Posted by: audaxing | August 3, 2019

PBP Sleeping top ten tips

Here are ten top tips:

1) Although you can’t “bank” extra sleep you can ensure before an event you have no sleep “debt”.  So get early nights in the days before the event

2) Some research shows that 1.5 hours of sleep in a bed is the minimum needed for REM and real actual sleep.  Personally, I feel about 2 hours is good.  I would aim to have a mini 3 hours “in hand” ahead of the time the control closes to eat and sleep and eat again and then get going.

3) Sleep in a bed is “worth more” than sleep on a garage forecourt/haystack/phone box.  So 30 minutes in a real bed beats an hour shivering on a bench.

4) Some people have a “low” point for sleep in the afternoon.  This would not normally affect you, but if you didn’t have enough sleep the night before…On PBP 2011 I took a nap for 15m at 3pm, worked great.


5) Caffeine and other stimulants work better if you lay off them beforehand.  About a week seems to be the minimum period for caffeine.   Caffeine is not an alternative to sleep 

Proplus time

Le Kreisker bar, Poullaouen
Le Kreisker bar, Poullaouen, stupid o’clock.  They have coffee!

6) Other ways to stay awake include putting in an effort ( adrenalin wakes you up ) or listening to loud music on an mp3.  And of course, talking to other riders

7) If you feel like you are about to fall asleep on the bike then a 10-minute nap will stop this dangerous occurrence.  You can do this in almost any circumstances as after 10 minutes you don’t cool down (much)

8) Space blankets and/or various portable sleeping bag things are often used.  On PBP 2007 I did all my sleeping (except 10 mins on a haystack) in a silk sleeping bag liner in the cafeterias at the controls.

9) If you are hallucinating then it is usually time for an impromptu sleep break.  With me, the road markings turn into little people.  Or I see people who aren’t there reflected in puddles.

10) If you are riding with a partner and they are faffing around or eating in a cafe or repairing their bike then use the opportunity to lie down and sleep

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