[CQ-Contest] 1999 CQ WW and sleep deprivation

S Cooper coopersg at odl.co.uk
Wed Dec 1 12:57:52 EST 1999

I was interested in Fred's (K3ZO) comments on sleeping plans, and trying to
make it through 48 hours of a CQ WW event in one piece. For what it's worth,
I didn't really manage this year. I slept from 2100 until 2300 on the Friday
evening, then ran all the way through until 0300 on the Sunday morning, and
felt quite good too. I then set the alarm for 0430, which I figured would
give me that magic 90 minutes, which has worked for me in the past.
Unfortunately I over-slept, and woke at 0530, with alarm radio still
blaring. When I woke I was completely 'knackered', and totally incapable of
anything. I had forgotten what function key did what, and I could only read
a maximum of 3 letters of cw before I had to reset my head and ask for a
repeat. This was serious, and it actually takes a little bit of courage to
say it like this. I actually thought I had done myself some damage
(mentally). I apologise to those who worked me who thought I had completely
lost the ability to read CW - I had! I am diabetic, and I now wonder if what
had actually happened was not so much a 'bad sleep management' situation,
but more like a bad 'blood sugar management' situation, which it was not
possible to recover from without more sleep. Also interesting that Fred
mentions coffee consumption. I lived on the stuff, and consumed about 3 - 4
pints of it. As a result I also spent a great deal of time at the toilet!
So all in all, my antennas survived the 60mph+ gales on Sunday, the
equipment survived the hammering, and I failed miserably!! I would be
interested in communicating with other diabetic ops, who have managed to
control their bodies throughout the 48 hours of a contest weekend with no
serious side effects, other than tiredness.
Apart from all that I thought it was an amazing event. Great fun to be part

Stewart GM4AFF

PS. For the benefit of anyone in Australia who reads this - it is not a
winge - just comments upon lessons learnt!

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