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How to overcome sleep deprivation during a survival scenario

Sleep deprivation

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(NaturalNews) In a prolonged emergency situation, managing sleep cycles can be a serious challenge. Whether you're spending long nights awake defending your property or bugging out and finding yourself constantly on the move, sleep deprivation can quickly become a major issue -- one that could threaten your ability to survive.

The human body needs an adequate amount of sleep to function properly. Long periods of sleep deprivation will begin to cause mental and physical impairment. Your ability to make decisions or detect dangers will begin to suffer, and if you go too long without rest you will begin experiencing hallucinations.

Obviously, suffering from delusions and seeing things that aren't there would not be a desirable state to be in during a SHTF situation. So how can you fight sleep deprivation effectively in a survival scenario?

An article posted on the On Point Preparedness website explores the issue and offers some useful strategies for warding off the effects of sleep deprivation.

One of the obvious solutions for dealing with short-term sleep deprivation is to have some form of caffeine on hand. Making coffee or tea may not be practical, especially if you are bugging out, so it's a good idea to have caffeine in a form that can be easily carried and used.

There are caffeine products readily available in pill, powder and even gum form. Caffeine works well for fighting fatigue in the short term. The article outlines a method for making the most of caffeine's effect by combining its use with a short nap.

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, taking caffeine right before a brief nap can actually be quite beneficial. When you stay awake too long, your brain naturally produces a type of molecule called adenosine, which bonds with receptors in the brain, triggering sleepiness. When you sleep, the brain is cleared of the adenosine and you awake refreshed and alert.

Caffeine molecules have a similar shape and actually work by blocking some of the adenosine receptors. It takes caffeine 20 minutes to begin to have an effect, so if you take a 20 minute nap after ingesting caffeine, you'll get the benefit of both the natural adenosine-clearing effect and the receptor-blocking effect of the caffeine, resulting in a true power nap!

The article also refers to studies that measured the effectiveness of different types of waking/sleeping cycles. Research has shown that in addition to "monophasic" sleep cycles (the normal six-to-eight-hour, once-a-day cycle), there are alternatives which may be more suitable in a survival situation.

Polyphasic sleep cycles (polyphasic simply means more than one sleep period per day) can work well in extreme conditions because they "trick" the body into entering into Stage 4 REM (Rapid Eye Movement) more rapidly, resulting in needing less sleep overall per day.

Stage 4 REM sleep is the most crucial stage of the sleep cycle -- the human body needs this stage more than any of the others to stay healthy. There are four alternative polyphasic sleep cycles that have been proven to be effective.

Polyphasic Sleep Cycles:

Uberman Cycle - Consists of four-hour waking periods punctuated by six 20-30-minute naps per day. Effective, but if you miss a nap cycle, you'll wind up feeling extremely fatigued.

Everyman Cycle - There are several variations of this cycle, but the basic idea revolves around one "core nap" (typically 1.5 to 3 hours), supplemented with several shorter naps. This approach is more flexible than the Uberman Cycle and still results in less hours of sleep needed to function properly, compared to the standard monophasic cycle.

Dymaxion Cycle - Developed by Buckminster Fuller, the Dymaxion Cycle consists of sleeping only 30 minutes every six hours. It is the most efficient of the four cycles, requiring only two hours of sleep per day. As extreme as it sounds, Fuller reported that it resulted in "the most vigorous and alert condition I have ever enjoyed."

Biphasic/Siesta Cycle - Consists of a shorter nightly sleep period (4 to 4.5 hours) augmented by a 90-minute nap in the middle of the day. Slightly more efficient than the monophasic cycle.

Keep in mind that it takes some time to adjust to the more extreme polyphasic sleep cycles.




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