Dear Sea… don’t sway me! – how to deal with sleepiness on a yacht?

Although the landlubber associate the sea with a charming sway to sleep, enhanced by the soothing sound of waves hitting the shore, sleepiness on board is a very undesirable phenomenon. How to deal with sleepiness? We look for answers in the literature and memories of sailors, admiring their endurance.

Sailors have a lot of cunning “methods” for solo sailing. They have to deal not only with technical issues but also with their own stamina. This is about tiredness and sleepiness, when often forced by weather conditions they have to stay on their feet for long hours. It is they who are most affected by the problem of drowsiness. Lone sailors preparing for their next expedition – they can say a lot about the above. However, let the one who has never been caught up with the desire to put his head to a pillow or to stay in the so-called “stand by” for a while raise his hand ?. Sleepiness does not choose – whether it is a sea cruise or a holiday yacht charter.

According to the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, all vessels at sea must be under constant observation. Unfortunately, the theory remains the theory – the seabed is full of wrecks and, reading the memories of loners, we know that this is not always practised, for one reason or another. In principle, lonely sailing allows us to go under the deck in order to have a snack or to put a position on the map in the case of an empty circle. Whether alone or with the crew, the tiredness will certainly get us sooner or later. The easiest method is to go to sleep, but this does not solve the problem in the face of duties. There is no point in playing tough and staying on your feet at all costs, wanting to prove to someone (who and for what?) that we are unbreakable. Calmly, sleepiness gets everyone.

When you wake up, your body burns energy intimidatingly fast, especially when faced with stressful situations or responsible tasks. Rest of muscles and head is important. Eat when you are hungry, not when you should (this is advice for small crews, when you can simply arrange meal times, and this is not set by rigid rules). A responsible crew knows very well that maintaining a constant level of energy provided in food is important for maintaining mental and physical fitness. Alcohol, drugs or psychoactive substances will certainly not stimulate you. Also don’t drink fizzy drinks, as well as don’t eat greasy and strongly sweetened dishes . It is good to be able to use fresh products – vegetables and so on. Watches are inseparably associated with a cup of hot coffee – many cannot imagine standing on board without it. Yes, it will wake you up, but it will not necessarily stimulate you – the tension that accompanies responsibility combined with the action of coffee can lead to disturbances of cognitive processes (attention) and misjudgments of events. Nothing can replace sleeping, even special pills for sailors.

However, the greatest danger is standing on the helm to combat sleepiness. It is an exhausting activity, as is long driving. Much depends on the individual endurance of the body, but exhaustion in the long run can only be harmful. We know that it is impossible to “sleep out”, and short regenerative naps are also illusory, despite feeling well afterwards. After sleepless nights there is a trace left, unfortunately, the body remembers sleep deficits… I wish you consciousness of mind, body and spirit while sailing and above all responsibility and reason.Let the sea sway us when we can afford to succumb to its soothing properties.

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