You’re bugging out; you packed all night and hit the edge of town as the first light is glimmering over the horizon. Your family, exhausted, clinging to what they felt was most important, are drifting off in the back seat. You’ve got at least two hours to your best friend’s acreage, and that’s if all the bridges are intact between here and there.* You also realize you’re probably not going to get a nap before the sun is setting again.
You make it to your bug out location. As usual the place is a bit of a mess. Your friend works a job that takes her out of town for 5 days out of 7. She does manage to keep the place sanitary, but there’s no mistaking that part of the house is under construction. It takes all day to unpack the car and get every one settled. The traffic on the usually deserted road is getting noticeably heavier. You know you should set a watch, but everyone is too exhausted. You settle for alarms at 3 hour increments and try to get some sleep.
The riots in the big cities have been raging for days now. You and your husband have been keeping a watch rotation at night, each of you taking half. 4.5 hours of sleep isn’t much, but you can remember living on that during the baby years, so you try not to dwell on it. Your friend is due back to night. You hope she makes it back, there are reports that rioters have come close to airports. 3 adults will mean more sleep, but just the thought makes your body ache, so you try not to dwell on it.
We’ve all been there, right? It doesn’t even have to be TEOTWAWKI, working multiple jobs, working night shifts, poor sleeping environment, there is a long list of things that can keep a person from getting the proper amount of sleep.
What’s a prepper to do? Make sure you have ways to counteract it, in your preps.
Caffeine – Yea, a no brainer. If you can ensure a coffee supply, or tea those are probably best. If you try to store something like a soda or energy drink, you’ve got to deal with the weight of all the water, and that’s no ideal for the obvious reason. Caffeine gum could be an option, for short term uses, I would bet it doesn’t store really well though. The military has a version of course, but with 100mg of caffeine per piece, I would say use with caution.
If you’ve got a kid on ADD medication, pop one of two of their Adderall or Ritalin for some focus assistance. Or skip the kids stuff and go straight to an amphetamine. I wouldn’t know how to get something like that, but what you do in your free time is your own business. (Do we have any American Apocalypse readers? I have to admit, that’s probably where this idea came from.)
Food is a must. If you body is short on sleep, it’s going to demand more fuel to stoke the furnace. You’ll probably need more than 2000 calories, maybe as much as 3000 if you’re doing hard labor on top of the sleep deprivation.
Protect against extreme temperatures. Sleep deprivation will make you more susceptible to heat injury and cold injury. Work with a buddy, or set safety alarms to remind you to take breaks.
This sleep deprived mama is headed to bed. Leave your thoughts in the comments. Got a good strategy? We’d love to hear it.
– Calamity Jane
*You’ll have to forgive my angry grumblings, Iowa is 47th in the nation for the state of its bridges. Literally. As judged by people who would know.