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Trader Fatigue

InvestorEducation / Trader Psychology Jan 08, 2010 - 10:53 AM GMT

By: Dr_Janice_Dorn

InvestorEducation

Having trouble sleeping these days?  You aren’t alone.  The National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 study shows that some 30% of the U.S. population reports sleep disturbances. These include challenges with falling asleep, staying asleep or early-morning wakening with inability to get back to sleep.  Last year, there were nearly 57,000,000 prescriptions written for sleep meds.  That’s 57 million. In his book “Sleep Thieves,”  Dr. Stanley Coren says that lack of sleep is causing us to be “clumsy, stupid, unhappy and dead.”   Evidence is mounting that the tragic death of Michael Jackson was related to his inability to sleep without powerful sedative drugs.


The commonest reported cause for insomnia is stress, and financial stress is highest on the list.  As we move deeper into the recession, financial stress is likely to increase and lead to a vicious cycle where stress causes sleep problems that lead to more stress.  The phrase Tired All The Time (TAAT) is slipping into the medical vernacular.  We are working harder, longer, getting paid less, eating poorly and exercising less.  To capitalize on TAAT, a company called MetroNaps has set up shop in several countries to provide naps or “sleep pods” to stressed-out workers. Sleep clinics are popping up all over the country as more people seek answers to why they can’t sleep.

Traders are notorious for having bad sleep habits.  Many stay up into the early hours of the morning watching or trading overnight, then struggling to stay awake during the day to trade the regular session.  To trade well and consistently, it is critical to get good sleep, including adequate amounts of dream ( REM- Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.  Stable mental health is related to adequate REM sleep, since it has been shown that REM deprivation leads to anxiety, depression and behavioral disturbances.  Tired traders do not trade well, make numerous mistakes and have increased anxiety and depression.

Some tips for traders to help with sleep-related issues:

Limit xanthine intake (coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks) to two cups a day and avoid these for at least six hours prior to sleep

Take flower teas (chamomile, valerian) to help with relax you before sleep

Exercise in the morning or early evening and not less than three hours prior to sleep

Develop a standard relaxing bedtime routine, including going to sleep at the same time each night

Make your bedroom a quiet, peaceful place that is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable

Learn how to “power nap”

Mentally associate your bed with sleep.  Remove all computers, televisions and electronic distractions, including lighted clocks, from your bedroom.

Practice yoga or meditation for 10-20 minutes prior to sleep

Avoid self-medication with alcohol. You may fall asleep more quickly, but will likely suffer from very early-morning awakening and anxiety as unintended consequences

Use quieting aromas, including lavender and vanilla—either as a spray or direct application of a small amount to your wrist or abdomen

Seek professional help if sleep difficulties persist for more than one month

Good Trading and Brain On!

By Dr. Janice Dorn, MD, PhD
Prescriptions for Profits
www.thetradingdoctor.com

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© Copyright 2006-10 -- Janice Dorn, M.D., Ph.D. -- Ocean Ivory LLC

Dr. Janice Dorn is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she received her Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy. She did her postdoctoral work in Neurophysiology at the New York Medical College. She received her M.D. from La Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, did one year of clinical clerkships in Phoenix, Arizona. and then completed a Neurology Internship at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. For the past twelve years, Dr. Dorn has focused her attention on trading, mentoring and commentary in the financial markets, with emphasis on Behavioral NeuroFinance, Mass NeuroPsychology, Trading NeuroPsychology, Futurism and Life Extension. A graduate of Coach University, she is a full time futures trader and trading coach.  Dr. Dorn is the author of over 300 publications, relating to Trading and Investing Neurouropsychology, Market Mass Neuropsychology, Behavioral Neurofinance, and Holistic Wellness and Longevity. 


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