So far, my latest acclimation has been a major success, and I’ve gained a lot of time and I certainly feel better and more awake than I have in years. As a polyphasic person, you are constantly dealing with social and peer pressures since you’re doing something so far from the norm. While this is the norm and certainly something you get used to, there’s some things I find myself having difficulty giving up. For example, many people have reported doing better on polyphasic when they’re vegetarian, but the one constant in all of the experiences out there seems to be no caffeine and no alcohol.
When I first adapted in 2004, I was fresh out of college and surrounded by people who loved to drink. Living in a college town, I’d go to bars, order a root beer, and watch the crazy, drunken people do their thing (this is an endless source of entertainment, by the way). As I became more used to sleeping this way, and as my desire to drink grew, I eventually tried drinking while polyphasic with mixed results.
I have a very fond memory of being at a party where everyone had been drinking, and they all knew about my schedule. My naps were 2, 6, and 10 and so when the 2AM nap came around, I let the whole party know I’d be passing out in my car for a while. As an aside, make sure when you pass out in your car, that you’re in the passenger seat. Inebriation in the driver’s seat can be interpreted as intent to drive and we don’t want you getting a DUI for taking a nap. One of the reasons people don’t drink on polyphasic is that you sleep really deeply when you’re intoxicated, and the chances of listening to the rational side that says you want to get up on time are far slimmer. This time, however, everyone from the party came out to the car and were all peering in through the windows when I awoke. I immediately got up, to their cheers, and rejoined the party. It was a rare experience, but also a testament to how supporting my group of friends has been.
Recently, I’ve tried drinking while on polyphasic and I’m less satisfied with the results. I’ve often found that missing a nap during the day makes me want to sleep for about 2 hours a night. The same thing seems to happen for drinking. Each drink throws off my system about the same amount as staying awake for a nap, and if I get drunk, I often slip back into something like monophasic. I’ve wondered if this is a sign that I’m not fully acclimated yet, even after 2 months. I’ve been somewhat lax in my focus toward acclimation, and though I get most of the benefits, I think I might do better if I stuck to the schedule more.