A resolutionless resolution and the biphasic experiment

In my last post, I kind of railed against New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions suck. They usually fail, and they’re also kind of weak-willed. Why change “on January first”? If you want to change, why not change NOW? What I like better is to live mindfully pretty much all of the time. Shake it up. Try new things. Introduce some uncertainty and anarchy into your life. Yada yada yada; read last week’s post for more preaching and chest-pumping.

Let’s face it. New Year’s resolutions blow goats.

That said, I made a New Year’s resolution.

I hope I get a little bit of credit for the fact that my resolution is about being constantly mindful and deliberate, and will introduce a lot of anarchy into my life.

30 days of screwing with the status quo

Steve Pavlina has a really good post on the power of 30-day trials. I could overexplain it, but the basic idea is that if something seems interesting to you as a lifestyle change but you don’t want to commit to revamping your life entirely, a nice solution is to simply try that thing out for 30 days.

A person can commit to just about any reasonable discipline for 30 days, because the short time period turns it from “a change” to “an experiment.” Want to go vegetarian but aren’t willing to flat-out give up meat? Then don’t give up your precious beef and bacon; just set them aside for 30 days. At the end of the experiment, you’re free to go back to eating Wendy’s Triples if you’d like. You’re just giving the alternative a shot, and after trying it out, the final choice is up to you.

But if you liked your 30 meatless days? Then just keep doing what you’ve been doing. You no longer need to “become a vegetarian,” because you’re already a month into being one.

A 30-day trial is a great way to introduce a bit of personal anarchy, to question whether your current way of doing something is actually the best way for you.

Want to shake things up? Try an alternative way of doing things for 30 days.

My resolution

In 2011, I resolve to try six of these 30-day trials.

(I was going to commit to doing one each month for a total of twelve throughout the year, but I want to do a trial of the trial idea before deciding if I like trying trials.)

Hey, I can always go back to not trying trials if my trials trial sucks.

Your resolution. Maybe.

Since I’m me, I’m going to write about MY trials and MY experiments, but the whole “personal anarchy” thing isn’t really about me. It’s bigger than me. It’s about you too, if you want it to be.

My challenge to you is this: Do a 30-day trial of your own. You could try the stuff I’m trying as I try it, and we’ll all do crazy shit together. Or you could do something totally different, like trying (seriously trying, not dicking around) to start that business you’ve been considering. Or you could do a trial of not smoking for 30 days. (I’ve been trying that one for 34 years. Trust me; it’s cool.)

Just do yourself a favor. In the spirit of “trying things out,” make sure you’re doing things in a way that allows you to go back to the way things were after 30 days. Because this is about doing a trial and because a trial can honestly go either way, we’re not looking to burn bridges. Starting that new business by quitting your job? Not what I’m talking about here unless the boss will take you back the minute you ask. This isn’t about picking a change you know you want to make and tricking yourself into making it by pretending it’s temporary. It’s about trying something on for size, allowing that you may like it and you may not.

That bears repeating: You have to know you can change back at the end, and you have to allow changing back to be a perfectly legitimate and acceptable result of the trial. If you don’t go into a trial knowing that things can easily return to normal at the end, you won’t try difficult or uncomfortable things.

Here’s a litmus test: If you’re doing this right, you’ll find yourself explaining yourself to a spouse or friend using these words at some point: “Sure, it’s strange, unreasonable, difficult, and possibly idiotic. But why not try it? It’s only a month.”

So are you in?

What are you, chicken?

C’mon… try it, you big pussy.

You can stop here

If you’d like to go out and do your thing without reading about my own experiment for this month, that’s cool. Before you go, though, please leave a comment on this post and tell the world what you’re doing, so that you’re on record and we can all call you a big pussy if you pussy out, pussy.

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Or, if you’re unbelievably interested in me and what I’m doing, keep reading and I’ll tell you about January’s trial.

January’s trial: Biphasic sleep

This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve been screwing with this concept for a few weeks already, but I want to really buckle down this month and do it right now that the confusion of the holidays is over. Plus, I’m a third of the way through the month already, so if I choose something else now, I’ll run into February. That’s just sloppy.

So during January, I’m going to try out biphasic sleeping — which is nothing more complicated than splitting your daily sleep into two distinct chunks — a “core” sleep during the nighttime hours, plus a nap of around 90 minutes during the day.

