So, how do we combat that constant companion? Several studies have been conducted on sleep deprivation and how it affects the body. There are stimulants available to combat sleep deprivation—some made from natural ingredients, others purely chemical based.
The most common of course is caffeine. It’s hard to drink a cup of coffee while tooling down the road, but slamming a cup when you stop for fuel is a viable option. There are also caffeine pills that you can take. Another is “Creatine” which may be a more effective nutrient than caffeine. It can give you a boost by replacing the phosphates in the brain—a lack of which leads to sleep deprivation. Others are Magnesium, Tyrosine and Phosphatidylserine. Some of these listed are active ingredients in “sports drinks” like Gatorade, Red Bull and that Monster drink. When all else fails… Try pickle juice!! (Yes… I said pickle juice.)
A point to make here is this. All the studies show many of the listed supplements (and others) are good for the short term, but all come with an assortment of side effects. Too much caffeine will have us bouncing off the walls and many of these others have the same effect. Too much of a good thing is often not so good. Every study of sleep deprivation had the same statement somewhere in the findings. “The best way to combat sleep deprivation is to get some sleep.”
|Catching a few hours of sleep eveyday during|
the Challenge will enhance your experience.
Cater to your need using a responsible approach. Riding straight for 48 hours may put you in the lead, but it will certainly substantially increase your risk of serious injury or death. As a Hoka Hey Warrior we approach life with honor, integrity, respect and wisdom. Which of these four attributes will you be willing to set aside to come in first place? Disclaimer here: I AM NOT saying those who come in first set any part of themselves aside to meet their goal—not saying that at all. It takes determination, fortitude, tenacity and courage to push your known limits. What I am saying is this: “Don’t push to such an extent that you are endangering yourself and others around you.” Many Hoka Hey riders will condition themselves over a period of months prior to leaving the Hoka Hey Challenge starting line. The biggest mistake you can make is to attempt to ride 1000 miles the first day of the Challenge when you have never before attempted anything close to that. If, during the Challenge, you push too hard and neglect the body’s need for sleep you will untimely slow yourself down and lose your edge—make a wrong turn and add hours to your day on the wrong road.
Remember the story from that great author Aesop about the Tortoise and the Hare? Hoka Hey Riders who reach their daily goal do so while riding steady with 3-4 hours of sleep each day.