When the world is crumbling around you, sleep may not seem so important. However, if you don’t pay attention to your body and its needs, you’ll end up dehydrated, weakened and/or sleep deprived. And we can all agree that there’s not much you can do in this state!
In a SHTF emergency scenario, your health and the one of your family should be priority number one. Just think about it: there are no working hospitals around, no way to get to a pharmacy (or a location where to find drugs), and you must be wary of everything that moves around. This is not a scenario to be sick!
Not to mention that the symptoms of sleep deprivation include lack of focus and impaired performance. In an emergency, you need to be focused and sharp so you can always react in your best condition. If you have to go hunting, it will be difficult to focus and hit the target and if you will be involved in an attack, you’ll get tired faster.
As you can see, sleep deprivation is not something to toy with! But how are you going to catch some z’s when the apocalypse is upon you? Well, if you’re tired enough and the right conditions are met, the human body is capable of falling asleep in any situation. Just think about the way soldiers get their rest in an active war zone.
I talked with experts on both sides (sleep and combat) and I found four useful tips that will help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle during an SHTF situation.
Prevent Sleep Deprivation during an Emergency
#1: Prepare the Environment
According to the experts at TryMattress, the best environment for a restful sleep is dark, cold, and quiet. If you have the possibility to arrange such a place, you should be able to rest at least a few hours at a time.
This can be in a survival bunker, a cave (just make sure it’s not too humid), or even a deserted home. Still, make sure you are safe and no one will stumble upon you. If you are not alone, it’s best to take turns so you can all get some shut-eye.
#2: The Sleeping Surface
If you’re extremely tired, you will fall asleep even if you use a rock as a pillow. However, when you wake up, the effects of such a bed will definitely be there (back and neck pain, head pain, and stiffness).
To avoid such a cocktail of effects, try to think out of the box by using anything you have around to create some sort of mattress. If you’re lucky enough and you have straws handy, these will make for an amazing bed as they regulate your body temperature and offer an optimal surface for sleeping. But you can also use blankets, sleeping bags, wool, and other materials that have fibers.
However, you should avoid very soft surfaces or the ones that don’t offer any back support (a hammock for instance). These have the same effect as the rock pillow and, in time, you can develop back problems.
#3: Take Naps
You may not get a full night of sleep, but you will definitely find 20 minutes for a power nap during the day! So, if you feel like you’re starting to get tired and you’re losing focus, find a cozy space where light and sound won’t bother you, and take a nap.
Just make sure to make it short or otherwise you’ll be drowsy all day long! According to specialists, a power nap is just like a boost – you’ll wake up refreshed and energetic. However, if you sleep for more than 20 to 40 minutes, you’ll lose the benefits as the body will move forward to a deep sleep phase that requires more time to complete.
#4: Drink lots of Water
There will be a time when you can’t really sleep. Maybe you’re too anxious about everything that’s going around or you’re stressed out of your mind thinking about the future. In any case, there will be nights when, even if you have the time to sleep, you won’t be able to.
So, to avoid sleep deprivation, it’s important to keep hydrated by drinking water. It’s best to avoid caffeine and tea because these are stimulants and they will only get you more dehydrated and tired after a while. Another trick that works if it’s cold, is to do walks outside; the cold air will refresh your mind and thoughts in no time!
Guest Post: Written by Will at BlogOnDirt.com