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Sleep Patterns

CPD

Active member
Joined
20 Sep 2006
Messages
2,900
Location
Hampshire
I have only ever once sailed solo non stop for 3 days and got into a 20 mins per hour (18/24) routine which I remember working quite well, however that was only for 3 days and so clearly couldnt give a realistic assesment of how I will react over a substantially longer peiod. What works for one may not suit another however I would be really interested in hearing from those with real experience how you coped and what strategies you adopted.
 

FAITIRA

New member
Joined
22 Jan 2007
Messages
1,548
Location
France
On a solo Tortola to Kinsale nonstop, I found I didn,t sleep much for the first 3 days, then slept well and long after that. I would broadcast an all ships to get a weather report (and find out what was about), have dinner a dram and turn in for 6/8 hours. The trip took 32days, average over 5knts, the happiest month of my life! The hardest part was the last 2 days, I was expecting more fishing boats etc after the shelf, so didn,t sleep much then.
 
Joined
20 Jul 2001
Messages
205
Location
Southampton, UK
I think the qualifier will help me discover what will work best. Eric managed to keep a 30-minute 'look-around' watch system on his winning Jester 06 trip, but I find I get tired very quickly - but then my longest trip so far (solo) has only been three days. The rest have been with a crew, and a watch system. I do know that when you get too tired, decision-making is quite badly affected, so I intend to research this quite thoroughly.
One thing I did discover a few years back is that you develop an uncanny 'sixth-sense.' I was cat-napping in my bunk in the early hours and just felt 'something was wrong.' Stuck my head out of the hatch to see a ship bearing down on me, both masthead lights dead centre. Mr Honda fired first kick and we got clear, shaken but not stirred. I often wonder what caused me to look out at that precise moment - it wasn't exactly a noisy ship, and there was a lot of own-hull noise. Spooky, but a valuable lesson.
 

FAITIRA

New member
Joined
22 Jan 2007
Messages
1,548
Location
France
Yes odd the premonition bit! I have found that after a few days one is getting plenty of rest, the start and finish will be the hardest bits, ok in bad weather it takes more out of you but on the whole, with a bit of discipline and good eating it,s not that hard, I am 62 this year so no chicken! Bill.
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Bonjour
I am a bit strange guy. I may fall asleep instantaneously and wake up the same at any time day and night. When I'm realy tired I may sleep for seconds betwenn two waves or the time af a red traffic light.
I am probably not a good example.
Most open sea skippers take long sleep periods at night. the risk is very limited as you cross a ship every two days and there is no reason, but Murphy's law, to have exactly a colision route.
Lack of sleep is very dangerous as you may, when exhaused, become mad and have hallucination. It's very dangerous.
The real important thing is to have always plenty of spare sleep to be able to keep managing the boat for one or two days, with little snaps, if necessary (very bad weather or autopilot failure or...)
When you leave the shore or when you arrive there are plenty of ships and a lot of thing to do. You will have very little time to sleep. These are critical periods.
Studies have been made to optimise professional skippers, long haul pilots or nuclear powerpoint watchers sleep paterns. Human beings have a 24 houres rythm. the worse period is the end of the night. There is also an about 45 minutes sub-rythm. You feel tired every 45 minutes. If you go to sleep at this moment, the rest will be the most efficient and a 15 to 30 minutes nap will allow you to keep awake for a long period after.

An other non know behavior is auto hypnoses (Dr Schultz book). It allows you to keep your body to almost sleep and keep minimum mental attention. It's very interesting when you are lying on your bearth with a heel of wind and waves outside just waiting for something to go wrong.
Eric
 

FAITIRA

New member
Joined
22 Jan 2007
Messages
1,548
Location
France
A VERY VERY GOOD ANALISIS ERIC, could not have put it better myself with my limited education, but a bit of experience, it works, for me just as you describe, well done!!!
 
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