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Day Trading/sleep & psychology


hi mark! thanks for your valuable contribution to the trading community online. good, trustworthy.. no bs info is hard to find in this industry. to my question - i trade the es futures from australia so time zone is a huge drawback. i still consider myself a novice. ive had varying degrees of success in trying to implement a working sleep/trading routine full time from home. ive heard much about the importance of being in a peak state while trading. im finding it a real challenge in trying to maintain that state because of the time zone issue.. market opens 1130pm non daylight usa EST.. last thing i want to spend effort/willpower on is sleep. ive read up a lot on sleep routines etc and have experimented with many styles inc. biphasic sleep cycles. trading usa market is unfortunately a very small niche here so im still trying to find a network of traders here.. my questions specifically is  .. - in your vast experience and network of traders.. are there any suggestions you can offer to a trader on the other side of the world in helping form a good sleep/trade routine to be in peak state or is this notion of peak state/sleep overrated? migrating to better time zone has been ruled out unfortunately by my only boss (wife)!

it bothers me because on days that i dont get good sleep.. i struggle to sleep during the day.. i feel as if my confidence in doing a good job doing research.. drawing up levels and  developing a tradeable plan diminishes.. to a point where i just give up altogether n without a plan.. i simply dont trade.. is my concern valid? should i not worry too much about peak state/sleep and just get the job done making a plan. i find that most times my levels are bang on. i have a discretionary style using market structure and vol profiling.. no indicators except vwap.

any traders you know of from this side of the world who have found success in their nightly trading routine? dont want their names - just their routine.. sleep times.. peak state management.. diet..

also.. do u meditate as part of your daily routine?

i know this subject area is a minefield so i thank you again for compressing your thoughts into a response for us traders

Hi Shaneel,

I have had the opportunity to work with traders from Australia. In every case they have had to make adjustments to their schedule, or adapt a strategy to work WHEN they are able to trade.

Rockwell's CEO Markus Heitkoetter has always said that 2 conditions need to be met in order to trade the markets:

1) The markets need to be ready.
2) And YOU need to be ready.

I couldn't agree more. If you're sleep deprived and not making good decisions, you are NOT ready to trade.

If this is the case you really have 2 solutions:

1) Change your schedule to get the sleep that you need.
2) Trade a strategy/style that allows you to get the sleep that you need.

Unfortunately I don't have any breakthrough advice other than this. ;)

If your focus has been on day trading U.S. market hours, maybe a swing trading style is better for you? If you like the leverage of futures, take a look at options.

Although I'd prefer to have all 5 days available to trade, maybe focusing on Tuesday-Friday, or even Wednesday-Friday will help your sleep schedule, but still give you enough trading opportunities?

I hope this helps clarify your own thoughts, and gives you some ideas to consider.

As far as meditating goes, I am a firm believer in it...but I hate to say that it is not currently a part of my daily routine. I think I might need to change that! :)

Happy Trading!

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Mark Hodge


Questions related to technical analysis, strategies, risk, trading plans, trading psychology and money management. Experience in trading all markets and time-frames with expertise in futures (e-minis, currencies, commodities) and equity options. Unfortunately I am not allowed to offer any specific trading advice (i.e. should I go long the E-mini S&P today).


I have been involved in the industry since 1995 working for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and American Express Financial Advisors before becoming a full time trader. As Head Education Coach with Rockwell Trading I have coached hundreds of students around the world to achieve their trading goals with simple strategies, a sound trading plan and proper money management for the leveraged markets.

Currently serving as Rockwell Trading's Head Education Coach and moderator for Rockwell's Student Trading Room where we follow opportunities in the minis, interest rates, currency and grain markets daily.

Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities, "Day Trading With Volatility", June 2010 SFO Magazine, "Home on the Range: Lasso Trades Without Time", August 2010 SFO Magazine, "Day Trading Indicators, Part 1", January 2011 SFO Magazine, "Day Trading Indicators, Part 2", February 2011 SFO Magazine, "Technical Strategy", April 2011 SFO Magazine, "Advanced Trading Techniques - Futures Spread Trading", October 2011 Active Trader, "A Simple Day-Trading Strategy", November 2011 Marketplace Books, How to Trade Commodities: Simple Strategies for Gold and Crude That Traders Can Use in Any Market, June 2011

Formerly licensed as a financial advisor with Series 6, 7, and 63 licenses. B.A. in Organizational Communications with a Business Minor from California State University, Sacramento.

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I have worked with institutional traders, brokers, proprietary trading firms and private traders.
One of the few distinguished World Cup Advisors

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