Why is Sleep Important?

There is a lot more to getting effective quality sleep at sea than just the right sleeping bag. Here is where we discuss those issues and share tips

Why is Sleep Important?

Postby OSmod » 14 Mar 2011 23:34

Sleep is not just a safety issue, sleep has a dramatic impact on our body's composition, performance, emotional and physical health. Sleep is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills.

Lack of sleep has serious effects on our brain's ability to function. Without sleep we become grumpy, groggy, irritable and forgetful, concentration becomes more difficult and attention span shortens considerably. With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, innovative and flexible thinking, planning and sense of time is severely affected and practically shuts down.

Sleep-deprived individuals often have difficulty in responding to rapidly changing situations and making rational judgements.
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Sleep is vital to sailing performance

Postby OSmod » 14 Mar 2011 23:36

Six hours of continuous sleep is considered to be the physiological minimum per day, and most adults require seven and a half hours. The demands of high-performance off-shore sailing particularly solo or short handed, means the normal sleep-wake rhythm is not possible and sailors must frequently work for extended work rarely having the opportunity to catch up on sleep.

Our ability to perform active tasks with low mental demands, especially those involving light physical activity are relatively unaffected by lack of sleep. However, more routine or monotonous tasks involving long periods of passive monitoring and high mental demands, exactly the demands of off-shore sailing, are the type of tasks that are substantially affected by lack of sleep.
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