5 Tips to Prevent Sleep Deprivation
Six to eight hours of sleep every day is the amount of rest we need to keep our brain and body healthy and prepared for any challenge. When we’re young, we could manage with less sleep. But as we age, our ability to tolerate the sleep deprivation effects diminishes drastically. And when we find ourselves in a survival situation, the lack of proper sleep will influence us even more than in our usual daily life. Without a decent rest, our ability to think fast and overcome a potentially dangerous event will be limited or even life-threatening.
Over the past decades, numerous studies have shown the crucial role sleep presents for our immune system, memory, and metabolism. They’ve shown that lack of sleep increases the risk of developing severe medical conditions, like heart diseases or mood disorders, which could emerge under the pressure of an endurance situation. Sleep deprivation will increase our irritability and downsize our cognitive functions. Therefore, even if we got everything sorted out (preparing our supplies, the survival equipment, etc.), we may be in danger of making bad decisions if we don’t rest properly. This risk derives from the fact that lack of sleep will make us less vigilant than we should be and our reactions will be slower. I believe that preparedness doesn’t only mean taking care of supplies, but also of ourselves.
Thus, in a situation that requires us to be fully functional, like fighting for survival after a natural disaster or a cataclysmic event, sleep deprivation may be our worst enemy. Knowing how to prevent such a thing is essential for any responsible prepper. That is why I put together a short list of tips which are meant to help us get our necessary sleep so we could stay active, healthy and alert.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sedatives and late heavy meals
Drink coffee only in the morning! It takes almost 24 hours for the caffeine to fall out of our body, so keep this in mind for when you’ll feel like having a coffee to keep you going through the second part of a day. Alcohol is also a wrong choice, mainly strong distilled beverages. A heavy meal served too late into the night will only burden your digestive system, so you won’t be able to sleep. As to sedatives, they are in fact harmful for your sleeping cycle.
Breathe and meditate
Meditation is an excellent way to clear our minds. Calm breathing helps the process. Learn a few breathing techniques; they are quite easy to put into practice. Besides, they can be beneficial in stressful situations, because they help us be more attentive and receptive to what’s happening around us.
Invest in comfort
No matter where you’ll sleep, comfort is vital for a good rest. Find out what type of mattress suits you best. Check reviews like the ones trymattress.com offers and invest in proper sleeping equipment, especially if you’re preparing for sleeping in the wild. There are lots of great camping mattresses which make you feel like in a real bed.
30 minutes of physical activity every day will help you get a better sleep. It doesn’t have to be heavy exercising; you can just take a walk or a swim if you’re next to a lake or a river. Also, a balanced nutrition will prevent health-related symptoms from occurring during night time.
A short nap of 15 – 20 minutes during daytime is a smart trick to help your body fight sleep deprivation. If you are the type of person who can’t sleep during the day, learn to catnap: get a comfortable position, close your eyes and think of something pleasant. After 20 – 30 minutes of catnapping you should feel more energetic.