(This is in stark contrast to the idea of polyphasic sleep, which I think I’d be willing to try if my wife suddenly gave birth to sextuplets with asynchronous schedules and chronic insomnia, and I simultaneously developed a crystal meth habit. This huge-ass article convinced me that anything resembling the crazy “Uberman” schedule (20-30 minutes of sleep every 4 hours, for a total of 2 hours of sleep out of 24) is at best a way of hacking nature for a relatively limited period of time, and I’d rather not try something I know is ultimately unsustainable. I also don’t like the idea that I might be at an event for a day and have to find a place to nap three times.)

There’s a ton of info out there on biphasic sleeping — which is nothing remotely new; it’s done widely in cultures outside of the U.S. and just has a trendy new name — but most of it is anecdotal. Probably the best collection of resources I’ve found for the info-nerds among you is here, and the most relatable FAQ I’ve found is here. You can browse that stuff to fill in the gaps that my drive-by definition leaves you wondering about, and you can also read the historical stories of some fairly productive and well-known unconventional sleepers like Thomas Edison, Leonardo DaVinci, Buckminster Fuller, and Winston Churchill.

People who do this long-term (Glen Rhodes pops into my mind, but I’m also thinking of the lesser-known example of my dad) say that splitting sleep in two allows you to get greater benefit out of less total time in the sack. Glen sleeps only 3 hours a night in addition to his 1.5 hour nap and has been doing so for years, but more people seem to report that 4.5 hours at night is necessary. Seeing as I’m currently training for a marathon in addition to hitting the gym twice a week, doing yoga, and taking up trail running, I’ve already discovered that I’m a 4.5 guy most of the time.

What I’ve been doing, though, is listening to my body rather than being fanatical about a schedule. Prior to starting this whole thing a few weeks ago, I regularly woke up at 3am and usually had one hell of a time getting back to sleep. I NEVER slept through the night, ever. So now, I allow myself to wake up without an alarm clock… and whatever time it is is the time it is. Sometimes I’ve only been asleep for 3 hours. More often it’s around 4.5. It all seems to self-regulate and adjust as needed.

(If you’re wondering why these times are 90 minutes, 3 hours, and 4.5 hours, it’s because the human sleep cycle seems to average out to around 90 minutes long, meaning that the best sleep comes in multiples of 90 minutes. It’s better and more refreshing to sleep 7.5 hours and wake at the end of a sleep cycle than to sleep 8 hours and be jarred awake by your alarm clock in the middle of one. More detail is in the Glen Rhodes link above.)

My own time savings aren’t huge on 4.5 nights. Together with a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, that’s 6 hours… and I easily lose another half hour to added transition time. Seeing as I averaged 6.5-7 hours per night before, it looks like I’m breaking even. But that’s not true: I’m most productive in the early morning, before my family gets up. Because I’m now up at 4am or so — and have traded that time for my always-sluggish-and-unproductive early afternoon hours around 2pm — I get much more done while the world sleeps.

And as mentioned, sometimes I wake naturally after sleeping only 3 hours. The first week I did this, I averaged 3 + 1.5 hours for maybe 10 days, and you’d be amazed how much you can get done with that extra time.

So the questions for this trial will be: Can I function on that much sleep, and is it safe? In prep, I’ve done a shitload of reading and while little out there is conclusive, the credible stuff I can find honestly seems to boil down to: “if you don’t use an alarm clock to wake up and don’t feel tired, it’s all good.” Plus, some people just plain sleep less. My own erratic sleep plus the fact that my dad rarely sleeps more than 5 out of 24 tells me I may be one of those.

There’s medical stuff as well — blood sugar regularity, blood pressure, morning pulse rate, stuff like that. I’m not going to pretend to be a doctor or anything, but so far, so good. I’m diabetic, so I know my blood sugar values. I haven’t had my blood pressure tested in a few months, but I just checked my resting pulse and it’s currently 45 BPM, which isn’t at all elevated.

I haven’t felt unduly tired. In fact, even when I did 3 + 1.5 hours for a full week, I didn’t feel more tired than normal, and Robin was yawning way more than I ever was. It also hasn’t seemed to impact my exercise capacity. I’m lifting less in the gym because I’ve been doing less of it during marathon training, but nothing unexpected. I’m also up to running mileages in the teens with no problem and did a 24:07 5k this weekend. I’m not going to break any records, but that was my first timed race, and that time would put me in the top third in most of the races I’ve seen.

So much for this being a short summary.

