Crypto’s ‘Never Sleep’ Mentality Is Making You an Unlucky Trader
Crypto and NFT traders never sleep. Or, at least, that’s what they’ll tell you.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
“Imagine sleeping during a bull market.”
“You can’t be successful unless you’re online 24/7.”
If you’ve scrolled through crypto Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of similar tweets. And it does speak to the difficulties of learning an entirely new technology in a relatively small amount of time and the fast-paced nature of NFT trends and fads.
Projects and tokens are rising and falling in value by the minute. And there are no off hours like on Wall Street. The crypto and NFT marketplaces actually never sleep.
But the most successful traders certainly do. I’d even argue that it's essential to their ability to accurately process information.
Of course, crypto’s “never sleep” mentality is exhausting from a mental health perspective and can lead to burnout quickly if you take it too seriously. That’s not what this article is about. This article is about being successful and productive in the crypto and NFT spaces.
If you want to be a successful trader, you have to turn off the computer and go to bed. Here’s why:
1. Your brain is horrible at making decisions when it's sleep-deprived.
Your brain is a muscle. Just like your biceps and pectorals. When trading or analyzing cryptocurrencies or NFTs, your brain’s job is to process information and decide on the best course of action. It can’t do that when it’s tired.
Imagine lifting all day. Your biceps and pectorals contract and microscopically tear. They get sore. You get tired. Maybe you drink a protein shake and go watch TV for the rest of the day. What you definitely don’t do is hit the gym in an hour. You don’t even hit the gym the next day. Your muscles would never forgive you. They’ll strain, ligaments will tear or snap, and you’ll have to stop.
Your brain is similar in the ways that matter. It works out all day. It’s constantly processing new information. When it finally gets to rest, that’s when the recovery period starts. It builds new connections and gets stronger. If you don’t sleep, it never recovers.
Prolonged sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to memory issues (like decreased short- and long-term memory), mood changes (like increased tempers), and problems with concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
“Both total and partial sleep deprivation induce adverse changes in cognitive performance,” Paula Alhola and Päivi Polo-Kantola wrote in a 2007 study on neuropsychiatric disease and treatment. “First and foremost, total sleep deprivation impairs attention and working memory, but it also affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making. Partial sleep deprivation is found to influence attention, especially vigilance.”
Unless you’re not using your memory, a level-head, good concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills when trading crypto and NFTs, you should probably take care of your brain. And the best way to do that is by sleeping.
Oh, lack of sleep also has been shown to increase risk of fatal accidents, increase blood pressure, weaken your immune system, heighten your risk for diabetes, lead to weight gain, lower your sex drive, throw off your balance, and more. Even if you do successfully trade NFTs on no sleep, you could end up overweight, sick, and unable to take advantage of girlfriend szn (just listen to Matt Walker talk about testicles in the video above).
2. The ‘next Bored Ape Yacht Club’ is not right around the corner. Stop feeding your urgency instinct.
In “Straight Line Bias and How to Avoid It When Analyzing NFT Trends,” I wrote about a lion attack in the African savanna to illustrate how calculating the most realistic future outcomes wouldn’t have served our predecessors that well. The rustling grass could be the wind. It could also be a giant, man-eating cat.
Immediately running whenever the grass starts rustling makes sense. If a lion does attack, you’ve avoided it by running away. If the rustling was just the wind, you’ll probably never know. If you stay and find out, the upside is avoiding a quick jog and the downside is agonizing death.
Most of us don’t live with lions anymore (unless you count Lazy Lions). Actually, most of us don’t have to worry about danger much at all. But those cognitive biases are still with us today.
The urgency instinct turns off your brain. It shuts down all analytical thought and forces you to act quickly. Nonprofit organizations and political parties have been using this tactic for a long time. And now we’re seeing it in the crypto and NFT spaces. We just call it FOMO (fear of missing out).
“Get in before this token pumps 100x!”
“If you don’t mint now, you’ll never get another opportunity!”
The immediate future outcome for cryptocurrencies and NFTs is almost never a quick, 1-hour 100x in valuation. You have time, relax.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) minted out at the end of April. It stayed under one ETH until June. That’s right, you could’ve vacationed for an entire month and still made 100x on ape jpegs.
The “next BAYC” is likely entirely unrelated to cartoon animal pfps (profile pictures). And you’re not going to discover it by “aping in” to every new cartoon animal project under the sun.
Put in the work. Research the space. And opportunities will present themselves.
When you miss, shake it off and move on. When you win, de-risk and take some profits. And definitely stop FOMO’ing. It encourages a mindset that cares too much about short-term price action, and as we’ve seen, it leads to sleepless nights that ruin your ability to process information.
3. You can’t do it all - avoid decision fatigue by regulating, automating, and delegating. Then, go to bed.
People with processes win. The hard work comes from hours, days, months, even years of research that produces an overall marketplace thesis or strategy.
Once you’ve done the hard work, create a process and stick to it.
Establish rules and regulations that increase your chances of winning. A few examples include: never mint NFT projects or buy cryptocurrencies that pay for promotions on Twitter; only buy from fully doxxed teams; if it’s cute, mint it.
Each rule has exceptions. Some NFTs and cryptos that pay for promotions on Twitter will succeed, and you’ll miss out. Anon teams will succeed. And, sadly, some cute NFTs will fail. That’s okay. If your process is helping you win more often than you lose, ignore the exceptions.
Once you’ve established a set of rules to follow, automate the process as much as possible. Only look at projects and tokens that fit your specified criteria. Build tools (or use Lucky Trader) to help with project discovery and price triggers. And let those tools do the work.
Seriously, log off, man.
But automated tools can’t do it all, right? Neither can you. You have to delegate. Find people you trust and work with them. Hire people and teach them your process. Follow people you know are winning and copy them.
This frees up time to focus on more important work. The brain can only make so many good decisions in a day before it shuts down or, worse yet, starts making bad decisions.
“The more choices you have to make, the more it can wear on your brain, and it may cause your brain to look for shortcuts,” Dr. Lisa MacLean, a psychiatrist and chief wellness officer at Henry Ford Health System, told the American Medical Association. “There are four main symptoms: procrastination, impulsivity, avoidance, and indecision.”
If your brain is working too hard all the time, it is going to start avoiding work altogether or impulsively making careless decisions. By automating, delegating, and stepping away, you’re actually making yourself a better decision maker.
Avoiding unimportant decisions and sleeping can make you more productive in all the ways that count. Focus on a few important decisions each day. Make the right choices after a good night’s rest by thinking them through and avoiding your urgency bias.
Don’t fall victim to crypto’s “never sleep” mentality. Go to bed. It’ll make you a luckier, more successful trader.