Stainless Marine your marine performance parts professionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how to avoid sleep deprivation on long journeys.
It is crucial to address this issue because decisions made by a tired crew have frequently been the cause of groundings, navigation errors or vessel failures.
To manage the deprivation part, we must understand what sleep represents.
WHAT IS SLEEP?
Sleep is a biological state that is caused by the discharge of specific neurons in certain parts of the brain. It involves an alternate cycle of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).
Sleep affects almost every physiological and psychological process. The body has normal low cycles called circadian rhythm lows. The most dramatic low time is between 2 A.M. and 6 A.M.
When we do not get enough sleep, our body will physically try hard to make us sleep and psychologically we crave it.
SIGNS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Your marine performance parts analysts understand that within a 24 hour period, the maximum sleepiness usually occurs in the middle of the night. When forced to be awake at this time, we can experience: Increased sleepiness and fatigue, weariness, Poor attention and motivation span, especially for boring tasks requiring sustained concentration.
Go to http://www.stainlessmarine.com/product-category/diesel-exhaust-risers-elbows/ and see how you can find more information as well as get assistance on marine performance parts and on how to avoid sleep deprivation on long journeys at Stainless Marine.
We learned that a nod and exchange of pertinent information with watch changes was sufficient for us on long passages…we like staying married!
Sleep debt occurs since sleep loss is cumulative in nature. Prevention is important. The only cure is sleep.
Allow at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep each day during sustained operations to maintain minimal performance.
Encourage frequent naps…20 minutes or 90 minutes in length.
Plan naps before watches to enhance performance. Sleep can be cumulative as well…like storing it in a sleep bank.
Try to change watches at circadian rhythm lows. Sleep deprivation exacerbates normal sleepiness during these times.
3 to 4 hour watches are good intervals for a crew of 2 people. Remember to plan a 4 hour block of uninterrupted sleep after midnight.
Use stimulants, like coffee, sparingly. Avoid use of alcohol, antihistamines, tranquilizers, motion sickness medications or any drugs that will sedate.
Create a comfortable below deck sleeping arrangement that is conducive to your sleep pattern. In my case, brushing my teeth and washing my face helps set up the pattern of sleep…sometimes an inconvenient time for a 20 minute workout!
After your watch and about 20 minutes before you plan to sleep, have a snack of high protein. This will help sustain your hunger longer and you will have a more uninterrupted sleep.
With proper management sleep deprivation can be reduced to a necessary nuisance instead of being a threatening issue when doing a long passage.
So don’t forget these helpful pointers on how to avoid sleep deprivation on long journeys. 1) Frequent naps are helpful, either 20 minutes or 90 minutes long; 2) use stimulants, like coffee, sparingly; and 3) create a comfortable below deck sleeping arrangement that is conducive to your sleep pattern.
Learn more at Stainless Marine and see more information on marine performance parts and how to avoid sleep deprivation on long journeys.