Anyway, that’s January’s experiment. If you think it seems crazy… well, it’s just a trial. If it sucks, I’ll quit when January is over.

So what are you shaking up in your own life?


Comments

  1. Johnny,

    I gave myself permission to take a nap recently.

    We’ll see if the wife permits it to go on, but she should.

    Digging the Ohio Winter?

  2. Johnny says:

    The way I sold it was that I was doing all sorts of other things during my awake time… going for long runs, going to the gym… and, obviously, working. Now I do more of that during the early morning hours. So it’s really a simple trade: Am I not here because I’m sleeping, or not here because I’m running?

    I will be curious to see how this plays out if I keep doing it as the weather improves. I’m naturally more sluggish in the winter, so what will happen to sleep needs as it gets nicer out? (And what will happen to my desire to take a nap while it’s nice out, too…)

  3. I already do the polyphasic thing, and not because I wanted to be cool and set out to do it, either. It happened because I had this crazy idea that I should sleep when I fell sleepy and wake up whenever the hell I wake up afterward.

    What ends up happening is that at some point in a 24 cycle (not always at night) I sleep for between 3 and 4 hours. Once or twice during the rest of the period I sleep for anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours. Usually these sleep times end up being around 4pm and 3am.

  4. I’ll be interested in seeing how your trials turn out.

    I was going to say that I didn’t think I’d be up to much experimentation for now, as I have the big thing of a new job to learn. Then I realized that some of the skills and processes that I’m going to have to develop to succeed there would fit well into the idea. Not as much fun, but a good way to work through incorporating ideas into actions.

  5. Josh Shafer says:

    Awesome! I really want to know how this goes!

  6. So you say you want a bloody resolution…

    That’s a great approach. A month is probably a bit short for my current trial (attempting to pass the fitness tests for the various US military services – not with any intention of joining them, even if I was American, but because they’re recognised standard tests for being reasonably fit for your age).

    Then again, reviewing at the end of a month would be a smart thing to do.

    Thanks.

  7. Amy says:

    I’m waiting to hear what’s next! Are you going to Fuck with your eating habits soon too? That’ll be fun!

  8. Here in Spain it’s pretty much the norm. In fact, business hours are 9 to 14 and 17 to 21, just so people can go home, have a good meal and a decent nap.

    Been doing it for 15 years or so and it’s fantastic. Once you get used to it, your body adjusts, as you’ve noticed, and you have lots more energy.

  9. Johnny says:

    @Michael – Since I know you’re enjoying the trendy labels, it actually sounds like you’re closer to “free-running sleep,” which is sort of the ultimate in terms of naturalness. You know… closed up without clocks, your body goes to its natural cycle, which is typically longer than 24 hours and you end up sleeping all weird times. I’d like to go that far but I’m still too clock-dependent.

    @Beth – Yeah, they don’t have to be crazy… just try SOMETHING, right?

    @Josh – How the hell have you been, dude? This is the sort of thing that seems right up your alley.

    @Mike – I’d classify yours as a goal, but nothing wrong with goals!

    @Amy – Ha, I suppose you’ll be the first to know. And yeah, I’ll be screwing with eating too.

    @Martin – How many hours to you or the typical Spaniard sleep out of 24? I’ve understood a lot of “siesta” sleep to be ADDING a nap to a traditional PM sleep rather than doing the same amount overall but splitting it in two. But it’s not like I studied it.

  10. Josh Shafer says:

    I’m doing great man. Sounds like you still have a lot on your plate. I’d love to give this a try. I actually wanted to try it over my xmas break but chickened out. I’m one of those people who seem to do poorly on anything less than 8 hours. Thinking maybe I could steal a couple hours a night this way.

  11. Laura says:

    I’m doing a trial this month as well, though I wasn’t thinking of it that way until I read this post.

    I’m doing the 21 day cleanse diet from http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Diet-Veggies-Ignite/dp/1599218011

    Basically its vegan, gluten-free, no alcohol, no coffee and the majority of every meal should be green veggies. Also you do a just veggie juice fast for one day every week. So far so good! For me it’s not a super dramatic change in how I eat so more of a change in taking time to prepare food and cook. Also I had never fasted before so seeing that I could do that was cool.

