This is something that I have thought about quite a lot. Sleeping when it hits. Weird thing to think about, because sleep tends to come naturally in everyday life. But when something catastrophic actually happens, will sleep (and being awake when required) actually come naturally?
Consider a disaster scenario… let’s just run with the aftermath of a hurricane. Your local world is in complete disarray, a state of emergency has been declared, people who haven’t prepared are out on the streets in droves taking whatever they want from anyone who is unable to defend themselves. You have 2 adults, maybe 3 or 4, working together to share resources that you’ve both stocked up on and to provide general support for each other.
When do you sleep? If you are lucky enough to have at least one other adult with you this means you CAN sleep. The big issue is are you ABLE to sleep? With so much going on around you, will your fears allow you to sleep? The answer is a bummer. No. You will not be able to sleep. You will stay awake long hours and will have trouble falling into a slumber even when your body is screaming at you to let it rest!
So what do you do? Buy sleep aids. When your body tells you “I MUST SLEEP TO CONTINUE FUNCTIONING PROPERLY!” you need to listen. Even if that means taking a pill. It is during sleep that the body regenerates itself, the brain stores memories, and your muscles rebuild. Sleep is most definitely important!
The other adults you are working with will wake you up if required for safety reasons. You have chosen certain other people to associate with during this type of disaster. You did not choose them because they are incapable of assisting you and holding their own while you rest. You chose them because they are fully capable individuals. Rely on them and get some shut eye. If you do not rest enough, you will not be able to function properly. This can mean missed shots, missed opportunities, and bad decisions. All of which can kill you in a SHTF scenario.
What about staying awake? Caffeine. Many drug stores carry caffeine pills, which have about the same amount of caffeine as a home brewed cup of coffee. Buy a few bottles when they go on sale and keep them in handy locations (your medicine cabinet, your bug out bag, etc.). When you absolutely need to be awake, take one. If you don’t need to be awake, in all reality, REST. Rest and full blown REM sleep are so important to bodily functions it’s not even funny.
Be prepared for needing to sleep when you feel like you can’t, and needing to stay awake just another hour or two when you feel overly tired. Both scenarios will happen when SHTF, so prep for them now.