Monday, May 29, 2006

Social & Psychological Effects

So, today, though my Almanac has told me there's a BBQ in my future (gahd, aren't horoscopes amazing?), I plan to try and work up some methods of charting Uberman's Social & Psychological effects. I don't remember them well enough from last time, but I know there were plenty, as Steve Pavlina comisserates. I want to make sure I have a good grasp on them, even when I'm dealing with the subjectivity of actually going through them. There has been good, if brief, scientific research on polyphasic sleep, but the social/psych angle has only been glanced at. I want a better look.

I suppose at least I'm in a pretty typical place to start. I'm a working parent/student so I have pretty much no social life; I know a few people I haven't seen in ages, but that's it. I pretty much hang out with my family or by myself, when I'm not with my coworkers. Given more time, I may become more social...or maybe not. I'm hardly a social butterfly by nature, but then again the Uberman does necessitate getting "out" pretty regularly at first, if only to stay awake; perhaps that will modify my habits. Part of my "keep busy" list for the first couple weeks includes driving over to Ann Arbor and checking out what's there -- it's a cool town and only about 20-30 minutes away, but I've hardly ever been there.

And here's my own psychological background (cut for space; click "read more" at the bottom to see it).

Psychologically, I'm generally stable; I have a history of depression, but I've learned over the years to handle it reliably without medication (med free 10 years, w00t). I'm a tad claustrophobic--again, it's manageable--and I don't like crowds *at all*, which I've been assured by drug dealers is "social anxiety disorder" and for a hundred fifty bucks a month, they can fix it--heh, do pushers ever come up with a new line? Also, I have come pretty well unhinged for one period in my life (a year, maybe a bit less), but again, as far as I can tell, this is pretty normal too. Psychosis does not run in my family except as expected in cases of severe trauma. Sometimes I have panic-attacks (in crowds, generally), but not badly enough to make me lose consciousness or require hospitalization. I'm very interested in whether a radical flip-flop of my sleep pattern will provoke any psychological hiccups, and especially how I'll handle the pronounced time-dilation that kicks in after a month or so.

But people are adaptable; mothers doubly so. ;)

I wrote to the Director of the U of M Sleep Clinic yesterday -- he was the most likely name I could find to hand me to some interested students or faculty; hopefully he has time to read a short letter. (I did, contrary to all expectations, make it short.) His own listed research interests include sleep deprivation and other problems in medical students; perhaps Uberman is a good solution for them? I'd also like to see more people looking into it as a solution for sleep disorders, because lord knows I had those--they were why I first tried Uberman to begin with--and wowee, did it work like a charm. Sadly, I don't really have any sleep disorders at the moment, other than sometimes having my brain keep me awake, and feeling sleepy (Stanford level 3) during most of the day. But perhaps that's a boon too; I do want the book to address what it might do & be like for your "average" person.

Hmm, maybe I should write a database of "charts" tracking things like sleepiness, depression, social activity, &etc., and just fill it out every day? Then I could have an ongoing graph for the book.

Lordy and his minions, I can't believe I'm getting started on this in a month. It feels like I don't have nearly enough time left to plan. Of course, once I get started, I'll have more time...ah, the irony. ;)



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