Updated 12/12/2011 1:26 pm – Fixed a few small errors and corrected the tags.
I sort of caught the flu virus that’s been going around in Taiwan. Nothing serious, no fever or headache or body aches. I just had running nose for like a week. Actually, I think I brought it upon myself… Normally after a hot spring session you’re suppose to hit the cold shower (or in my case I dipped in the cold water tank one last time before towel drying myself) to close up all the pores on your skin (毛細孔) so that when the wind blows on you, you won’t catch a cold. One day two weeks ago I got out of the hot tank, and I just dried myself. So as I rode scooter down the hill with my jacket unzipped I ended up sweating a lot, with my pores wide open… and this is likely how I got the running nose, and not from a virus.
In any case, the running nose made me slept a lot more than usual. One day I actually slept for like 14 hours and just didn’t feeling like moving or doing anything but snuggle up in bed. That was around Feb. 25th, 2011 or so and today is already March 10th, 2011. So not much multi phase sleeping anymore as my night rests are back to minimum of 6 hours a night. When I wake up from the sleeping sessions I no longer feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Which means the sleeping quality is no longer intense and powerful like during actual multi phase sleep.
Looking back, this period of multi phase sleep started around November 2010. What kicked it off was when I started to move my bed time from past 1am to 11pm. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) philosophy, 11pm-1am is critical time for body repair. It is the natural body cycle/time for the liver to regenerate itself. If you don’t believe it, try to to sleep by 10pm for a week and you should feel like you need a lot less sleep and you wake up much more refreshed. I notice that, by doing chikong and/or yoga (there are many methods that will directly or indirectly increase your chi/energy levels) I’m less bound by the rule that require me to rest during the 11pm-1am repair time. During the multi phase sleep periods the best thing seems to be the body is never fatigued. Even if I was running and playing full court basketball for 4 hours a day. All I would need is a 10-15 minute power nap after the game, and all my energy is back!! The feeling is quite amazing.
Basically for me, when I’m in the multi phase sleep state (MPSS) the entire body seems to be operating at peak efficiency. During a lot of these power nap sessions, my mind actually still awake and alert. I would describe the feeling as the body needed to stop its movements for a little while, and especially the eyes needs to be closed. In MPSS when I’m feeling tired, closing the eyes makes a HUGE difference. Even just shutting the eyes half way I can feel the energy requirement needed to keep the eyes processing the information – think about it, shut the eye lids down half or even 75% and the imagery is drastically reduced, thus reduced energy needed to operate it. This is all just my own theory of course. I’d have to check it against other people’s experiences and flip through older texts to see what other people’s experiences are like. This is fun stuff for sure.
So when I’m in serious MPSS phase, some days there would be no one major sleep block at all. It would basically be power naps every 3-4 hours on average. These sleep sessions are super intense, often 10-15 minutes in time, and frequently it is shorter, like 5 minutes. I would completely lose the feeling of time – 5 minutes could feel like an hour! Is that cool or what? I guess some might say that’s disorientation at work and in a way they are right. I’d freak my friends out a lot haha… I’d be like, sorry dudes, I need to crash for 5 minutes. I would seem to be asleep, but yet my brain is alert and my ears are functioning and I can wake up 5 minutes later, and still join their conversation. They’d freak out be like, dude I thought you were completely knocked out you looked dead asleep. Hahaha…