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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > sleep while solos cruising?
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Thread: sleep while solos cruising? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-22-2007 10:05 PM
chris_gee 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.
01-22-2007 08:51 PM
hellosailor 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.
01-22-2007 06:45 PM
sailingdog Etienne-

What you may want to do is find out about polyphasic sleep... that is probably the best answer for people who are singlehanding...
01-22-2007 06:16 PM
sailortjk1 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.
01-22-2007 05:50 PM
Tartan34C 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 doesnít seem to have any other ill effects.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
01-22-2007 05:19 PM
pigslo 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.
pigslo
01-22-2007 05:03 PM
Etienne
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.
01-21-2007 03:05 PM
sailaway21 The Jones Act merely states that if in the coastal trade the dog must be an American citizen or legal alien. The citizenship requirement is not required for foreign voyaging. In either case, if the dog is on articles he is entitled to maintenance and cure for any injuries sustained, whether on board or on shore, and his wages are considered a lien against the vessel.
His species is irrelevant as long as he possesses a valid 'Z'-card from the USCG.

The Greek maritime service has none of the above requirements, limitations, or obligations and, with the preponderance of lamb in said vessel's feeding, makes the presence of contented watch-keeping dogs much more prevalent.
01-21-2007 12:27 AM
hellosailor Dogs at sea?

Although I did once see a Great Dane patrolling the lifelines of a 40+ footer as we passed. Dog didn't say a thing, just paced us as we passed.

The Italians still have one Newf that parajumps with a rescue swimmer, the Brits have another names Bilbo doing surf patrol/rescue (almost at sea) and the French concluded that one Newf can pull a lifeboat with something like 20 people in it. I suppose one of the smaller more nervous breeds would make a better dog-of-the-watch, sounds like a challenge to lay before The Dog Whisperer and televise on the National Geographic Channel.

Anything in the Jones Act about the, ah, species a crew needs to be from?
01-21-2007 12:19 AM
sailaway21 The proper light display is the not under command lights mentioned. These should be displayed whether the vessel is making way or not. This would cover situations where you are below and the vessel is making way, ie...under sail.

All of which is beside the point, which was well stated by hellosailor, that you are responsible for keeping a proper lookout at all times. Admiralty courts of inquiry have the habit of interpreting the rules of the road quite literally. This leads to some bizarre conclusions such as; if a collision did not occur there was no risk of collision! But, in general, if you are single-handing and something occurs where you are not keeping a lookout you are going to be found liable-to the exclusion of any other mitigating factors. The fact that you were on the foredeck wrestling with a sail will not exonerate you. In fact, the mere fact that you are single-handing may be cause to assign fault because you may be unable to manoeuver as required and keep a proper lookout. This does not mean that single-handing is illegal but it does put a larger burden on the single-hander than may be commonly acknowledged. Don't bother firing back at me about your freedom or rights to do as you please-your rights only begin to be effective with compliance with the COLREGS, anything less is liability. The point tends to be moot as the small sailing vessel generally has the penalty exacted at sea.

The use of strobe lights for the purpose cited is proscribed by Rule 1 as well as under signals to attract attention. Furthermore, it's a damn nuisance that is highly effective at destroying the night vision of other mariners.

Were I contemplating such a voyage, I would dwell long and hard on what measures I could conceivably take to do so safely. We Americans tend to think too often in terms of liability, as in legal proceedings, but this issue is a life or death one and it is the single-hander's life that will be lost.

The use of dogs at sea, for lookout or other purposes, seems to be strictly confined to the Greek maritime service.
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