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I’ve never felt such relief. Laying my head on the pillow, bracing myself for a full, guiltless sleep. Bliss. My polyphasic sleep experiment had ended. I could enter back into normal society as a fully rested, fully functional human being. At that precise moment my mind was empty, scattered, exhausted. Only later, after 13 hours of sleep, did I attempt take stock and ask myself: what went wrong? What could I have done better? Was my experiment a complete and utter failure?
“This isn’t for you. You’re not good at this,” says my wife, shouting from the other side of the apartment. She’s curled up in bed, reading a book, lazily. I’m hunched over the computer desk, jaw clenched, inches from a monitor screen. I can feel the pulsing of the brain inside my skull. “You’re not Superman,” she says. “You’re a sleepy man.”
Sleep deprivation — it’s like a barrier that shields you from the world. It’s like trying to walk underwater, or pounding on the windows of a glass case. When you’ve had no sleep you evacuate your body, and keep the world at a distance.
The above video was made at roughly 4am. At that precise moment, I had never been more tired in my life. It’s not in shot, but to my right is a television. I can’t be 100 per cent sure, but it was most likely showing the Max Payne 3 kill screen. On it a single question: Retry/Quit?
Mark’s attempts to adopt the Uberman schedule of polyphasic sleep have already pushed him to the brink. Here’s a video diary he filmed this morning at 3am. Surprisingly, he was in a better frame of mind than the night before, or when he write this morning’s post. Can anyone say mood swings?
For one month Kotaku editor Mark Serrels intends to sleep using the Uberman Sleep Schedule. Instead of one eight-hour block of sleep, he will have six 20-minute naps spread evenly throughout the day. Madness, panic attacks, zombie sleep walks, catastrophic failure. These are all very real possibilities. This is Sleeping Like Superman.