  12. Erica says:

    I’m always experimenting with something or other. Shakes things up, gives me something to do, helps to make those incremental changes that get me closer to where I want to be. 2010 was a huge year of food experiments (learning that I’m intolerant to most foods out there), and I came into 2011 feeling worlds better. Hopefully this year will be about working up to a more active lifestyle, now that I have more energy and less pain. Oh, and I’m trying on a new career path (hopefully…just applied).

  13. Ashley says:

    Johnny, thanks for the well researched post! The idea of sleeping less at night and taking a solid afternoon nap has appealed to me for a while. However, my current work schedule doesn’t allow it. Have you heard about that crazy iphone app that charts your sleep cycles? Maybe that could be helpful in your experiment.

    @ Josh I’m also one of those people who seems to need a lot of sleep. I Sometimes nothing feels more delicious than that feeling of absolute relaxation right before I drift off to sleep.

  14. James M says:

    After nearly four years of working in a hotel, I found my sleep patterns were adjusting to the point where my need for sleep was lessoning. This past year, that has been a great help as I’ve stayed home with my newborn daughter. There are nights where she’s waking up two times in the middle of the night, and then up bright and early, which makes the quality of sleep rather poor – except that I’ve adapted to it. I find I function great on 5-6 hours of total sleep and am absolutely groggy if I ever sleep more than 7 hours. Quite the contrast from my teenage years.

    I’ve been a fan of Steve Pavlina for years, too. HIs article about going without TV influenced me to give up TV for a quite a while. My girlfriend can’t get away from it some days, so it’s difficult to avoid now, unfortunately. I’m looking for things to do for a trial of 30 days now. Maybe a cleanse, maybe something else. Hoping to do some research and settle on something for February.

  15. Zelda says:

    30 month trials make it more manageable, you’re right. My first 30 month trial will be waking up earlier to fit in a vigorous walk with dog. Concurrently, I will be eating the primal way as in Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. The guy rocks, by the way.

    Biphasic sleep huh? I find it hard to sleep during daylight hours unless I am absolutely totally and utterly exhausted or have taken migraine medication which sends me into a blissful hour-long nap. How do you manage to sleep in the daytime if you are a parent like me? My kids bust into the house cranky and hungry in the afternoon!

    Wish I could sleep that little though (4.5)! I need 8 -10 hours a night to feel refreshed!!

  16. El Edwards says:

    Once the littlest one starts full time school in April I’m doing this officially (at least for 30 days!) because already I’ve gotten into the lovely habit of a nap in the day time. The only thing is, because I’m still get woken up in the middle of the night at least once, I end up sleeping on to 7am. No time saving there then!

    I found my own solution to resolutions. After playing with the idea of a 21 or 30 day challenge I scrapped it (mainly because I’m rubbish at sticking to stuff for more than a week!) and am instead setting myself mini 24 hour challenges. The stuff I like I carry on with and then just ditch the rest. Eleven days in and it’s been great so far.

  17. Johnny says:

    @Josh – There’s a bit of mentality to it, because you’ll sleep 4.5 hours and wake up at 4am if you went to bed at 11:30 and say, “Dude, it is WAY too fucking early to be up,” and your body will then start to agree with you. I like to have something fun/stimulating/interesting to start the day with, or if you can train (24 hour gym, training at home, non-gym training), do it early. The stimulation wakes my ass up. Like today, I got up and was on the street at 5am to run 13 miles to my car, which I’d left across town. Once I get done with those first things, I’m awake. You have to decide whether you actually need the sleep or are just conditioned to want it, and that’s a fine line. I’ll add that getting sleep in multiples of 90 minutes and, once you’re able, waking up WITHOUT an alarm clock makes a ton of difference. I’d drag ass if woken after 8 hours by an alarm too, because you’re being roused out of deep sleep instead of waking when near the surface.

    @Laura – I considered a legit fast or some kind of cleanse for one of my trials, but will likely nix it because it’s quite complicated with diabetes. There’s food stuff on my list, though… might try Tim Ferriss’s diet from the 4 Hour Body; will probably go vegetarian for a week, etc. I have started drinking a ridiculous veggie concoction you’d probably appreciate, though. Uses like a head of celery and parsley and spinach, 2 apples, etc. etc.

    @Erica – Good luck!

    @Ashley – I’ve actually been trying out Pzizz… very cool idea. I don’t have an iPhone, but maybe there’s something for Android.

