(Ed. Note: Here’s another short article by a guest author to help start getting the content rolling again, but it does bring up a valid point. Without sleep, your body isn’t running at peak efficiency. Quite a bit of studies lately tell us getting enough sleep is more important than we probably think it is.)
You can stock your pantry up with supplies to last a lifetime, prepare the most foolproof defense plans, and train yourself skills any prepper would be proud of- but none of it will be worth a thing if you deny your body one of the core things it needs to function correctly: sleep.
Nearly one-third of our entire lives are spent asleep, and while that might sound like a surprisingly high statistic- sufficient sleep is a necessity for us to physically and mentally operate as we are supposed to.
We are all familiar with the out-of-body sensation of waking up in the morning and feeling as though you’ve barely slept at all; it’s not usually a very good kind of day that follows. Without enough sleep, we become irritable, stressed, unfocused, and in the worst case scenario, it can even cause us to become ill and eventually die. Yes, death from exhaustion is real, and it is nothing to sneer at.
In a survival situation, you’ll have enough things to worry about without and extra sleep-related problems, so do yourself a favor and make sure your plans take sleeping measures into account, be it where to sleep, sleeping times and lengths, or provisions like proper mattresses.
Let’s look a little further at why sleep is so essential for survival:
Sleep deprivation can affect your ability to carry out any and all tasks, whether physical or mental. I know what I’m like if I don’t get enough sleep and then have to face a full day at work; I don’t get half as much done as I usually would.
In a survival situation, deadlines, bosses, and promotional paths will be far from your mind- your problems will be of a totally different nature, and if you aren’t able to deal with these situations because you’re exhausted, the price you pay will be high.
When you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to work efficiently and carry out all of the tasks necessary for survival, from hunting and ensuring you have food to feed yourself and family, to building and maintaining your shelter.
2. Cognitive Function
When we are tired, our ability to focus decreases significantly- to the point where we almost can’t think at all. In a survival situation, you need to be smart, sharp, and alert at all times if you want to make it through, which means your greatest enemy might actually be sleep deprivation.
Now, we all lose focus at times- whether sleep deprived or not. The difference is that a brain that has had enough sleep is able to refocus and expand its attention span to get the job done, whereas a sleep-deprived brain can’t do this. The biggest pitfall of all is that the person who hasn’t had enough sleep will struggle to notice that they are falling behind at all…
3. Strength and Energy
The human body is like any other organism: what you get out of it is a direct result of what you put in. We could consider our strength as an ‘output’ of the body in this case, and things like nutrients, water, sleep as the ‘inputs’ we need in order to produce the outputs.
Our body’s strength is a direct product of what we give ourselves, and sleep is a key factor here. When we sleep, our muscles are able to rest and repair from the labor we put it through during the day. If we don’t give our body this time to recover, our strength and our related ability to conduct physical activity fail.