[CQ-Contest] Sleep deprivation

Bill Fisher - W4AN w4an at contesting.com
Sun Dec 5 09:15:37 EST 1999

Just some more thoughts...

I am not an expert in diet, but I do read about it and it is something I
think about seriously day to day as I also race bicycles.  A couple of
things that I found to be true FOR ME recently are...

1) Pure sugars cause me to have high high's and LOW lows.  This is true
for contesting or bicycle racing.  If I eat candy tonight, I guarantee
myself of having a crappy ride tomorrow.  

2) Caffeine does the same thing.  It makes you feel awake for ahwile, and
then when you stop taking it in, you feel worse.  It also makes it
impossible to fall asleep quickly or wake up on time.  Since removing
caffeine from my diet, I can go to sleep for 3 hours in a 48 hour contest
and wake up on que without an alarm clock.  Amazing really.

3) Best advice I can now give is to eat often in little amounts.  Don't
send your body timing signals.  You probably eat 2 or 3 squares a day.
Your body knows when it is time to eat and sleep I believe.  I start
eating snack meals on Friday.

4) I ride 200 to 300 miles per week normally.  When I go to bed at night I
am out within 60 seconds of hitting the pillow.  If I don't ride or
excercise for 2 days, it is impossible for me to go to sleep.  I use this
to my advantage.  The past two years I have skipped riding on Thursday and
Friday before the contest.  By Saturday I'm wired to go.

5) Again, getting 3 hours of sleep right before the contest is the single
most important thing you can do to stay awake 48 hours.  I wouldn't take
sleeping pills to do it though.

6) Drinking water seems to help me.  I think I read once that N6TJ keeps
the water flowing too.  It obviously has one bad side effect, but I think
clensing the system is important.

7) Stay relaxed.  The contest is 48 hours long.  It's a marathon not a
Sprint.  Jeff Steinman said someone said he sounded sleepy Friday night
during his CQWW SSB miracle operation at EA8BH.  ZD8Z and HC8A are also
guys I always note as sounding relaxed.  I'm not sure how Jose stays awake
for 48 hours.  He must have some form of shock being applied at regular
intervals.  :)  

8) re: carbos vs fats vs protein.  Proteins and fruits seem to work best
for me.  Combining fats and carbos (Pizza for example) is sure way to put
me to sleep.  The past two years I have avoided complex carbos (bread,
pototes, etc) completely.  Mostly I eat protein.  It seems to work fine
for me.  I also avoid fats, but this may not be a bad thing if you don't
have complex carbos.  Again... just my opinion.

I hope this helps someone.  This is certainly an interesting thing to
overcome.  I wish some other guys who routinely make it 48 hours would
post their thoughts.  I'm still learning.



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