    @James – A TV-less trial is on my “maybe” list, but it’s tough with a family. I can’t impose my experiments on my family and I don’t know if they’re game, and it’d be tough to consider myself truly “going without TV” if it’s on around me constantly and I just try not to look at it. Thinking…

    @Zelda – It takes two people. My wife watches the kids while I nap, and on some days they’re at school/daycare. They know not to burst in and have honored that so far. I do wear earplugs and a sleep mask, and that helps… but I think mainly it’s a process of doing it until you get used to it. It’s no problem now (and if I don’t nap, I feel tired and WANT to nap), but I used to consider myself to be one of those “not-able-to-nap people too.

    @El – 24 hour challenges? Does that do anything? I mean, do you have time to really “try” anything out?

  18. Johnny, regarding your question about siestas: I’m no researcher, but from what I’ve observed, people routinely stay up until 2 or 3 AM, and back to work at 9 AM, especially in the summertime. My impression is that people generally sleep much less in Spain than in other countries that don’t use the siesta schedule.

  19. This is crazy!

    Today I’m starting a course from the creators of “The Release Technique”. It’s a ninety day deal and during the course they insist that you omit all of the comfort obstructions you retreat to in order to numb yourself… and that with all the time you free up, you DO THE FUCKING EXERCISES THAT COME WITH THE PROGRAM THAT ARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU CHANGE WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE IN YOUR LIFE!

    Revolutionary, right.

    Well, the obstructions for me include listening to music, watching T.V., movies, alcohol, Facebook for fucking off, you know tagging your friends in pictures of dog lipstick raring to go, and anything else you normally retreat to so you can procrastinate or drown out any issues you’re running up against.

    If my niece comes out here in that time, the T.V. thing is one of the only challenges I’ll run into but if my sister has never has her daughter (different niece) watch a T.V., I can surely find something to do with her besides talking her into watching the Dreamworks movies I love like “Kung Fu Panda” instead of Barbie.

    Yep. I’m kind of an a-hole sometimes.

    One of my favorite mentors, David Deida, is fond of saying that Money actually is a good indicator of a man’s purpose. It doesn’t have to be but it is. In other words, the world is a big woman and your capacity to make money, is your capacity to fuck that big woman open to God. They’re the same thing.

    To make her happy, to make her juice, to get her wet. Money.

    And it doesn’t mean that if you have a purpose that you’ll have money because your purpose might have nothing to do with money and you might go off into the dessert and meditate and have no money at all but be totally aligned with your purpose.

    But it means that if you want to make money, you can do it. If you want to make money, a man’s purpose is directly related to his capacity to make money. A man’s purpose means his ability to cut through obstruction and achieve your goal whether it’s enlightenment, money, whatever it is.

    Every time you’re ambiguous and you start a project and you don’t finish it, this shows weakness with respect to money somehow, like you back out of something because you’re afraid to make a stand, or you change your mind too often so you’re never pulling through. Every time you do that, you’re weakening her trust in your integrity and your trust in your own integrity.

    So, I’ve made it my purpose for 90 days to finish this program which I know when I finally take action on, I’ll be light years ahead of where I’ve been in all my previous years.

    Thank you Johnny for sharing the way you have. The synchronicity is definitely welcomed. Nice to see your running is going well (love that inevitability you’ve built into your training, parking 13 miles away) and I hope you kick some ass with your sleeping challenge.

  20. Josh Shafer says:

    @Ashley: I really don’t know if I need 8 hours every night. I know that I am very affected by sleep and that if I (seemingly) don’t get enough, I’m a real pain to be around.

    @Johnny: I want to try and do some reading because at first glance I’m a little confused. Can waking up in the middle of a cycle have a dramatic effect on your whole day or just make waking up harder to do and taking longer? I guess I’d have to believe that optimum results would be achieved by 1. waking up at the right time and 2. getting ENOUGH sleep. Maybe enough is 6.5 and I’m just waking up in the middle of a phase.

    I really want to experiment, but I’m kinda concerned about trying it out and being really out of it for a couple weeks while I’m troubleshooting.

  21. Josh Shafer says:

    Woops, I meant 6 hours, not 6.5. To think I’m the math teacher…

  22. Ashley says:

    @Martin I want to move to Spain and be on the siesta schedule – please sign me up!

  23. @Ashley: Jump right in darling, fun and good times await 🙂 Seriously: the longer my siesta’s become, the more wonderful my day. Hmmm, maybe that’s not quite right…

  24. El Edwards says:

    @Johnny For stuff like this experiment of yours then yes, 24 hours would be way to short. But every day I do something little and just see how it goes. Lots of times I’ve decided to stick with the new thing for the next day and the day after that and sometimes even the day after that 😉

    Too many times in the past I’ve made a big declaration of ‘finally this time, this will be it’ and then collapsed in a big heap of failure so this way just suits me better.

