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Old 16-01-2020, 09:09   #1
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Sleeping position in a sailboat

We am a new members to the cruisers forum. We sailed our boat from Lake Superior to Florida last year for the first time. I did not have any trouble with seasickness nor vertigo sleeping in the v-berth. This year we chose to take the aft quarters and sleep starboard to port. Iím having vertigo. I think this may be related. I havenít found information relating the two and am looking for information about sleeping orientation. Thank you all in advance
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Old 16-01-2020, 09:43   #2
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Can you not sleep fore and aft in the aft cabin.
Thats how I did it in my Oceanis 331.
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Old 16-01-2020, 10:37   #3
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

IMHO, athwartships berths are just a stupid idea; especially those that are cramped underneath a cockpit. They were designed to increase space in the main cabin area or elongate cockpits.

Without knowing your specific boat, I would guess the reason for your vertigo could be even the slight rolling motion of the boat, or it could be due to the more confined space typical of aft athwartship berths.
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Old 16-01-2020, 11:55   #4
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

You might check with an eye doctor to see if your vision has changed slightly over the past year. This is what happened to me. Personally, I wouldn't think sleeping location on a boat would affect vertigo unless you're hitting your head regularly trying to get in or out of the space. That's my problem with my aft berth. I much prefer the settees with lee cloth while at sea. They're much safer and easier to access.
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Old 16-01-2020, 12:05   #5
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

I don't enjoy sleeping underway in anything but the settee berths (or a pilot berth if the boat has one), low down and feet first.
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Old 16-01-2020, 12:14   #6
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

Perhaps you need to ask a doctor if your vertigo is a sign of something serious, or perhaps if it is BPPV. There is a specific test for this.
I have this condition, and it is sometimes spontaneous, or can be triggered by boat movements, or lying down on one side, or use of alcohol or drugs.
There is a therapy called the Epley maneuver which you can do yourself. There is a self-training aid called a Dizzy-Fix that I find helpful.
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Old 16-01-2020, 15:27   #7
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

I can understand that. The one time I tried sleeping sideways it drove me nuts.
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Old 16-01-2020, 17:31   #8
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

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Originally Posted by Gypsyspirit View Post
We am a new members to the cruisers forum. We sailed our boat from Lake Superior to Florida last year for the first time. I did not have any trouble with seasickness nor vertigo sleeping in the v-berth. This year we chose to take the aft quarters and sleep starboard to port. Iím having vertigo. I think this may be related. I havenít found information relating the two and am looking for information about sleeping orientation. Thank you all in advance
Sleeping athwartship is fine, as long as your head is higher than your feet. As soon as your head goes low, it's terrible. How bad, and the symptoms that show, depend on your individual physiology, but it should be obvious that humans are not meant to spend time with feet higher than head...
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Old 17-01-2020, 10:49   #9
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

When I visited the icebreaker Fram in Oslo, I was curious about why some of the officers had very short beds in their cabins. I was told that some Norwegians prefer to sleep sitting up.

I googled "Sleeping while sitting" and there were a lot of articles.

FWIW...
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Old 17-01-2020, 10:59   #10
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

i like the settee cause the vee ain't big enough for 2
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Old 17-01-2020, 12:41   #11
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsyspirit View Post
We am a new members to the cruisers forum. We sailed our boat from Lake Superior to Florida last year for the first time. I did not have any trouble with seasickness nor vertigo sleeping in the v-berth. This year we chose to take the aft quarters and sleep starboard to port. Iím having vertigo. I think this may be related. I havenít found information relating the two and am looking for information about sleeping orientation. Thank you all in advance
The most stable quarter on a boat is in the amidships location (usually the salon) in a forward-aft direction, particularly enroute offshore.

My crew of four slept throughout the boat positioning for passage to Hawaii. Preparing for offshore, the forward stateroom was used for storage and everyone slept in the salon in shifts.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~
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Old 17-01-2020, 12:45   #12
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

Depends whether you are Male or Female!!

Sleep on the sole over the center of gravity in a fore and aft direction . Best I find is head first. Lack of fluids also does not help. I get Vertigo on busses but sleep like a log on a boat if I get the right spot. Mike Pope
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Old 17-01-2020, 13:19   #13
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

With an athwartship berth in an aft quarter cabin, you got to sleep with your head UP and sometimes you gotta shift to the other side if the boat tacks. Sorry if it sounds stupid to even comment on this, but literally a few years ago I had a guy with me who was sleeping head down and he woke up with an enormous headache. Personally Id rather sleep as far as far aft as possible. Less motion
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Old 17-01-2020, 16:54   #14
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

Possibly you are closer to the engine space--and thereby hangs a tale--
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Old 17-01-2020, 16:59   #15
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Re: Sleeping position in a sailboat

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Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
IMHO, athwartships berths are just a stupid idea; especially those that are cramped underneath a cockpit. They were designed to increase space in the main cabin area or elongate cockpits.

Without knowing your specific boat, I would guess the reason for your vertigo could be even the slight rolling motion of the boat, or it could be due to the more confined space typical of aft athwartship berths.
I would only put people I hate in the V berth forward. And I don't associate with any lawyers, so it's just used for storage at sea. My second favorite torture chamber would be an athwart bunk.

The best place to sleep is in the main cabin, in a berth aligned with the boat's direction (not athwart), on the "downhill" (downwind/leeward) side, with your head as close to the center of lateral resistance as possible (that's the point with the least dynamic movement). Fortunately, my bunks are set up just like that. But since much of seasickness is psychological, whatever works for you is best. Claustrophobia seems to be a factor for some people, so an area with more room might be better.

During periods of acute seasickness, try breathing in and out of a plastic or paper bag. Increased CO2 seems to help some people (it's an old trick for airsickness.) It definitely helps reduce diaphoresis -- that sweaty feeling you get before you vomit. If it doesn't work, well, you've got the bag right there ready to go...

If your cabin can accommodate it, try stringing a hammock strung fore to aft - the boat rolls but you don't. It's an ancient solution (saves space too).

For greenhorn crew, I earnestly tell them check the bilge every 5 minutes for signs "the boat is sinking" and the engine room for fire - around bedtime, until they get sleepy and stop talking about being sick. Fear and a sense of purpose is a great distraction from seasickness. Ever notice how, in a serious storm, no one with anything to do ever gets sick?

Otherwise, sleep in the cockpit so the cockpit drains can clean up the mess - and there's plenty of fresh air.
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