall asleep in a chair at the library but was again, entirely unsuccessful despite being very tired.

10pm – 10:20pm

I laid down before 10 and told my dad to wake me up at 10:30, which he did. Unfortunately I was unable to fall asleep in that thirty minute time span. Amusingly enough, after my dad left my room I laid in bed for a few more minutes and fell asleep, slept through my alarm (again) and didn't wake up until 2am.


Day 1 of the Everyman

3am   – 6am - (Monday, August 10)

I went into this experiment already a little tired, so right now I am quite knackered. I have a feeling that I will be spending most of the next few days staring blankely at a computer screen watching TV reruns online (like I'm doing right now). Obviously, when I first woke up from my core nap I was extremely tired, but after a brief walk around the block in the cool air I'm feeling a bit better, albeit still slightly woozy.

One of the plus sides of going to sleep so tired I suppose, is that I fell right asleep without any problems.

This is extremely unscientific, but after every nap, I'll be taking a three minute typing test (courtesy of to maybe test my dexterity and "wakefulness." Its extremely possible that my wakefulness will not be reflected in my typing scores, but I'll try nonetheless. My typing scores for this waking period are:

Net speed: 67 WPM
Accuracy: 95%
Gross Speed: 70 WPM

11am – 11:20am

I've always had trouble taking naps during the daytime, even when extremely tired, and this nap was no different. I probably didn't fall asleep until noon, and even then it was a bit of a light sleep and the alarm clock jolted me awake almost immediately. My awareness and reflexes were definetely not as good and I continued to feel a bit woozy throughout the next few hours.

Net Speed: 73 WPM

Accuracy: 90%

Gross Speed: 81 WPM

4pm   – 4:20pm

I tried quite hard to fall asleep but ultimately, was unable to fall asleep at all despite laying in bed for an hour. Eventually,  I decided to just forgo this nap entirely. College has taught me how to function on extremely  little sleep; on one occassion I managed to operate on three hours of sleep per day for almost four days. I felt like a sleepwalker during this period, and had a bit of a headache.

10pm – 10:20pm

It was easy to fall asleep for this period since this is when I usually go to bed. Unfortunately, my twenty minute nap turned into a seven hour snooze. My alarm must have gone off because when I woke up, I found that I had removed the battery from my cell phone.


The Everyman Begins Now

(For those unfamilar with polyphasic sleep and the everyman sleep schedule... or you could JFGI)

I've been interested in polyphasic sleep ever since I read about it while not-doing homework, but have never managed to muster the courage to give it a go. However, my roommate from last year expressed some disbelief towards the idea that a person can subsist on a measly four hours of sleep per day, and so I brashly vowed to prove him wrong over the summer. It occurred to me, earlier tonight, that the summer is now beginning to near its end so I had best start with my polyphasic sleep experiment if I really want to try it.

I while be attempting to adopt a tried sleep schedule, called the everyman sleep schedule, which consists of a three hour core nap and three twenty minute naps throughout the day. The everyman schedule is so named because it is supposed to be suitable for "everyman." And unlike the fabled uberman sleep schedule, the everyman is a little more forgiving towards late and missed naps and since less naps are taken, the length of a waking period is longer.

I've read that some people have just used kitchen timers to wake them up from their naps, but I've decided to instead use the alarm clock on my cell phone instead, since it allows me to schedule multiple to go off multiple times a day every day.

My proposed sleeping schedule is as follows:

3am   - 6am

11am - 11:20am

4pm   - 4:20pm

10pm - 10:20pm

I will attempt to regularly blog my progress in this experiment and note the effectiveness of the sleeping schedule. All my posts related to my attempts will be posted under the category "polyphasic sleep."

Currently, it is 2am, and so I will be taking my core nap in one hour. Sadly, I have barely begun my polyphasic sleep schedule and I am already rather tired.