Sleep Deprivation

#1
I can find a million threads on the briefing press up test and the bleep test and sandhurst run times ect..... But I can not find a thread on sleep deprivation, which is funny since almost everything I read about RMAS repeatedly says the sleep deprivation is the worst bit of it all.

So the question is, can you prepare for sleep deprivation in any way? I was thinking attempting a bit of a camping trip with a few friends in which we aim for 3 hours sleep a night or something, just to get a taste of it, though I fear without a CSgt screaming at us we may simply sleep through alarms once we are tired enough. Any thoughts?
 
#2
I'd say that sleep deprivation is more of a temperament thing. I get quite ratty if I don't get enough sleep, furthermore the knowledge that others are getting more could make me jealous. Once I discovered these things, I was able to counteract it.

Not sure you need to train for it...
 
C

count_duckula

Guest
#3
Not really. I get really ratty as well, but the best thing to at least try and remember is everyone feels just as dog-shit rough as you do. Complaining about it just gets everyone down.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
There has been a lot of studies carried out and research published even during my service. I found the best way to deal withh it in training is to balance out the logic. Its only an exercise/training run etc and therefore will end in x days. Its not as if you are going to war. How that works out when you are on ops is different. I used to find counting down to planned return to base helped but sometimes you just cant get enough sleep.
Brecon used to be scary for lack of sleep until you realise that simulating routine on ops is difficult and you soon settle into short sleep patterns.
 
#5
I'd say that sleep deprivation is more of a temperament thing. I get quite ratty if I don't get enough sleep, furthermore the knowledge that others are getting more could make me jealous. Once I discovered these things, I was able to counteract it.

Not sure you need to train for it...
Totally agree except to say that physical fitness helps you deal with lack of sleep, as does simply being in a position of command or responsibility. Can't quite explain the last bit other than to say that if you know you are in charge and need to be the one taking the critical decisions, then it tends to give you a bit of inner strength allowing you to beat the tiredness; bit like the "leaders' lung", I suppose.
 
#6
Totally agree except to say that physical fitness helps you deal with lack of sleep, as does simply being in a position of command or responsibility. Can't quite explain the last bit other than to say that if you know you are in charge and need to be the one taking the critical decisions, then it tends to give you a bit of inner strength allowing you to beat the tiredness; bit like the "leaders' lung", I suppose.
There were trials conducted at Warminster during the seventies. An armoured Platoon in an NBC environment were the subjects... Once over a certain threshold military functions are not that seriously impaired. Side effects such sleep disturbance following the experience are long lasting. The younger soldiers are more prone to dropping off... Although training is not nescessary, prior experience on how to deal with it is an advantage.
 
#7
On Exercise you will be hanging out, very little sleep, puts you under similar sort of stress to Operations to see how you cope according to DS.

Back at camp, you will get used to 5-6 hours kip a night ime.
 
#8
As everyone has said, I don't think there is any point trying to "train" for it. Just turn up and deal with it like everyone else, whether in camp or on exercise.

I remember a visiting American General giving a presentation on Vietnam to the whole of our intake in a darkened lecture theatre (known as the concrete sleeping bag). At one point I woke up and looked around to find the General talking to several hundred sleeping Officer Cadets. I chuckled and went back to sleep.

Crikey we got beasted for that one!
 
#11
I remember a visiting American General giving a presentation on Vietnam to the whole of our intake in a darkened lecture theatre (known as the concrete sleeping bag). At one point I woke up and looked around to find the General talking to several hundred sleeping Officer Cadets. I chuckled and went back to sleep.

Crikey we got beasted for that one!
ISTR that we didn't. If that was the Kermit Roosevelt Lecture then CC951 slept right through it, as did the staff. You could tell by the way the audience progressively woke up during the applause at the end of the lecture.

Sleep deprivation is an unashamed RMAS technique. There's even a pre-exercise briefing for one of the more hellish ones in which they say; 'the aim of Part A of the exercise is to exhaust you so that we can have more fun assessing you in Part B.'
 
