sleep while solos cruising? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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Sleeping

Back to 'sleeping'.

I have seen a lot of cruisers here mentioning shortish naps or periods of sleep as little as 3-4 hours at a time. As far as I know that would never allow the body to get into that essential "deep-sleep cycle", which is the only time essential chemicals are released in the body, which in turn is essential for the health and functioning of the body. (There are some very technical medical jargon for what I just said - but I am amongst friends here! )

My question is thus: do any of you suffer excessive fatigue / other negative symptoms over extended periods sleeping in "3-4 hour" sessions?

I don't know if I am quoting urban legend here - but I have heard of a clinical study where patients were allowed to sleep, but they were woken up every half-hour during their nightly sleeptime. Within two weeks they were exhibiting disturbing psychological problems.
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post #32 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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I believe what you are talking about is REM sleep and if you are tired enough , you will go into REM fairly quickly. I know when I have pulled a good drunk, I sleep better and wake up refreshed with less sleep as long as I don't over due the drinking. Stopping somewhere between a good buzz and I don't know my own name usually works best for me.
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post #33 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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Thirty-five years ago I had no problem sleeping for 15 or 20 minuets at a time during the nights and napping for an hour or so at a time during the day. Now I can only do it if I can sleep for an hour at a time both day and night. Other then my normal craziness it doesn’t seem to have any other ill effects.
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post #34 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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My wife and I cruise with just the two of us. We go with two hour shifts. It seems to work pretty well. We can sail a lot of miles with two hour rests.
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post #35 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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Etienne-

What you may want to do is find out about polyphasic sleep... that is probably the best answer for people who are singlehanding...

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post #36 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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Etienne-
Each person has their own individual needs for sleep. I knew a camp guard who claimed he only needed two hours a day and no one had ever seen him sleeping outside of the 1-4PM siesta slot. At night, he was out on patrol.

But there are plenty of documented studies both as medical and labor issues. Companies that have shift workers have found out the had way, if you rotate the shifts "back" (earlier each time) you get increased accident rates and other fatigue problems, compared to rotating the shifts "forward" as they change. And, that if you keep people on the job over 12 hours at a shot, you again get increased accident rates and decreased performance. Many have changed their policies because paying more and covering shifts costs them far less than insurance settlements and lawsuits does.

So the bottom line? Everyone can play with sleep deprivation and some tolerate it better than others, longer, etc., but you are still dealing with fire. Keep someone up long enough, make the sleeps short enough, and eventually people simply stop what they are doing and go to sleep--sometimes totally unaware they were sleeping but "dreaming" they are still awake.

Most folks can push on fairly well if given one "long sleep" of 5 hours per day, or a little longer, plus other rest. Cut it below that, and you should realize that you are operating impaired and at risk--and the only real question is to what extent and whether you can justify it.

I've done some things like work triple shift for two weeks running, grabbing just a couple of hours here and there. I wouldn't do it again for any money, unless there was a damned good reason for it and zero personal risk.

Wouldn't sail that way unless I was running from a fallout cloud or pirates.
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post #37 of 37 Old 01-22-2007
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I think the normal cycle of deep and rem sleep is about an hour and a half, so one can use this or multiples to give a natural awakening. My source for the catnapping is a retired medical professor who says interns learn to use to get rapidly into deep sleep in 10-20 min bursts and train themselves to awaken (like when you have to get up for fishing or a plane).
You can only sustain it for I think a couple of weeks. However as a singlehander your sleep will be broken anyway and you may as well get up. Obviously you are unlikely to be performing at 100% but what teenager ever is for that matter, ( they may stay up extra late then spend most of the day sleeping) and you can govern your workload to fit in bits of meditation rest etc rather than busting a gut. In demanding situations adrenalin will take over and you will be able to meet the demands.
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