© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Hunter Sleep Problems
Human     and     Animal     Sleep Rhythms, and Alertness: Hunters    should    adjust    their internal    awake    fullness    clock t   o   maximum         success.         The human   body   begins   to   enter sleep   in   response   to   increased melatonin,    which    is    released the       hypothalamus       gland, which        is        governed        by decreasing      sunlight.      In      a natural    world    life,    circadian rhythms   would   be   controlled sun   light.   However,   we   human have   altered   our   rhythms   through   use   of   artificial   light.   We   stay   up   later   and   arise earlier.    More    importantly    for    hunters,    people    whose    circadian    sleep    cycles    are controlled   by   artificial   light   do   not   see   melatonin   blood   levels   recede   to   daytime   levels until   for   an   hour   or   so.   That   means   these   hunters   are   still   mentally   awakening   and   not at full cognitive capacity. So   what   happens   when   hunters   go   afield   and   have   to   adjust   to   natural   sleep   patterns? Dr.   Kenneth   P.   Wright   is   Director   of   the   Sleep   and   Chronobiology   Laboratory,   University of   Colorado.   He   made   a   study   of   eight   healthy   (biologically   normal)   adults   who   wore electronic   “activigraph”   monitors   for   a   week.   Then   the   group   went   camping   for   a   week. Absolutely    no    artificial    light    was    allowed    while    camping.    There    was    just    sunlight, moonlight   and   stars.   The   study   found   that   with   as   short   a   time   as   a   week,   the   campers had    adjusted    their    biologic    melatonin    release    sleep/awake    cycles    to    nearly    perfect synchronization with sunset. The   importance   to   hunters   is   that   the   decrease   in   melatonin   occurred   an   hour   earlier   in the   morning.   (See   Book   recorded   example   of   a   heartbeat   morning   slow   increase.)   Isn’t that    when    hunters    should    go    afield    totally    alert    to    encounter    AND    BE    TOTALLY COGNIZANT of all forest conditions? Now    consider    that    nocturnal    animals    wake    up    with    the    sunset    and    increasing melatonin.   The   game   slowly   enters   activity   periods.   Hunters   should   do   their   utmost   to keep   vigilant   during   dusk.   Conversely,   heavily   overcast   days   will   cause   animals   to   arise from   day   beds   earlier,   so   get   to   your   stand   and   well   settled   earlier   in   the   afternoon   than normal . Dreams of Suffocation and Hallucinations: Be prepared for some different sleep effects. Many people have vivid dreams or feelings of being gagged or suffocated. Hallucinations may occur between the sleep to wakefulness transition. You may experience Cheyne Stokes Syndrome (periodic breathing rate changes) at higher altitudes. This is a form of sleep apnea. A person takes several deep breaths followed by shallow breathing. Typically, there may be 5-15 seconds of no breathing. During the shallow/no-breathing phase, the body’s oxygen level drops. The pituitary gland and heart electrical nodes send signals to increase oxygen, resulting in a deep, fast lung breathing reaction. The low oxygen level induces sleep arousals. You therefore will not get enough long-period deep sleep (REM). Mornings will find you “groggy” and tired. Practice deep breathing when you awaken at night or during the day. It quickly lowers the blood carbon dioxide level and increases blood oxygen concentration. Sleep Warning: Never go to higher altitudes in the wilderness to sleep if you are already experiencing any kind of altitude sickness. Wait to see if you acclimate, or the condition gets worse and you must leave. Please see the webpage sections on adjusting to high altitudes and the effects of poor sleep on hunting success. Hunters May be Affected by the Moon (But may not Realize It): Do you think you are always truly attentive? Notice the full moon in the photograph? Elk and deer (and probably all animals) behave differently during fall full moon periods. More importantly, there is evidence that humans (that includes hunters) are similarly genetically wired to abnormal activity during full moons. It seems epigenes developed thousand of years ago on our genomes during Fall end-of-harvest full moon celebrations. There were some heck of wild celebrations to mark the end of harvesting and the oncoming winter. Our bodies still genetically respond to those ancient times. During fall full moons we get less total sleep, and the sleep we do get is not as deep nor refreshing. Recent sleep study science disclose that after many centuries, we humans are still “sleeping off” a time-distant party. Nocturnal Cramps - Hydration, New Physical Movements and Age: Cramps may be a nuisance to hunters who do not keep hydrated and intake enough (but not too much) liquids with mineral electrolytes. Cramps occur because of unusual over exertion that build up lactic acid in muscles, over-stretching muscles during exercise, nutritional imbalance, low muscle-need minerals, dehydration from sweating or taking some medications (like diuretics or statins), long term physical inactions (including sitting), illness caused by a circulation problem, diabetes, or hypothyroidism, and (you can guess it) old age. [70% of people over 50 experience nocturnal cramps.] Getting one or more leg cramps in elk camp is a harbinger of hunting problems the next day. Try these remedies: extend your limb as soon as the cramp occurs and massage the affected muscle. You need to increase body circulation to decrease the lactic acid in your muscle. Stand and carefully walk, especially on your tip toes. For severe cramps, initially apply heat followed by cold when the spasm subsides. You must maintain uniform uptake of these minerals for proper muscle function with increased exercise, such as hunting. Sodium 1,500 mg, magnesium 420mg/men and 320mg/women, potassium (4,700mg) and calcium (1,00mg). Take a daily vitamin supplement, and adjust your food to include potassium- rich bananas and cantaloupe. Stretch your muscles mornings and before bedtime. Sleep on your side if possible, to relieve muscle tension and increase blood flow. If somehow you get a cramp while walking, keep carefully walking to maintain maximum blood flow and elimination of lactic acid. Degenerative disk disease is the normal deterioration of spinal disks with age. Little blood is circulated near the disc, so any injuries have a difficult time regenerating. The best advice is not to do spontaneous do things that strain and injure the discs. A first indication of back problems is “funny” feeling in your thighs and legs. That indicates a pinched sciatic nerve and elementary disk damage. [Please cruise the section in “Hunter Health and Welfare” on how to protect your back from short and long-term injury.]
