Sleeping stood up

Discussion in 'Military Discipline' started by dpcw, Nov 24, 2012.

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  1. Something that has been on my mind now since 1987 (slow thinker). Twice in basic training I fell asleep on my feet, not talking about eyes shutting for a few moments here, but deep real sleep without loosing my balance at all. First occasion was in Pipingford Park (spelling?), getting briefed or bollocked as a section, but was woken up by the training fullscrew who did not bollock me at all. Secound time was on the main gate, 1 hour and 50 minutes in March. I initailly went in the nice heated sentry box, realised I would be asleep quickly so stood outside on the road and promptly fell asleep, best stag I ever did as woke up just in time to be relieved and go inside for a kip on a bed.

    Regardless of the "you put everyone at risk stuff" as its stating the obvious really. If I had been caught, fast asleep on my feet, not leaning on anything and in about 2 degrees C, what would be the discipline point of view. Yes, it was a fair cop if caught - however being asleep on youir feet, outside in the cold to me means Exhaustion, which could be a dam good mitigating factor.

    Would be nice to know after all this time.
  2. How did you maintain your balance?
    You've either got enormous feet or you're incredibly rotund and weeble-like.
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  3. Not a clue how I remained stood up really - 6ft 2 size 11 feet, RA.
  4. I've done that too, probably 7 or 8 times in fact. For various durations up to just over two hours, without falling over. I put it down to some people just having good balance and can stand still, while other people are natural fidgets. At the last place I worked there was this 20 year old who I couldn't allow to use step ladders because he would fidget so such he often just fell off them. Yet I would regularly stand on the very top step on 10 and 12 tread steps, and even stand on one leg to show off! I sometime watch people in queues to spot others like me who actually stand and wait without moving their feet. There aren't many of us that's for sure. Most people just don't, or can't, stand still.

    As for falling asleep on duty, always remember to say "Amen" when you wake up, just in case anyone has noticed you sleeping. Then you can pretend you were praying and might get away with it.
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  5. Mmmm, eh? What? Sorry I fell asleep.

    Actually I once fell asleep on a night march on Salisbury plain and when I woke up we were back in Maidstone. I got some real shit off the blokes for snoring too.
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  6. Searching back through my hazy brain, I am sure there was once a LM doing the rounds from Bde Legal or similar putting out guidelines for Commanders when charging soldiers with sleeping on stag.

    I think this has come about because of a surge in guys being charged in theatre for sleeping on stag, because they were absolutely fragged out on the ground.

    The guidance, from what I can remember, just clarified some pretty common sense stuff - i.e. if a soldier was found asleep on stag after a 12 hour patrol and had genuinely just collapsed through exhaustion then that was a pretty good mitigating factor and COs should take that into account. Conversely, if a soldier was found asleep in a sangar in BSN, having taken his doss bag with him on stag, that was an aggrovating factor and the CO should punish accordingly.

    For what it's worth, if any soldier was found asleep standing up I'd be very surprised if it got to the CO's desk in the first place. Even if it did, as the OP says, the mitigating circumstances would be such that a much lighter punishment would be applied.
  7. Maybe those that can sleep standing up are reincarnations of horses???
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  8. You can fall asleep driving tanks pretty easily...
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  9. When I was a lot younger I read about a sort of zen sleeping that went something like - sit in a chair and hold a spoon in your hand, directly under your hand you should place a metal plate. Now when you fall asleep you will drop the spoon and it will hit the plate thus waking you up but the time between the drop and the hit is enough sleep to keep you going for a while.

    Well I tried various versions of this over the years and have to say it doesn't seem to work for me except when I do it standing up. Fall asleep while stood up and the time between falling asleep and falling over seems to help.
  10. Remember an old guardsman telling me of pre-WWII manoeuvres how they would take a rope and fasten it to trees in a wood, or, even better between uprights in a barn and the men would lean over the rope front facing, alternately, and sleep on their feet.
  11. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    I once fell nodded off while on a night march in Wales, woke up about 5 yards later with a start.
  12. Plead narcolepsy

  13. They did that in the Victorian London doss houses. Apparently it's where the term "dropping off" came from as people dropped off the rope when asleep. Learnt that on a Jack the Ripper walk.
  14. I can rember that a young bloke fell asleep in a sanger at a fob, so his cpl gave him extras, i'e more stags.
  15. I was going to say easily done when your commanding a 434, driver doesn't get chance to fall asleep or you just **** over his head...sorry i mean knock him awake with a big stick.