Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Run-Up Begins / A Few More Tips

...So. Six days to go. I've slept in for my last Saturday for the forseeable future. Dunt, dunt, dunnnnnnn.

Still have some pre-testing to finish up this week; I want to take the rest of the mental acuity tests on the Cognitive Web and I'd still like to devise something mathematical...most of my tests are verbal/visual, and there should be something calculative (is that a word?) in there. Suggestions welcome, naturally.

The typing tests were fun...everybody's got to have a superpower I suppose; mine is typing. (With a minor in spelling and knowing where semicolons go, heh.) I hadn't been tested since last year; I'm up to 99 words per minute at 98% accuracy, according to Thursday's numbers. Unh.

So, I wanted to update -- now that it's getting close, I should get in the habit of doing so regularly, and thank the gods I've gotten something of a handle on my schoolwork for the moment (I had to catch up right from the start; my books were all a week late getting here! -- NOT good with all 400-level courses and a full boat at work). But I don't want to get too into rambling about how intimidated I am, or how having an idea how this works only makes it easier to an extent, and is actually making it very difficult in other significant ways (I know how much this is going to change my daily life, and everybody's that I live with, and I'm almost as good a worrier as I am a typist...). So here's something mildly useful instead:

Somebody posted to the Uberman Yahoo group (very useful crew; if you aren't in and are planning on trying the polyphasic life, I highly recommend getting in) about tips to help you get to sleep and wake up. I never needed help getting to sleep on Uberman (after the first few days), but I certainly have since; and tips to stay awake are legion--and in this context, you can't have too many. So here, below the cut, are mine. Enjoy!*


*The word "Enjoy" is a registered trademark of Coke, Inc., as is the color red. And they say I'm nuts.

Tips for sleep:

Lay on your back. Grasp the thumb of one hand in the other hand. Concentrate on this feeling for a few seconds (10-25), then switch to holding your forefinger. Proceed through your five fingers this way, then (if you're still awake), switch hands.

Also, get a bead on all of your thoughts. Gather them all together in your chest. Bundle them up on the inhale and then exhale, long and forcefully (but slowly, like you were trying to keep a cottonball in the air above your lips), blowing the thoughts out with the air. There will probably be a few left, so "gather and blow" for a few more times, then relax and enjoy the new space. (It's the same nice feeling you get standing in the middle of a room you've just cleaned, funnily enough.)

For alertness:

March in place, knees high, swinging your arms.

Even if you can't listen to it, mentally replay a song that makes you want to dance.

Shake your head vigorously, smile like you have fangs, and remind yourself how crazy you are...then remind yourself how much crazier everyone else is. (No kidding, for some reason this always wakes me up.)

Take ten deep breaths, exhaling as slowly and deliberately as you can.

If you're alone and it's quiet (hardest time to stay awake), play pretend a little. Come on, you know you haven't done it in years and you want to. (Stand for it, though, don't sit.) Let your mind entertain you. You're a dictator taking power; compose your speech (act out the hand and face gestures if you can't actually say it). Make up an interpretative dance. Invent a martial arts form that resembles your favorite muppet. Pretend you *are* your favorite muppet. Or--one of my personal favorites--your favorite band inexplicably needs to you to take the place of one of their members during a sold-out show. What do you do? Pick things that interest you and that you never actually get a chance to do, and have at it in your head. ...Okay, everybody's laughing by now but seriously, the mind is *way* better than television in terms of entertainment power, and it doesn't make you zone out and potentially fall asleep.

And that's it for now.


Anonymous tim said...

For tips for staying awake I'd like to add a potential candidate. Second Life. Enough said I think. It may turn out to be a curse and leave you with less time than you had before. Be warned.

My computer won't run it yet. Need to update my video drivers. I wonder if there's already a polyphasic community in Second Life?

See you there (if my couragous laptop will run it).

01 July, 2006 22:28  

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