  25. Johnny says:

    @Martin – Cool, that validates it in my mind. Sounds like someone following that plan would get less total sleep than average Americans, but split it up differently and probably end up way more refreshed.

    @NTN – That’s some wild shit. But I will say that I actually studied a close cousin to The Release Technique – The Sedona Method. If your course is anywhere along those lines, it should be some good stuff.

    @Josh – I’m hardly an expert here, but I have done a lot of reading about this stuff lately, and what I hear is that the more off-normal the schedule, the finer the precision that’s required. With the crazy “Uberman” schedule where you sleep only 20 minutes every 4 hours, you CANNOT skip naps or miss the timing by much (I think they can’t be off by more than an hour or so), and you have more flexibility as your schedule gets less nutty. Because 4.5/1.5 biphasic isn’t very extreme at all (and, as Martin mentioned in the comments, is simply “the way it is” in a lot of the world), you have a bunch of latitude. I can skip a nap and I’ll just be tired earlier, but not zombie-tired. And then I may or may not end up sleeping more that night. With Uberman, you miss one nap and people say you’re off track for days. Really the only way to find out is to try it. You won’t be high and crazy if it’s not for you; you’ll just be tired. Remember saying up all night when you were younger? Same deal. You get tired. You sleep. Problem solved. (One thing, though… people say that the first week is tough and that you adjust after that. I didn’t have that issue but people say they do. Might want to try it over a vacation if you’re worried about it affecting work.) I’ve also been training harder than ever and things seem fine that way.

  26. Josh Shafer says:

    Awesome post. Thanks, man. I’d just do the regular 1.5/4.5 because I have enough problems waking up from sleep as it is. There’s no way I could sleep only 20 minutes.

  27. Anastasia says:

    I already do this because I work nights. But now I can use science to justify naps. Awesome!

  28. Johnny says:

    Well, I don’t know if it’s “science” so much as “one guy’s incomplete thoughts on the matter.” 🙂

  29. I’ve actually tried the Ubermann schedule a few years ago. It’s very hard work, but I do believe it’s worth it.
    Thing is, I did it in winter when my defenses were low and caught a serious flu, so I had to give it up.
    After that I just went back to normal Spanish habits and that’s good enough for me.

    The best thing about it is that after my siesta, I feel exactly as refreshed and ready for action as I do in the morning.

  30. Hey Johnny,

    You’re up on some cool shit!

    First you quote the Tony Robbins “amount of discomfort you can live with…” passage and then I come to find you all up on the Sedona Method stuff. Damn!

    You’re exactly right about them being related. But cousins is too distant. They were both spermed by the same guy, Lester Levenson and there’s only subtle nuance differences between how Larry Crane and Hale Dwoskin teach the core technique. It’s more like they’re brothers. 🙂

    One thing I just wanted to bring up was the difference in the two personalities.

    When I introduced the Sedona Method and Hale Dwoskin to my 60 year old Deep Southern Texas, Latin Machismo dad, he had a hard time getting over Hale’s feminine sounding voice and his TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME Revenge of the Nerds laugh.

    On the other hand, Larry Crane is a old No Bullshit, gruff, grizzled business man from Brooklyn. He, my dad could hang with.

    Me, I’ve spent at least a days worth of hours with both of them and I like em both the same. I just wanted to point out this difference because not everyone (my dad) is open to wisdom in whatever form it shows up in, and I’d just didn’t want anyone here to end up missing the gifts in this methodology because the messenger didn’t match their blueprint of how a guy’s supposed to talk.

    So to recap for anyone interested…

    Larry Crane and Release Technique = Something a world war II veteran could hang with listening to.

    Hale Dwoskin and Sedona Method = Something a world war II veteran might very well toss out his car window or ignore after 5 minutes of listening to the relaxing, soothing, feminine guy tell them they need to be more loving.

  31. Johnny says:

    I’m going to reveal my total lack of productivity today by answering immediately because I thought this was so funny. I found Hale first and got a very hippie-ish vibe… really touch-feely. Then I got this obnoxious huge-sales-letter-with-lots-of-bold-red-type-and-testimonials from Larry in the mail less than a week later and was like, “WTF? This sounds like the same thing.” Did some poking around and discovered exactly what you described.

