Polyphasic Sleep for Jetlag

This is a modification on something similar I did when my daughter was born: Trying to catch up on sleep as a new parent. After having great success with that experiment, I tried the same schedule to recover lost sleep due to jet lag (also with great success).

Most recommendations for recovering from Jet-lag involve avoiding sleep at your destination and trying to stay awake as long as possible (until night time). Usually taking a nap is a bad idea because of the tendency to oversleep. What I am recommending is highly regimented naps in both frequency and duration.

The Plan

  1. Follow traditional best practices for avoiding Jet Lag.
  2. 20 minute naps every 4 hours: As soon as you land go on a dynamic “everyman” sleep schedule (20 minute nap every 4 hours) until night time and then either
    1. Sleep as long as you can (if you can); or
    2. if you cannot sleep, take another 20 minute nap and try sleeping again in another 4 hours.
  3. Repeat on the second day: When you wake up, record the time and plan on another 20 minute nap in 4 hours (and continue the cycle).
  4. Stop the nap schedule once you feel you are onto the local rhythm, but I recommend to stick with it for at least 2 days (or more if you enjoy it!).
  5. Start on the plane: If you are on a really long flight with multiple connections, you can try starting your nap schedule early by napping at airports during connections or on the plane before you land.

Very important: You are not trying to reduce sleep. You are trying to catch up on missed sleep (and future sleep you are about to miss). So don’t purposely stay up all night — if it’s night time and you can get an entire night’s sleep in, then do so. But if it’s day time then be strict with your nap schedule.

Tips

  • Take wind down time into account. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes to fall asleep, so I usually schedule my nap 15 minutes earlier and set my alarm for 35 minutes.
  • It is ok if you don’t actually sleep. Lying in a comfy spot with your eyes closed for 20 minutes will refresh you enough to help push you through another 4 hours of awake.
  • Plan your day around your sleep schedule to make sure you can get your naps in
  • Carry ear plugs and a night mask (and an inflatable pillow?) to maximize your “anywhere / anytime” nap opportunities.
  • Use the website JetLagRooster.com to prep your sleep schedule even before you leave and get tips on how to adapt once you land (note: They do not have naps built into their schedule)

The Slow-Carb Diet

This is a summary of the weigh-loss diet in the Tim Ferris‘ book: The Four Hour Body. I am NOT a nutritionist nor a doctor — Consult with a doctor before following anything mentioned here.  

The Basics

1. Forbidden Foods — Do not eat

Don't drink calories No sugar No starches or grains No dairy No fruits
No Liquid Calories
No juice, pop, beer, alcohol, etc…
No Sugar
No natural or artificial sweeteners
No Carbs
No grains or starches, including “ancient grains”
No Dairy
No milk, yogurt, cheese, or other forms of dairy
No Fruits
Fruit are loaded with sugar

2. Allowed Foods — Eat at every meal

Protein Vegetables Beans Drinks Lots of Water
Protein
Eggs (organic), Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork. Cottage cheese also allowed
Veggies
Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Saurekraut, Asparagus, Peas, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Avocado
Legumes
Lentils, Black, Pinto, Red, Soy / Edemame
Water
Drink lots of water.
2 glasses of dry Red Wine per day allowed

3. One Binge Day / Week

One Binge day a week (Saturday recommended) where you can eat as much of anything you want.  This will spike your metabolism and maintain your sanity.

Beating the Binge Day

  1. Eat a non-binge breakfast, high protein (30g) within 30 minutes of waking
  2. Glass of grapefruit juice before second meal (1st binge meal)
  3. AGG/PAGG Stack before each meal & bedtime (see Advanced Supplements)
  4. Drink lots of citrus juice squeezed into water, or lemon juice on food
  5. Drinks lots of caffeine during meals
  6. “Greens” before meals
  7. Resistance training immediately before a meal and 90minutes after:
    30-50 Air Squats
    30-50 Wall Presses
    30-50 Chest Pulls

Tips for Success

  • Throw out all the bad food after binge day
  • Try the diet for at least one week before passing judgement
  • Eat the same meals each day – establishing a routine helps
  • Choose mild hunger over deviation
  • Do not restrict calories or portions — eat until you are full
  • Drink lots of water (especially on binge day)
  • Women: Ignore scale readings 10 days before menstruation
  • Don’t overeat domino foods (Nuts / Chickpeas / Hummus / peanuts / Carrots)
  • max 3 gym workouts per week

Advanced Tactics

  • Consume 1/2 litre of ice water immediately upon waking
  • Eat 30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking
  • Eat slowly
  • Add fresh gound cinamon to your cofee (Saigon/Vietnam cinamon is best).  No more than 4g/day (1.5 teaspoons)
  • Hold ice pack on the back of your neck & traps for 30 minutes in the evening
  • Take a 5-10 minute cold shower before breakfast and/or before bedtime.

