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Old 17-05-2008, 18:43   #1
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Sleeping Patterns for Live-Aboards?

I am curious whether other sailors who have lived aboard for long periods of their lives have adjusted to daily sleeping patterns that are similar to mine? (Of course different when watch keeping on a passage)

Awake 5 or 6am, then if I can,

Sleep 2 till to 5pm,

Awake 5 to 9pm,

Sleep 9 to Midnight,

Awake Midnight till about 2- 3am, then sleep again till 5 or 6am.

Not sure how I got into this pattern as I have been doing it ever since going to sea, taking naps in the afternoon when generally everything is organized and being up after midnight to check lines or anchor, weather, security watch changes and enjoying the quiet time to do my accounting or correspondence.

I don’t know if this is a healthy or unhealthy pattern but the funny thing is after retiring from being a professional captain I still have this same sleeping habit whether I am living on or off my boat and with just the 2 of us.

Did you find yourself changing when you slept………. after moving on board?

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Old 17-05-2008, 18:54   #2
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Our sleeping patterns havent changed, but was has changed is ou ability to sleep on land.
The wife and I are photographers and when called upon to do a photo shoot that takes away from the boat for a few days, we both find its really hard to sleep, no matter how comfy the bed is..
And as good as a hotel might be, we cant wait to get back home on the boat.

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Old 17-05-2008, 21:16   #3
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I know what you mean. It is that almost subliminal floating feeling that rocks me to sleep
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Old 17-05-2008, 21:28   #4
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I was watching a program on TV about Sleep, and it brought out something interesting. It seems that everyone needs a certain amount of deep sleep (around 6 hours), for the body to rejuvenate itself properly so the brain feels well rested. I for one rarely can sleep over 6 or 7 hours, and many times I only get 5 hours...but I more tired with only 5 hours. The tough thong for me is I like to get up kinda early, and I like to go to bed on the late side. I know I should sleep more hours, but I like being awake more than sleeping. I find myself taking a 1 hour nap during the day on the nights I sleep less...I guess that's my body's way of making up for the lack of sleep I get at night.
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Old 21-05-2008, 06:34   #5
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Hot off the press, on Yahoo today.
Sleepy brain prone to sudden shutdowns study - Yahoo! News

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Old 21-05-2008, 06:47   #6

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When we moved to our own boat (after working professionally on megayachts), our sleep patterns changed to follow a much more natural cycle:

Here it is:

a) If it's light out, we are awake

b) If it's dark out, we are asleep

My personal feeling is that this is how our species has evolved to sleep. Alarm clocks, staying up all night with electric lights, etc... are relatively new things from an evolution perspective.

If you are 100% free of distractions (including passages, anchor watches, going ashore, coffee, alcohol or whatever else), you may find your patterns naturally fall into this rhythm of the planet.
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Old 21-05-2008, 07:26   #7
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That is pretty much how we operate, once the sun goes down maybe an hour or so and we are climbing into the sack. Once the sun is up, we are up....
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Old 21-05-2008, 12:20   #8
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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Did you find yourself changing when you slept………. after moving on board?
Only to the extent that the external influences changed. When we left to go cruising, I didn't have a work schedule, so I could sleep later, for example.

In the ICW, tides had a big influence on when we could get through certain areas, which meant an influence on watch schedules. Some times I would get up early (e.g. 8 am) to help get under way, then my wife would stand watch while I went back to sleep until around noon.

Unlike Sully, I don't find it at all natural to be awake only during daylight. If I see the sunrise, it makes me sleepy; I start to feel more awake about 8 PM no matter how early I woke up or how tiring the day was. If I do not work to maintain a daylight schedule, it only takes a few days to get to sleeping from 3 AM to noon.

This is highly inconvenient in the world that the other 90% of you live in, but it is useful on passages, because I never feel like I'm going to fall asleep on a night watch.

But, no, living on the boat does not appear to have affected my sleep preferences.
Mark S.
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Old 21-05-2008, 12:46   #9
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Early to bed early to rise.We do seem to have a better quality of sleep and we do sleep more hours.
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Old 21-05-2008, 13:18   #10
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When were were cruising. I would pretty much follow the sun pattern. A little after dark to sleep it was. The sun would wake me too. If were weren't travelling, and many times as we did travel I would take a nap for about 90 minutes right after noon.

This working gig really gets in the way of my nap time.....LOLOLOL
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Old 22-05-2008, 14:23   #11
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I am not the difinitive expert but I do have some experience/education on the subject.
The key to getting and maintaining restful and healthy sleep is having periods of uninterupted sleep longer than 4 hours. (4 hours being the minnimum time the average person takes to enter a normal sleep cycle that has sufficient time in REM sleep) Short term, you can survive and do well with shorter periods of sleep but you do begin to log the beginning stages of sleep deprivation - which is completely different from healthy sleep patterns.
If you are experiencing problems and to your feel you get at least one or two 4 hour sleeps a day, you might want to examine if your 4 hours are really spent sleeping (ie., not just in the bed for 4 hours) (and if you get up to use the bathroom once during one of those 4 hours, it wasn't a 4 hour sleep)
Just my $0.02
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Old 12-06-2008, 19:51   #12
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...To sleep, perchance to dream, aha there's the rub....
From the vantage of 11 years aboard--A rotten day or night on the water, is better than a good day on the hard...
And if your time afloat, is not moving though dreams of increasing subtlety, past yourself into deeper orders of might be missing the connection..
How bout course and heading is the dream... and thte boat is reality!

See Sterling Hayden

"Done with the Compass-Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden-
Ah, the Sea..." Emily D.
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