    I’ll add that I tried to get my wife to listen to the MP3s of Hale Dwoskin and she couldn’t take it, and that maybe I should try the yang to his yin. The very first exercise on the MP3 we were trying to listen to was to “let go of something that’s bothering you,” just to see what it felt like. She tried it and didn’t appear to be having much success (I was driving, so I kept looking over). When it was over, I asked if that seemed worth anything, and she said, “Not really.”

    Then I asked her what she was using as the thing that was bothering her, to let go of. And she said, “His laugh.”

  32. @Johnny – You know how you’re supposed to write down your gains a.k.a the good stuff that happens to you as a result of releasing?

    Well, the out loud laugh I just got out of your last comment has been written on that list!!!

    That story was fucking hilarious!

  33. Johnny says:

    Just FYI to anyone subscribed to this comment thread who was interested in biphasic sleep that I posted an update:

    http://johnnybtruant.com/new-design-and-biphasic-sleep-update/

  34. Dr. Pete says:

    A friend just turned me on to your site – I actually launched a 30-day experiment blog a few months ago and am excited to see so many people trying out similar things. I’m trying to stick to the basics right now, honestly – like getting back to the gym and clearing out things that I’ve been putting off (sometimes for 2-3 years). Not high-drama stuff, admittedly, but the kinds of changes that last.

    Read an interesting book on the history of sleep recently (“At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past”) about how biphasic sleep used to be a lot more common. When people got up in the middle of the night a century ago, they didn’t obsess about falling back to sleep. Since light (candles, mostly) was expensive, they were used to longer nights and some amount of sleeplessness was natural.

    • Johnny says:

      Hey, welcome aboard!

      That’s interesting about sleep, and makes sense. We used to be ruled by the natural cycle of day/night, and we’re not anymore.

  35. Johnny says:

    All righty everyone… I posted my concluding thoughts on this trial at the end of this post:
    http://johnnybtruant.com/slow-carb/

  36. Elle B says:

    Hi Johnny, I happened upon your site looking for biphasic sleep information. Once a woman gets to ahem, a certain age, insomnia is inevitable. I’ve been weighing using this natural change instead of fighting it. Thanks for the links.

    @Martin Stellar: I remember spending a summer in Spain ages ago and was astounded by how late people stayed up at night with work schedules. Dinner was regularly 9 or 10 at night. The siesta made up for it. I really enjoyed that schedule. Ya’ll have got me convinced. I’m going for it.

    • Dinner at 10PM is actually early here, especially in summer. Quite normal to see people getting served vast meals on terraces well after midnight.

      Good luck with it!

    • Johnny says:

      That’s part of what’s so cool about it… I’m naturally kind of an uneven sleeper. I’d normally wake up at 3-4am EVERY NIGHT and often have a hell of a time falling back asleep. This really handles that. Instead of fighting, get up. Then, if you need more sleep later, take it later.

      Good luck!

  37. I’ve always believed that the 24 hour day is for those of you that can’t handle the 23 hour day, which boils downto 19 hours straight awake, and then four hours of sleep. I guess I haven’t been keeping track of the clock, and I’ve actually been getting 4.5 hours as you state….

    Read somewhere that you get your best sleep between 10p and 2a, so you should definitely sleep those hours, however, I’m lax to try this, as my 4.5 hour chunk has started at around 9p lately….

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Johnny B. Truant and Shannon Albert's RSS. Shannon Albert's RSS said: Johnny B Truant – A resolutionless resolution and the biphasic experiment: In my last post, I kind of railed aga… http://bit.ly/fnsNGO […]

  2. […] become more reflective and ambitious about ways to improve myself. I recently read a great post by Johnny B. Truant, another one by Steve Pavlina, and watched a Ted Talk, all about 30 day challenges, and I thought […]

  3. […] B Truant did several 30 day trials last year – you can read his first post about it here, or read the rest of the 30 day trial […]

  4. […] B Truant did several 30 day trials last year – you can read his first post about it here, or read the rest of the 30 day trial posts […]

  5. […] can learn more about 30 day trials from Johnny B Truant, Matt Cutts & Tim Ferriss. […]

  6. […] spend too much time on something at the cost of everything else, give yourself a deadline. Johnny B. Truant likes to do 30 day trials, and the FlyLady likes to remind people that anyone can do anything for 15 […]