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Hunter Sleep Problems
Human    and    Animal    Sleep    Rhythms,    and Alertness: Hunters    should    adjust    their    internal    awake fullness     clock     to     maximum     success.     The human     body     begins     to     enter     sleep     in response    to    increased    melatonin,    which    is released   by   the   hypothalamus   gland,   which   is governed   by   decreasing   sunlight.   In   a   natural world     life,     circadian     rhythms     would     be controlled   by   sun   light.   However,   we   human have    altered    our    rhythms    through    use    of artificial    light.    We    stay    up    later    and    arise earlier.   More   importantly   for   hunters,   people whose   circadian   sleep   cycles   are   controlled   by artificial    light    do    not    see    melatonin    blood levels    recede    to    daytime    levels    until    for    an hour   or   so.   That   means   these   hunters   are   still mentally   awakening   and   not   at   full   cognitive capacity. So   what   happens   when   hunters   go   afield   and have   to   adjust   to   natural   sleep   patterns?   Dr. Kenneth   P.   Wright   is   Director   of   the   Sleep   and Chronobiology      Laboratory,      University      of Colorado.   He   made   a   study   of   eight   healthy (biologically      normal)      adults      who      wore electronic   “activigraph”   monitors   for   a   week. Then    the    group    went    camping    for    a    week. Absolutely   no   artificial   light   was   allowed   while camping.   There   was   just   sunlight,   moonlight and   stars.   The   study   found   that   with   as   short a   time   as   a   week,   the   campers   had   adjusted their   biologic   melatonin   release   sleep/awake cycles   to   nearly   perfect   synchronization   with sunset. The     importance     to     hunters     is     that     the decrease     in     melatonin     occurred     an     hour earlier    in    the    morning.    (See    Book    recorded example      of      a      heartbeat      morning      slow increase.)   Isn’t   that   when   hunters   should   go afield     totally     alert     to     encounter     AND     BE TOTALLY COGNIZANT of all forest conditions? Now   consider   that   nocturnal   animals   wake   up with   the   sunset   and   increasing   melatonin.   The game   slowly   enters   activity   periods.   Hunters should   do   their   utmost   to   keep   vigilant   during dusk.    Conversely,    heavily    overcast    days    will cause   animals   to   arise   from   day   beds   earlier, so   get   to   your   stand   and   well   settled   earlier   in the afternoon than normal . Dreams of Suffocation and Hallucinations: Be prepared for some different sleep effects. Many people have vivid dreams or feelings of being gagged or suffocated. Hallucinations may occur between the sleep to wakefulness transition. You may experience Cheyne Stokes Syndrome (periodic breathing rate changes) at higher altitudes. This is a form of sleep apnea. A person takes several deep breaths followed by shallow breathing. Typically, there may be 5-15 seconds of no breathing. During the shallow/no-breathing phase, the body’s oxygen level drops. The pituitary gland and heart electrical nodes send signals to increase oxygen, resulting in a deep, fast lung breathing reaction. The low oxygen level induces sleep arousals. You therefore will not get enough long-period deep sleep (REM). Mornings will find you “groggy” and tired. Practice deep breathing when you awaken at night or during the day. It quickly lowers the blood carbon dioxide level and increases blood oxygen concentration. Sleep Warning: Never go to higher altitudes in the wilderness to sleep if you are already experiencing any kind of altitude sickness. Wait to see if you acclimate, or the condition gets worse and you must leave. Please see the webpage sections on adjusting to high altitudes and the effects of poor sleep on hunting success. Hunters May be Affected by the Moon (But may not Realize It): Do you think you are always truly attentive? Notice the full moon in the photograph? Elk and deer (and probably all animals) behave differently during fall full moon periods. More importantly, there is evidence that humans (that includes hunters) are similarly genetically wired to abnormal activity during full moons. It seems epigenes developed thousand of years ago on our genomes during Fall end-of-harvest full moon celebrations. There were some heck of wild celebrations to mark the end of harvesting and the oncoming winter. Our bodies still genetically respond to those ancient times. During fall full moons we get less total sleep, and the sleep we do get is not as deep nor refreshing. Recent sleep study science disclose that after many centuries, we