Mar 212013
 

Daily Update 4.7 Week 8: Module 4: Date 3/21/13 Now that we have learned a bit about sleep let’s look at how the crew is dividing their time. The following excerpt is from Adam.  In it he is describing the sleep schedule used on the training row around Vancouver Island: The sleep protocol we used was modeled after the highly successful ‘everyman’ polyphasic sleeping schedule which was developed through empirical means from online forums.  One larger 4-hour sleep period is mandated every 24 hours with 3 evenly space 1-hour mandatory sleep segments throughout the day. Slide 46 (attached) gives a good visual.  ‘Rest’ is optional sleep. ‘Sleep’ is mandatory sleep. ‘Row’ is obviously when we were on deck & rowing. SleepSlides.046 As mentioned earlier this schedule is from the training row around Vancouver Island but is similar to the one that they are using now.  Polyphasic sleep is a schedule where you sleep for a short time during the night and take a number of naps during the day. This schedule has a number of different iterations consisting of a varying number of naps and different lengths of sleep at night. 2_mans These schedules are intended to have less total time sleeping with more of your time sleeping in the REM stage. The theory behind this is that during REM sleep your body gets the most rest so if you can spend more of your sleeping time in REM then you can sleep for less time during a 24 hour period. Most of the information on polyphasic sleep is anecdotal with little empirical research devoted to it. This schedule works really well for the crew due to the fact that they are rowing non-stop and they have an altered sleep schedule. The impact of this sleep schedule on their physical output is not yet understood. This is why they are participating in research on sleep and fatigue designed by the Center for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary, AB. This study will investigate the sleep and recovery impact of the sustained high-volume physical output needed to accomplish the demands of the CWF Africa to Americas expedition. This research will be breaking a bit of new ground.  While there have been studies on sleep deprivation and altered sleep schedules and on the effects of physical activity on sleep, there has been very little on the combination of these effects. The crew will be wearing Fatigue Science wristwatch-style ReadiBand™ physiological activity sensors throughout the expedition to track sleep quality, quantity, and cognitive ability in relation to daily sleep patterns. readiband-lrg The rowers will be asked to complete three specific web-based questionnaires – Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ), Hooper McKinnon Questionnaire, Karolinska Sleepiness Scale – at key times during the day. With this information the study will track individual cumulative wakefulness, total sleep time, and cognitive effectiveness scores, in addition to collecting subjective individual physical and cognitive performance metrics.  By objectively and subjectively measuring the rowers’ sleep-wake patterns before, during, and after the expedition, this research will provide new understanding of the links between sleep restriction and fatigue on cognitive and physical performance in endurance-rowing athletes. This seems like a very select group of people, but as with many scientific experiments the data collected may contribute to many other studies and add to the general understanding of sleep and how it affects us. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphasic_sleep http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=Everyman%20Sleep%20Schedule http://dustincurtis.com/sleep.html

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