The crossbow has an ancient and powerful history that dates back to as early as the 6th century B.C. According to The Huffington Post, the ongoing popularity of the crossbow today stems in part from their repeated use in films, video games and comic series. In this post, learn what the effects of lack of sleep on shooting a crossbow can be and how to avoid them.
But what makes the crossbow such an alluring weapon? In part it is because its use can be difficult to master. Certainly you need to understand how draw weight and arrow speed work together to ensure you hit what you aim for. Handling the crossbow also takes some getting used to, and requires precise balance, coordination and timing. For this reason, experts recommend never shooting a crossbow when you are distressed, distracted or sleep-deprived.
Just how dangerous is not getting enough sleep? According to WebMD, a lack of sleep has been cited in some of the most devastating disasters throughout history, from the Valdez oil spill to the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Every day, drivers fall asleep behind the wheel and cause accidents. In fact, health professionals state that driving while sleep deprived has about the same effect on the driver as driving while intoxicated. This is because, like drinking too much, sleeping too little impairs brain function, motor control and coordination. When you drive while fatigued, you are more prone to make bad, even lethal, choices.
The National Sleep Foundation outlines how too little sleep affects you on every level. Here is an overview of the changes that take place when you become sleep deprived.
- You are easily distracted.
- You find learning new things difficult.
- You are more forgetful.
- You find it difficult to make decisions.
- You don't feel alert or creative.
- You are more likely to become depressed or anxious.
- You suffer from mood swings.
- You can feel cranky and irritable.
- You feel like you have lost control of your own emotions.
- You feel stress more quickly and keenly.
- Your immune system functions less effectively.
- You look older (because sleep deprivation increases production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which ages skin).
- Your reaction times slow to the point where you might as well be drunk.
- You are more susceptible to heart disease and high blood pressure.
- You can't sense when you are hungry or full so you are at risk to gain weight.
While going even a single night without sufficient, restful sleep can cause a reduction in mental acuity, emotion regulation and physical health, it is when your sleep deprivation becomes a chronic state that you are most at risk.
But one thing all health experts agree on: the effects of lack of sleep on shooting a crossbow are such that trying to learn and master this type of precision skill while sleep deprived is a proven recipe for accidents and even disasters. For this reason, if you have not gotten sufficient sleep the night before, you should reconsider tackling riskier activities such as shooting a crossbow until you can catch up on your sleep first.
There are two facets to ensuring you are well-rested: getting enough sleep and getting good quality sleep. It is very possible to have one without the other.
For instance, if you have ever laid in bed all night long with your eyes shut but never felt like you really got restful sleep, you know that just the amount of time you sleep isn't enough. You need to get a certain type of sleep to begin your day feeling rested, refreshed and alert.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the amount of sleep you need will change depending on your age.
These guidelines are what the NIH/NHLBI recommends for different age groups:
- Infants. 16 to 18 hours.
- Toddlers. 11 to 12 hours.
- Children. 10+ hours.
- Teens. 9 to 10 hours.
- Adults. 7 to 8 hours.
- Elderly. 7 to 8 hours.
So here, you can see that, once you turn 20 years old, you should be consistently getting at least seven hours of sleep per night.
For every night you get less than seven hours of sleep, you accrue a "sleep deficit." So if one night you get six hours of sleep, this means you have a sleep deficit of one hour of sleep. Unfortunately, it isn't really possible to "make up" this sleep, since that is not the way the body and mind work.
For the best quality of sleep, you should always strive to sleep on a regular schedule that is in sync with your body clock and circadian rhythms and can be uninterrupted.
Psychology Today outlines two different types of sleep, each of which must be present and in sufficient quantities to result in good sleep. Both types can result in dreams and both dream types are beneficial.
These are the two sleep types:
- SWS (Slow Wave Sleep).
- REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
Dreaming is very important for sleep quality and learning, since this is when your brain processes, categorizes and organizes information you've taken in during the day.
This is also when your brain choose which information to keep and which to discard. So if you don't get enough sleep, your brain will begin to struggle to process the backlog of data, which plays its own part in reduced cognitive function upon waking. Understanding the effects of lack of sleep on shooting a crossbow can not only keep you safe, but can ensure no one else comes to harm as you are learning to shoot.