A Month of Polyphasic Sleep

Monophasic Sleep - Typical Night - Zeo Graph

A typical night’s sleep from BEFORE I started polyphasic sleeping. This graph is from the night of Feb 11. Each bar in the graph represents 5 minutes of sleep. Time awake is 0:00 because it only counts only times woken up DURING the night; not time awake before falling asleep or after waking up in the morning.

They say there’s a way to add more waking hours into each day.  It’s called “polyphasic sleep”.  I’ve always wanted more waking hours (who wouldn’t?) so I decided to try polyphasic sleep for a month.

The idea is that by having naps throughout the day (“polyphasic sleep”), rather than by sleeping just once at night (“monophasic sleep”), you can get by on dramatically less sleep overall. [Read more...]

A Month of Eating Vegan

Kale Plant Closeup

Kale: A common food during my vegan month.

While I was doing the Paleo Diet last year, an acquaintance suggested that I try eating vegan. In his opinion it was healthier, and he pointed out that some top athletes are vegan.

So last month I finally gave the vegan diet a try, and something happened that I never expected (more on that later). [Read more...]

A Month of Tonglen Meditation

Tonglen is a meditation where you visualize yourself inhaling the suffering of others (taking their suffering upon yourself), and exhaling love and compassion back to them. I did it for 30 minutes every day (almost) for the month of December. I’ve meditated before, but this was my first time doing Tonglen.

Why

My goal was not to actually reduce the suffering of anyone else.  If that happened I wasn’t going to complain, but it wasn’t something that I expected.  Rather I hoped that Tonglen meditation would affect me. [Read more...]

A Month of Growing A Beard

0, 20, and 32 days after beard growth began.

0, 20, and 32 days after beard growth began. (The day 0 photo was actually from about a year and a half before I started growing a beard. It was the only straight-on, straight faced photo available.)

Growing a beard for a month was intended to be an exercise in humility.

For years I’ve never allowed more than a few days worth of hair growth on my head & neck before I’d eradicate it. This regular hair removal did an mediocre job of hiding the balding on the top of my head that was starting to leave a horseshoe of about the front & back of my head, and it also hid the greying I’d noticed on my chin when my stubble grew a bit too long. [Read more...]

A Month of Writing To Authors

Books by the four authors I contacted in October.

Ever read a book and wanted to talk to the author after? I have, but I never actually made an attempt to contact any authors… until last month.

In October I contacted a few authors who I’ve been wanting to contact for a while. I was hoping to send them all letters by snail mail (better chance of a response that way, I assumed) but could only find a mailing address for one of them. The others I sent by email or through website contact forms.

Here’s who I contacted…

Sam Harris – Atheist, Philosopher, Neuroscientist

After watching his TED talk on morality (it’s great) and thinking about what he said, I thought I’d found some exceptions to his idea that the “well-being of conscious creatures” is/should be the sole basis of morality. [Read more...]