Tips for minimizing fatigue while attending Dreamforce

Dreamforce-Entrance

We are happy to hear that the Traction Bandits have rolled their Bandit Tour for Good safely into San Francisco, along with our own Fatigue Science duo and 110,000+ of their fellow cloud computing devotees. Now that Dreamforce has kicked off, it’s not likely that many will take our advice to get their 7-9 hours of sleep every night, so we have a few tips which may help minimize the feeling of fatigue while trying to take in all that Dreamforce has to offer.

Hopefully, you banked a bit of extra sleep before you left  – Assuming you’re not heading to Dreamforce with a large amount of sleep debt already, adding an extra hour here and there would help you deal with a few days of reduced sleep. Studies show that banking a bit of extra sleep can improve performance and alertness during subsequent periods of sleep restriction (compared to those who didn’t bank sleep ahead of time) and also helped with recovery after.

Cardio before you go – Squeeze in a workout in the morning before you hit the conference floors. A short turn on the treadmill or elliptical will help with raise your heart rate, give you energy and help you sleep better at night. While walking around the conference floor from one event to the next might be considered exercise, it doesn’t have the same effects as cardio, which gives you endorphins – increasing your short term energy and contributing to longer term health and energy.

Careful with the caffeine – Word on the street is that they are serving up 5,000 gallons of coffee at Dreamforce. That’s a lot of coffee! A cup here and there is good for a temporary boost in alertness but don’t drink too much and don’t drink it too late. It can take up to six hours for the effects of caffeine to dissipate, so it is recommended that coffee (or other forms of caffeine) not be consumed after 5:00 PM – otherwise you risk disturbing the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Give in to your need to nap  – If your days are long, squeezing in a 20 minute nap in the afternoon might be a good idea. Take some downtime to freshen up before dinner and sneak in a short snooze then, ideally between 3:00 – 5:00 PM when your body is at its circadian low. Twenty minutes is all you need – anything longer might make it difficult to regain alertness and affect your ability to sleep later on when you want to.

Stay hydrated – There are always a number of good reasons to keep up your H2O intake. Drinking water throughout the day at Dreamforce will help stave off dehydration-related fatigue and you will drink less alcohol later in the evening if you are already well hydrated. With the day’s events rolling into night time social gatherings, it is likely that you will find yourself with a beer or cocktail in hand. Enjoy the festivities, but try to take it easy on the alcohol. Alcohol not only contributes to dehydration, it actually disrupts your ability to get quality sleep – A double whammy for next day fatigue!

If you are taking in all there is to do at Dreamforce, there’s a good chance you will be accumulating a bit (or a lot) of performance-hindering sleep debt. When it’s time to wind down and bid farewell to San Francisco, arrange for transportation to and from the airport instead of driving yourself, and keep your social calendar clear for a few days when you return so you can repay yourself with some longer than usual sleeps.

Photo credit: roambi.com

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