Supplements: PAGG Stack

Take an AGG stack prior to each meal, and PAGG prior to bedtime.  Dose for 6 days on, and one day off.  (Off day should NOT be your binge day).  Take 1 week off every 2 months

  • P: Policosanol – 20-25mg
  • A: Alpha-Lipoic Acid – 100-300mg
  • G: Green Tea Flavonoids (decaf) 325mg
  • G: Garlic Extract: 200mg

Losing the Final 10 lbs

Eat one of these every 3 waking hours:

  1. 50g Whey protein + 1/2 cup nuts + 2 tbl spoon peanut butter
  2. 8oz white non-fatty fish + 1/2 cup nuts + 2 tbl spoons peanut buter
  3. 8oz cooked turkey/chicken + 1/2 cup nuts + 2 tbl spoons peanut buter
  4. 8oz fatty meat (fat fish or red meat) + 1 tbl spoon olive oil
  5. Five whole eggs

Plus unlimited quantities of Spinach, Kale, Asparagus, Collard greenes, brussel sprouts, broccoli

Typical Routines

Typical Diet Day

Drink lots of water

Morning Lunch Dinner Bedtime
  • 1/2 litre of ice water upon waking
  • 5-10 minute cold shower
  • 30g protein within 30 mins of waking
  • Fresh ground cinamon with coffee
  • Pre/Post Biotics
  • AGG Stack
  • AGG Stack
  • AGG Stack
  • 2 glasses of red wine (max)
  • PAGG Stack
  • Ice pack on the back of neck & traps for 30 mins
  • 5-10 minute cold shower

Typical Binge Day (Saturday)

Drink lots of water

Morning Lunch Dinner Bedtime
  • 1/2 litre of ice water upon waking
  • 5-10 minute cold shower
  • Resistance training before breakfast
  • Greens before breakfast
  • Non-binge breakfast, high protein (30g) within 30 mins of waking
  • Fresh gound cinamon with coffee — Drinks lots of caffeine during breakfast
  • Pre/Post Biotics
  • AGG Stack
  • Resitance training 90 minutes after breakfast
  • AGG Stack
  • Glass of fresh grapefruit juice before lunch
  • Greens before lunch
  • Resistance training before lunch
  • Resitance training 90 minutes after breakfast
  • Drinks lots of caffeine during lunch
  • AGG Stack
  • Drink lots of citrus juice squeezed into water, or lemon juice on food
  • Greens before before dinner
  • Resistance training before dinner
  • Resitance training 90 minutes after dinner
  • Drinks lots of caffeine during dinner
  • PAGG Stack
  • Throw out all the bad food
  • Ice pack on the back of neck & traps for 30 minutes

Purify Water in 6hrs without Chemicals or Filters

I’m sure most of you have heard and are aware of the millions of people around the world that lack access to clean water.

It turns out the fix to this problem is AMAZINGLY SIMPLY:

  1. Take an empty transparent bottle
  2. Fill it with water
  3. Leave it out in the sun for 6 hours
  4. Drink the water
The SODIS Process (short for Solar Water Disinfection)

SODIS is a simple procedure for disinfecting drinking water.  Contaminated water is poured into transparent water bottles (glass or plastic) and placed in the sun for six hours.  During this time, the UV rays of the sun kill all the germs.

SODIS water disinfection in Indonesia
SODIS water disinfection in Indonesia

Does anyone else feel that we’ve been wasting a lot of time and money building solar panel powered water purification plants?  All this time we could have harnessed the sun’s rays directly.

This is a great, simple, and inexpensive solution that should have been put into place YEARS ago.  Thumbs up to the SODIS program for running with this.

More Resources About SODIS

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Polyphasic Sleep for New Parents

Polyphasic sleep refers to the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period (vs monophasic once per 24-hour sleep).  There are some that use polyphasic sleep and alternative sleeping schedules to try to achieve more time awake each day (in the most extreme case – The Uberman – you sleep only 20 minutes every 4 hours for a total of only 2 hours of sleep). Polyphasic sleep recently got an uptick in popularity due to Tim Ferris‘ book “The 4-Hour Body“.

I’m a big fan of stupid human experiments and so I was itching for an opportunity to try Polyphasic sleep.  My opportunity to try came with the birth of my first child — It seemed to make sense (in an insane kind of way): When you have a new baby you are kinda forced to adopt polyphasic sleep (i.e.: You get woken up a lot).  So what better time to give it a try?

However, unlike traditional polyphasic sleepers, my focus was NOT on maximizing my awake time.  My focus was on the reverse: Maximizing sleep time.

Here was my modified sleep pattern:

  • Try and get as much “normal” sleep between 10PM to 7AM.  Don’t force yourself to stay awake, don’t wake yourself up at a specific time, etc… If you can sleep uninterrupted the whole way through, go for it!
  • Once you wake up, you adopt a modified Uberman sleep pattern during daytime hours: Every 4 hours, you take a 20-45 minute power nap.  If you wake up at  6AM, you take a nap at 10AM, 2PM, 6PM, and go down for the count at 10PM.  If you wake up an hour earlier or later, the schedule gets shifted by the same amount.

Tips:

  • Seize napping opportunities: If it’s 3 hours since your last nap, and you have an opportunity to take a nap.  DO IT!  You probably won’t have the chance right at 4 hours.  If you go past 4 hours, take a nap the next opportunity possible.
  • Don’t oversleep.  Once that 45 minute alarm goes off, get up!
  • Don’t forget to nap.  If you skip a nap, it’s very hard to catch up again.
  • Carry an “instant-anywhere-nap-kit”: a blanket, inflatable pillow, eye blind, and ear plugs to allow for instant naps anywhere. (Maybe this is a product idea for someone? The instant nap kit?)

I’m not claiming there is a scientific basis for this, but it worked great for me. I followed this routine for about 2 months (until our baby awesomely decided to sleep 12 hour nights), and I barely felt any effects from the sleep deprivation.