Forex Lifestyle: Best Practices for Better Sleep

June 15, 2016
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No matter which trading session you are most active in, sleep is important for a successful forex trading career. Getting better sleep should be a priority for all forex traders. It improves general health for an optimised performance especially during a
trading session. Due to the nature of currency trading, both physical and mental well-being is always at risk. As much as persistency can be profitable, not getting enough sleep can also cost you.

Negative Effects of a Sleepy Forex Trader:

  • Compromised decision making and performance

  • Incorrect calculations

  • Inability to study charts and its details

  • Unproductive trading sessions caused by fatigue

  • Higher sensitivity towards stressful situations

  • Increased risk of getting sick

Something as simple as sleeping should not get in the middle of making a good trade. Here are the
best practices to get better sleep in the world of forex trading:

First, be aware!

The first thing you need to do is to know how much sleep you are getting and how much you actually need. According to Sleep Foundation, the exact amount of sleep per person differs with age as well as personal limits. Check out their recommended sleep times
chart and test it out. Find out how much sleep you need for an effective day of work and take it from there.

Create a sleeping schedule based on your strategy

The profession of forex trading is 24/7. This is why setting up a trading schedule is the best way to clock in proper amount of sleep without losing any opportunities. Whether you are a full time or part time trader, sleep should revolve around your strategy.
After picking your desired market hour, create a proper schedule and make time for better sleep. This will allow your body to adjust to a bedtime schedule and optimize daily trading sessions.

 

New to the forex trading schedule? Study forums and articles to find out how other forex traders do it. Here are great sources where you can learn tips and share your ideas:

My Trading Day Routine – Personal Blog

Top tip: “A routine definitely adds stability to the chaos of the markets. One of my trading friends always says, “if you wanna be there for the good times, you gotta be there all the time,” however, it really is just a matter of experience. Taking one or
even no trades in the morning session before work can be very effective.”

Does Forex Disturb Your Sleep? – Beginners Forum

Top tip: “Forex doesn’t have to disturb your sleep, but you must rearrange your schedule to catch the moves. For example, I live in the Pacific time zone of the US, so I go to bed at 5pm. Awake at midnight, have my coffee, go to the gym and am sitting at
my computer by 2am. I trade the German DAX, London Forex session, catch the early Crude Oil and Index futures moves at 5am and usually done with my trading day by 10am.”

How To Set A Forex Trading Schedule – Article

Top tip: “When setting up a trading schedule, it is important to run a strong balance between market overlaps and news releases. Traders looking to enhance profits should aim to trade during more volatile times, while keeping an eye on what economic data
is released when.”

 

Get to know other Sleeping Cycles

There are other ways to get a good amount of rest without having to sleep 6-8 hours straight. If your strategy involves an erratic trading schedule, consider other sleeping patterns. Without having to sacrificing sleep or efficiency, these cycles are great
when planning a new trading schedule or adjusting to another timezone.

What are the different types of sleeping cycles?

 

MONOPHASIC CYCLE

Monophasic means “one phase”. This is the most common cycle that works for a majority of people.

Sleep phases: 1

Hours: Typically 7-10 hours of sleep

Pros: Least risk of drowsiness

Cons: Requires you to set aside more hours of sleep

 

POLYPHASIC CYCLE

Did you know that 85% of mammals sleep in polyphasic cycles? Here are the alternative cycles for an alternative sleeping routine:

1. Biphasic Cycle

Sleep phases: 2

Hours: 5-6 hours of sleep + 1 hour nap

Estimated total: 7 hours

Pros: Research shows that with the power nap, this cycle is more effective than the monophasic.

Cons: Not recommended for insomniacs

2. Everyman Cycle

Sleep phases: 4

Hours: Typically 3.5 hours of sleep + 3 sets of 20 minutes naps

Estimated total: 4.5 hours

Pros: Improves alertness throughout the day

Cons: Missing a nap could greatly disrupt productivity

3. Dymaxion Cycle

Sleep phases: 4

Hours: Typically 4 sets of 30 minutes naps

Estimated total: 2 hours

Pros: More waking hours = more work done

Cons: Most extreme cycle to get used to if you have a hard time napping

4. Uberman Cycle

Sleep phases: 6-8

Hours: Typically 6-8 sets of 20 minutes naps

Estimated total: 2-2.5hours

Pros: Falling asleep will be much easier

Cons: Strict napping schedule

The best cycle to use depends on your forex trading strategy. Though most of the polyphasic cycles can be daunting, they can be the most practical. These cycles enable a trader to get better sleep without disrupting output or affecting health.

 

Indulge in a power nap

With the round-the-clock lifestyle of a forex trader, it can be difficult to form a proper sleeping pattern.  If you are the type of trader that instinctively checks the market or studies charts every few hours, try napping as a strategy for a successful
trade.

Top 5 Benefits of Napping for a Forex Trader:

  1. Boosts performance after long hours of work

  2. Restores and extends alertness during a trade session

  3. Enhances cognitive thinking for better judgement

  4. Improves overall health by lowering blood pressure

  5. Provides relaxation from stress

 

Design a Sleep-Friendly Sanctuary

The stress that comes with forex trading can follow you to bed. Make sure to create a stress-free environment that promotes better sleep.

Aside from the picking the best bed and the right pillow, here are some helpful tips you might not know about:

  • Use mattress pads or toppers for added comfort or support

  • Invest in Blackout Window Treatments to keep the light out

  • Try a sleep mask to block out both light and sound

  • Set your bedroom temperature to the ideal 65 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Keep a notebook and pen in the bedside table for ideas

 

Improve Personal Practices

Improving personal habits is a great way to have better sleep. To be healthy and happy in forex trading, you will need to make lifestyle changes to have sound sleep.

Keep things simple with our guideline:

  • Follow your sleeping schedule

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime

  • Drink chamomile tea to encourage better sleep

  • Incorporate regular exercise for deep sleep

  • Tuck in all gadgets for at least an hour before sleeping

  • Take your mind off forex and enjoy your favorite show

  • Create a relaxing bedtime ritual

  • Sleep on your back to avoid muscle pain or acid reflux

  • Take a hot shower 2 hours before bedtime

 

Set yourself up for success and have a good night’s rest!

Good sleep is essential in a high engaging and demanding career like forex trading. In the long run, it improves performance and makes you a better trader. By taking note of these helpful practices, you are also preparing your body to adapt to any situation.
If you have to travel, you can immediately have an action plan in mind to still get optimal sleep. If you suddenly need to change your strategy, simply pick a new sleeping cycle to complement it. Pay close attention to how many hours you are sleeping and how
much you need to be productive for the day.

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