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Old 31-03-2011, 15:20   #16
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Pay no heed to those that tell you hammocks are for back-sleepers only, or that they are uncomfortable for constant use. I slept in a hammock every night for 2 months one summer, it was great. You sleep diagonally, and you can sleep on your side.

My boat has bunks, so I haven't bothered experimenting with a hammock.
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Old 31-03-2011, 16:57   #17
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Thanks for replies. Guess I'll do the extra work and sleep aligned with boat centerline.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:02   #18
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

For many of us, the problem comes when going from sleeping aboard to sleeping on the hard, not vice versa.

As far as I'm concerned, if you're having a problem sleeping aboard, you need a bigger anchor.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:36   #19
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

I wasn't entirely sure about sleeping in a hammock full-time, all I know is that it seemed to be common in the "old days" for a few good reasons.

Here's a general (But somewhat lengthy) article about the history of the hammock as well as an excerpt of insight from the glory days of naval warfare several hundred years ago:

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By the late-1600’s England utilized the hammock as fundamental part of her growing Navy. Prior to the introduction of the hammock, sailors slept on the deck, and this became a somewhat difficult task due to the ships natural rocking and rolling as she cut through the rough ocean waters. This would make sleep virtually impossible during a storm as the sailors would be thrown across the deck, into each other. Sometimes this would result in injury and on occasion even death. With the hammock, the sides of traditional would wrap around the sailor like a cocoon and make falling out virtually impossible. So the hammock was widely embraced by all.

The Naval Powers to be quickly realized that since a hammock moves in concert with the motion of the ship and keeps in line due to gravity, the sailor is not at a risk of being tossed around. Soon the hammock was standard issued gear. In 1841 the term ‘hammock’ was listed in the English Dictionary of Sea Terms as ‘a piece of canvass, hung at each end, in which seamen sleep.’
I thought that maybe with a low center of gravity a hammock would be able to provide a much smoother sleeping experience than a bunk while at sea. But I guess that could be hard if you only have 5.5 to 6.5 feet of headroom (Between roughly 1.5 and 2 meters) to hang it below deck.

Has anyone found it true that you can experience a lesser degree of motion with a good hammock arrangement?
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:40   #20
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Sleeping no problem ever, here (*). Lack of sleep, yes, at times.

* I am not to good at sleeping in noise so for me the noise is an issue. Much less so if we had one of those Sadlers / Etaps or a Laurin perhaps.

If you are killed by noise like me - do yourself a favour and lay some foam / cork insulation around the head area of your sea bunk. Or else sleep in upper / windward bunk.

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Old 31-03-2011, 18:50   #21
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Have often slept in the tropics in my hammock. I prefer the kind with wood spreader bars head and foot but can do the soft side as well. I sleep on my side usually, just fine in a hammock. There's room for big red dogs as well. Big enough hammock and Himself fits too.

On board now we sleep on a Froli and a 4" mixed foam (overstock.com search serta) and it's as comfy as ANY mattress I have slept on anywhere. And the froli keeps it from getting yucky under the mattress. (provides air circulation as well as spring comfort!)
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:05   #22
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

No hammock onboard for me. On any boat I will be sailing, that is something less than 50 feet, the amount of motion offshore will soon have the hammock swinging wildly. If you want to experiment with one try it in harbor first and you will be surprised by how much you swing around. A proper sea berth should be relatively narrow, parallel to the centerline of the boat, located in the middle or aft of the middle of the boat, as low down as possible, and allow you to face sleeping with your head forward (at least that is what I prefer). Nearish the companionway is best so you get fresh air and you can talk to the on-watch person if you need to, and so you can be aware of what is going on in the cockpit if you need to. Of course, it should have high lee clothes. Pilot berths or quarter berths can be OK on some boats, as long as they aren't too claustrophobic and too hard to get in and out of. It is better to be low in the boat in a keel boat, so pilot berths have a bit more motion. Quarter berths often suffer from engine smells and lack of air.
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:09   #23
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
For many of us, the problem comes when going from sleeping aboard to sleeping on the hard, not vice versa.

