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Sleeping in the Woods

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Sleeping in the Woods

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:32 pm

How many of you get better sleep in the woods than back in the world? :boring:
Does the pressure of work, daily stresses keep you awake a lot of nights? Do you
sleep longer or just get a better quality of sleep in the woods? Do any of you not
sleep well in the backcountry because of the elevation or the intense hiking during
the day? Does it get better the longer your out? Has age changed your sleeping
times while out backpacking?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:04 pm

When I was a kid, I slept very poorly in the mountains and I ate pretty poorly. As I got older my sleep improved (my high country appetite similarly grew), partly because of efforts to make things more comfortable--this included bring the self (or nearly so) inflating pad and getting very serious about engineering my pillow. I think that from about age 25 to age 45 I slept nearly as well on backpacking trips as at home. Starting at about age 45 my back started becoming more sensitive to sleeping on a relatively hard substrate, even if I was on a 2" + Big Agnes pad. I sleep like a rock for about 5-6 hours but the back is really aching by about 7 or a bit more and I have a real hard time getting to 8 hours of good sleep in my bag on the pad. There is a little trick I use to elevate beneath one or two knees which tends to make my back feel better and I'm starting to experiment with this in the backcountry (did it on family backpacking trip and it seemed to help). At home I sleep much better because I have some serious padding on my mattress. If I car camp and use the car camp pump-up mattress (twin size--the cheapie kind you can get at Target), it has more than a foot of lift and it is really comfy. In those situations (when I'm teaching my field classes, for example), I sleep as well in my tent as I do at home. There is little doubt that I've become less Klingon as I got older.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby Jimr » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:49 am

I never slept well in the field. Mostly aches and pains associated with sleeping on hard ground. A couple of years ago, I replaced my old 1980's (or 1890's) Thermarest with a new one, going from 1" of lift to about 2.5" lift and sleep better. I also did a lot of cowboy style sleeping under the stars when I was younger. I now appreciate a tent more. It allows me to sleep without a beanie over my face.
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:12 am

I do not sleep well, either in town or in the mountains. I do not worry about it. After a few nights of poor sleep, I finally have a good night's sleep. I sleep MUCH better in the mountains if I use ear plugs. I am also light sensitive, so do not sleep well on full moon nights. I pull my stocking cap down over my eyes! I also sleep poorly if conditions are either too warm for my sleeping bag rating, or too cold.

It is my hypothesis that back sleepers do better, because the sleeping bag and shape of sleeping pads seem to be designed for sleeping on your back. I am a fetal-position side sleeper. I wish someone would design a sleeping pad for us!

I find that aches and pains are not due to sleeping on hard ground - rather are a residual effect of a hard days travel and by about midnight, they seem to go away. As I get older, I usually take two Advil and a Benydryl before bed every night (I am slightly allergic to down and get really stuffed up at night without the allergy medicine).

It is hard to sleep well on a totally flat or convex surface. I sleep best if I find a site that has a concave "hole" for my hips.

I think I actually get more sleep that I think. Especially as days get shorter and evenings get colder, I am in the sleeping bag 10- 12 hours. A lot of those hours are awake, but then, I probably have as many hours sleeping as I do at home when I am in bed only 7-8 hours.
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby markskor » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:38 am

Probably the odd man out but...
I sleep better in the wilderness; I feel better in the wilderness, and I smile more too.
Funny, Mike and I had this same conversation just a week before when up at Royce Lakes.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:53 am

I sleep just as well in the wilderness as I do at home, maybe better. There's something about hearing the wind in the trees, being warm in my bag yet cold "outside" that makes for a peaceful rest.
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Hi WD,

Some backpacking friends of mine who had the same issues with regular sleeping
bags changed over to quilts and swear by them now, try:
http://www.nunatakusa.com/site07/main_p ... ystems.htm

Also check into Montbell sleeping bags that incorporate stretch and elastic properties
that may give you a more comfortable nights sleep:
http://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?p=all&cat_id=5

Also newer company has addressed this issue to:
http://www.nemoequipment.com/shop/sleeping-bags/
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby longri » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:58 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:I am also light sensitive, so do not sleep well on full moon nights. I pull my stocking cap down over my eyes!

A re-examination of old sleep-study data shows that people don't sleep as well around the time of a full moon. The interesting thing is that the people in the study could not see the moonlight. So it suggests that we have an internal clock that is synchronized to the moon through moonlight but that continues even in the absence of the light. If this is true then pulling your stocking cap down won't completely solve your moon problem.

http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavi ... %99s-sleep

When the researchers investigated how sleep patterns changed during moon cycles, they found a striking association between poor sleep and lunar cycles. In the few days before and after a full moon, people took an average of 5 extra minutes to fall asleep, slept 20 minutes less per night, and had 30% less deep sleep, as measured by the EEG. Moreover, the volunteers recorded poorer sleep on a survey around the full moon, the scientists report online today in Current Biology....

Because the subjects couldn’t see the moon, increased light levels aren’t producing the effect, at least not entirely. It’s more likely influenced only in a small part by light or other external factors, and maintained through internal hormones, like people’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycles, which persist even in the absence of light or darkness, Cajochen speculates. “In terms of the lunar cycle, light could be important to synchronize this biological clock with environmental stimuli,” Cajochen says. “But the clock itself then continues on independent of light.”
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:47 am

Like WD, I probably sleep more than i think i do. I sleep better when it's really cold. I tend to sleep lightly, so any noise (think Sasquatch) will wake me up. Wind actually is beneficial to my sleep. Heat just sucks; there will be no sleep. I do tend to toss and turn and prefer not to be on my back.

As far as the Lunar cycle goes, that just means gravity is at play and maybe not so much the light. Although some do actually open their eyes when sleeping. I do the pull down of the beanie at night as well, because when you do wake up during the night and your tent is lit up from the Moon, it's hard to get back into sleep mode.

Russ
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby longri » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:27 pm

rlown wrote:Wind actually is beneficial to my sleep.

This is true for me too provided it's mine and not my tentmate's.
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:39 pm

We both sleep better in the woods, or in our cabin, than we do in our bed in our house in town.

it's quieter, darker...and more peaceful. We also nap better there!
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Sleeping in the Woods

Postby Vaca Russ » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:50 am

I sleep better in a real bed with my #1 Girl. :D

We do have a sleeping difference. You can rarely find a surface to pitch your tent that is absolutely flat. There is usually a slight slope. How do you prefer to sleep? Do you prefer your head up the slope, or down slope?

Thanks,

-Russ
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