#12
You can't train for it. The idea of the sleep deprivation exercise (the digging in one - whatever it's now called) is that you keep digging through the night and into the next day - so no sleep. I remember seeing some pretty weird stuff (halucinations...) and you can't prepare - we were already probably on less that civvi amount of sleep per night, so on ex you reduce.

The digging in one tested everybody - can you go on patrol and sleep standing up? I did. Still function in a comd task? Again, most did.

And yes, an element of it can only last for the duration of the exercise...or worst case, it can only last for a year at RMAS!
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#14
The US army must have loads of trials info as they used amphetamine alot in vietnam etc - many armies have. I bet have have carried out hundreds of sleep deprivation trials of all types, no doubt ditto the Germans probably did and so have the British Army. You'd have to see what you ca naccess and how. Also when secretive stuff might become availabel. It would be interesting to some people. Good to know the limits of human body.
Yeah the space cadets.
 
#15
You can't train for it.
It depends on the individuals upbringing and circumstances. If you have never had less than your required eight hours under a quilt, with hot water bottle and central heating you will be in for a terrible shock finding yourself going as little as one night without sleep and being asked to carry out physical and mental tasks. You are in for a shock and will be at a disadvantage to your more robust peers. Just try going without sleep for one night to see how it feels.

On the other hand do not loose sight of the fact that Sandhurst is simply a Basic Training Establishment not SAS selection.
 
#16
As others have said, you can't prepare, but one tactic for dealing with it is to grab even short periods of sleep. I had always taken the "not worth going to sleep for less than an hour" view until I was on ex once and things so worked out that I could grab five minutes here, ten minutes there ... finished the exercise feeling fairly OK, despite not having a single extended (=60 min) period of sleep for three days.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#17
I can find a million threads on the briefing press up test and the bleep test and sandhurst run times ect..... But I can not find a thread on sleep deprivation, which is funny since almost everything I read about RMAS repeatedly says the sleep deprivation is the worst bit of it all.

So the question is, can you prepare for sleep deprivation in any way? I was thinking attempting a bit of a camping trip with a few friends in which we aim for 3 hours sleep a night or something, just to get a taste of it, though I fear without a CSgt screaming at us we may simply sleep through alarms once we are tired enough. Any thoughts?
You can train yourself to get down to about 4-5 hours of sleep a day. But I'm not sure what the longer term side effects are.
From personal experience, I've found being fit, eating sensibly and cutting down on the booze/caffine all help with good "sleep hygene"; so when you get time for sleep, the quaility of the sleep is higher.
Never underestimate the power of a combat kip. If you can get 20 mins of good quality shut eye, it works wonders.
 
#19
Thank you gentlemen, I had a feeling it would be one of those things you could not do much about since there was not a million threads on it.

I still think I will do a bit of a camping trip with the aim of as little sleep as possible. Just simply to get a feel for it, since it seems to be such a regulary used instrument to bludgeon cadets with.
 
#20
It's worth knowing how you feel when tired through sleep dep - but you also need to factor in the added pressure of being in command appointments, wanting to be "top of your game" while completely bollocksed. If you're working, maybe you should go to bed at 2am every day, wake up at 6am, run to work and then try not to bite everyone's heads off when they conduct normal business. If you want more pressure, you could wire yourself up to a car battery and electricute yourself every time someone asks you to do something. If you can survive this without having a complete SoH failure/being invited to leave the company, then you will probably ok. Don't forget, all training at RMAS is incremental. In the same way you don't march out of the gates on day 1 burdened with 200lb bergans and conduct 30 mile speed marches, neither will you be stretched to breaking point on sleep dep in wks 1-5. It will be tough, but it encourages team spirit - conducting Pl admin together, helping each other out to ensure everyone achieves max rest and then working as a team on the more tactical things will ensure you are best prepared for Ex LONG REACH (if it is still such at the end of wk5 - v v v long tab over Brecons over 36 hrs).

Enjoy!!
 

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