As far as I'm concerned, if you're having a problem sleeping aboard, you need a bigger anchor.
Very close.

It comes down to being SURE of you suroundings. Whether anchor or watch, you have to understand what is going on and be certain that it is right. A bigger anchor is often part of the answer; make sure you have done whatever is needed. If you can't sleep, recheck your math or, if the situation is simply tough, well....

As for berths, mine are athwartship and I sleep fine.
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:22   #24
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Another thought on this is that I personally do not want to sleep soundly, especially when offshore. I think you need to develop the ability to cat nap, and the ability to instantly awake when you need to. Offshore I will awake with a strong urge to take a look around, and there off on the horizon is a ship passing by. Something in my subconscious will tell me I need to check. Sound sleep is for the harbor, but even there I find that I almost always wake up if the wind switches direction or the tide turns. I am just used to popping up five or six times during the night to check briefly and then I can usually fall right back to sleep if all is well. Have a tell tale compass over your berth so you can tell in an instant if you are off course or if the wind has switched. I do it at home too, but it is usually just the dog doing something he shouldn't.
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:57   #25
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Another thought on this is that I personally do not want to sleep soundly, especially when offshore. (...)
Solo?

You ARE lucky to have the unconscious thing.

Meanwhile, I have my first mate. Try one. You may love it!

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Old 01-04-2011, 19:01   #26
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Another thought on this is that I personally do not want to sleep soundly, especially when offshore[...]
Actually, I guess that being able to wake up when you feel the slightest change in weather or just subconsciously feel like you need to check your surroundings would be a good way to do things. Never can be too careful I'm sure.

So far sounds like a Froli system under a good mattress may be the best way to do it. I think I'm definitely going to have to give a hammock a go when I get around to pushing-off, though.

I know that getting enough sleep is really important in maintaining optimum health. But I guess that's what anchoring in a tropical cove somewhere is good for. Makes me wonder how circumnavigators do it. I guess you just get in the water and let it work itself out.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:34   #27
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

The problem with too little sleep is not so much that you will untimely fall asleep or that you will feel tired, etc.. The issue is a bit deeper - lacking sleep is akin to being druged or boozed or in hypotermia - you will make bad decisions, make them too late, and you will not even be aware of this. When you cross the threshold you will actually find it difficult to fall asleep when you are actually very, very tired.

I have seen people manage their sleep in a horrible way. I have also committed this sin at least once out at sea. But I do not sail solo and my first mate is competent, so I just exposed her to lots of discomfort and learned not to trust myself any more than I have been tried.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:45   #28
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

I only just realised, I like to sleep 'athwartships' in heavy weather. Well, any weather. Yup. When I go below for forty winks, I climb into the fore berth (I know, everyone else prefers the ones in the main cabin or the quater berth, but not me) , stick my feet on the leeward hull and a pillow behind my head on the windward hull.

It can be a little bit of an issue after tacking - but only once I wake up and realise I'm upside down. And then it's not really a problem to turn around and drop straight back off again...
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:30   #29
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Re: Best Sleep Possible?

Years of sleeping aboard has resulted in a preferred position, head aft, feet forward, bunk is centerline amidships and either fully sprung mattress with foam top or 4-6" of memory foam. I've tried aft positioned bunks both fore and aft configuration and athwartships... never tried a hammock below decks but they are grrat for napping topside. You can get used to almost anything but sleeping on the hard takes a couple of weeks before sound, comfortable rest sets in... Capt Phil
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Old 02-04-2011, 16:17   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress
I only just realised, I like to sleep 'athwartships' in heavy weather. Well, any weather. Yup. When I go below for forty winks, I climb into the fore berth (I know, everyone else prefers the ones in the main cabin or the quater berth, but not me) , stick my feet on the leeward hull and a pillow behind my head on the windward hull.

It can be a little bit of an issue after tacking - but only once I wake up and realise I'm upside down. And then it's not really a problem to turn around and drop straight back off again...
I've never been able to sleep with gravity pressing down on my legs. In your scenario I move down the hill

The problem with athwartships bunks is in any down wind run the bunk is basically untenable

Dave.
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