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I have to be smart with my time. I'm doing a shoot that requires me to work straight through saturday night into the morning, the same for Sunday and then be back first thing Monday morning.

I will be able to go off and take naps here and there but don't want to seem unavailable on set.

I'm dreading it and was wondering if anyone's got any good ideas on how I can manage this.

Does anyone have any good methods of managing sleeping patterns when a situation like this arises.

I also understand that there are durations of sleep that might not be good e.g. sleeping past a certain duration and passing into beta state which apparently releases sleep hormone into the body that leaves one drowsy.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

well i have been in this situation sometimes because of deadline at my job. so these are the things that i find it best.

1) practically speaking 15 -30 min nap are really good in this situation when your mind is half awake and half asleep. i must say sleeping beyond that will not be of much help in your situation. set a alarm in the situation if you accidently fall in deep sleep.

2) for me the best way to keep drowsiness from taking over for two to three hours atleast even if i have not slept for over a day is to have fan blowing cold air directly over my back and my head , and me sucking hot tea.

3) boredom creeping will not help at any cost in your situation, try to keep things interesting that will defintely help and may have some adrenaline rush.

4) drink plenty and plenty of water.

5) eat less.

6) some chocolate may help. it works for me

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Having had to do this quite a few times I would agree with all of this and add two more activities- going for a regular walk or similar activity, and keeping a couple of tins of red bull ready for the moments you will slump! – Rory Alsop Oct 23 '12 at 19:43
THANKS SO MUCH GUYS! WONDERFUL ANSWERS! – Warren van Rooyen Oct 23 '12 at 21:13
+1 Hey, you described an alpha version polyphasic sleep :) You might be interested in some readings about that! – Gabber Oct 29 '12 at 17:16

Probably better not to try this without some practice first. But I have found fasting is the best way to remain alert and functional with no sleep. In fact, I have found I become more alert from the 24 hours fasted to 36 hours fasted. You avoid sugar crashes and highs, you become more alert, don't feel sluggish, don't get distracted with buying food or snacks.

Black coffee and water is required. I fast for different reasons now, but if I ever have to go without sleep for 36 hours or longer, I will always do it fasted.

A good place to start is Mark's Daily Apple, it has some good FAQs too.

For me, not sleeping is something we can all do, but what we really want is to remain as productive as possible while not sleeping.

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Cold showers are really handy if you can time them for those periods when you are really lagging...

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Just don't take any drugs! (Amphetamines will cause insomnia later!) Rest when you can on your breaks on Saturday. Then on Sunday take coffee later in the afternoon, or drink something like green tea. Doing something physical also helps.

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Avoid sugars, carbs, and heavy meals! Although you may feel strong and revitalized initally, in a few hours, you'll be kicking yourself afterwards as you'll constantly be battling sleepiness.

In the long run, you will be more productive if you sleep even for a few hours. With no sleep, you won't really be productive, be prone to mistakes, and be irritable to co-workers. If possible with your job, take turns with your co-workers sleeping on the set.

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