Pacific time zone day traders – what is your schedule and sleeping habits?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Beezer-1, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Beezer-1


    Guys, I have a fundamental issue with my trading that I need some help with. The issue is that I live in the Pacific time zone, and I’m not a morning person. When I wake up early, I am usually groggy and definitely not in peak condition to trade.

    At this point I am totally willing to re-arrange my sleeping habits, exercise habits, nightly drinking habits, etc. My goal is to be in good condition to daytrade either the morning or early afternoon (after lunch, Eastern time) markets.

    I am very interested in hearing the sleeping and trading schedules of pacific time day traders. Here’s an example of what I am currently doing (all times are Pacific):

    Do yoga in the evening before dinner. Go to bed shortly after midnight (no alcohol). Wake up @ 9:30am (yes that’s a lot of sleep). Shower. Start trading the afternoon session from 10am to 11:30am or so, then off to the day job (where I don’t have access to the markets).

    I felt great with this schedule, but I was left with only 1.5 hours of pretty lackluster post-lunch trading time. And if I accelerate this schedule by an hour or two, then it’s actually worse as I’m left with trading during lunchtime and the hour afterwards.

    So what schedule works for you?

    Did you have schedule problems in the past? What resolved them?

    Any helpful insights?

    For reference, I’m trading the NQ.

  2. I have many friends that trade on the West coast and trade the grains. Specifically soybeans, wheat and a little corn with crude oil thrown in for those quiet time of consolidation. The grains open at 7:30 am PST and close at 11:15 am PST.

    This solves quite a few problems for West coasters;

    1 - the later open allows you to sleep in a bit in the morning.
    2 - Soybeans and Wheat are two of the top 10 markets for overall trading range each day which means there is plenty of profit potential in their charts each day.
    3 - the short trading hours helps eliminate the burn out caused by over-trading or staying glued to the screens too long.
    4 - the grain markets are less likely to suffer long periods of duldrums like a majority of the other markets.

    If you are interested in earning a living trading then it shouldn't matter what you trade, just that what you are trading gives you the ability to make consistent profits. I can give you the name of a West Coast trader to talk to as well. He trades for himself.
  3. NoDoji


    You're trading the absolute worst time of day for catching decent moves. I think it takes 3-6 weeks to change your sleep schedule, but it would be well worth it.

    I'm asleep by 11:00pm, up by 5:30am, make notes of all major and minor S/R levels draw channels and often begin trading in pre-market (I trade futures).

    The 30-45 minutes into the close is also good trading, but generally only for one good run.

    You seem to be sleeping too much. There are several plans for adjusting a sleep schedule if you do an on-line search.

    I needed a lot more sleep before I switched to a whole foods plant-based diet many years ago. I now need a little over six hours a night to feel fully energized and I have steady energy throughout the day, no more post-meal crashes like I used to have.

    All describe the same energy-promoting way of eating.
  4. marceck


    Stay up late and trade the Europe opening session. It usually packs a solid trend punch in ES or 6E.
  5. I trade the es nq and the spread, I am in bed by midnight and up at 545. very important to not nap after trading or it will throw entire sleep schedule into aray.
  6. When on the Big Island or Maui, I get up early and go for a 3-4 mile run to loosen up. Clear my head and watch the pink nautical twilight.

    Follow it up with a big cup of Kona.

    Life is good!

    Trade on Pacific Time Zoner!

  7. GG1972


    Here's my schedule although it took a while to get used to it

    Wakeup 5:30 to 6:00 am (depending if I expect any action or something important is expected to happen-like shortened weeks I just take it easy)

    Pick my stocks at 6:00 am see whats moving catch up on major news until 6:25 am ( this time is only for picking 2-4 stocks I am going to watch that are not in my watchlist-something thats moved out of ordinary-making big moves whther its commodity or individual stocks) Grab a coffee and a snack and sit down for open

    6:25 to about 6:45 is when I just chill out and watch the action (sometimes I put on a trade but mostly wait until the hand is shown)
    It is also the time to listen to some calming music.

    Till 9:00 AM is trading and thats when I eat my breakfast. If I have a position thats running I just leave a wide stop and take a break_sometimes its been an expensive breakfast LOL

    From 9 till about 11 am I "try" not to trade too much-scalping mostly or taking notes of the morning session and do a review-what worked what didnt-did I stick to plan, did I pick the right stocks, did I miss anything-was it obvious? etc etc I do keep a journal so its important to me

    11 am I ll start looking for either reversals of big moves or continuation and by 12 or so I ll start closing out position and look for any swing trades that I might want to put on for next day.

    !2:30 tally the day

    Lunch and Take a nap for about an hour -watch fast money ( I like that show) and take another Nap-sometimes I ll hit record and go to sleep wake up around 4 pm or so snack and workout

    Dinner 6 pm time with family for rest of remaining day

    10 pm do some research till 11 pm and off to bed-cause of workout I sleep well-a lot better then when I wasnt.
  8. When I was on the WC it was tough. I'm definitely a night owl, often have trouble getting to sleep at night but none at all in the middle of the day :p

    Frankly it's just the kind of thing you have to push through; plenty of people manage to get up early on a regular basis. Just have the discipline to get to bed on time, and find ways to stay awake during the day even during slow markets - go for walks/runs, go to the gym, schedule errands, get some hobbies, whatever. I think your afternoon day job is actually a huge help, one of the big issues I had was filling all the downtime between the 1pm close and 6-7pm when everyone else got off work, without napping and screwing up my sleep routine.

    Other things to try would be working out regularly, various supplements (though I've never found anything that seemed to have a major effect), and special diets. Even here on the East Coast I avoid caffeine as much as possible, drink a morning coffee and 2-3 hours later you're crashing.
  9. If you're serious about trading, then make it work.

    I, too, am not a morning person. Since I was a child I've gone to sleep late and slept in as much as possible. In the past, on weekends I'd often sleep until 2pm.

    I live just outside San Francisco. I work a full time job M-F 8am-5pm. My trading method does not work with the Asian session and the London open is too late (I need at LEAST 8 hours, preferably 9 to be fully functional). Therefore, after I get home from work I exercise, eat dinner, play guitar or something for about 30 mins then I go to bed around 7:30pm. I wake up at 4am, meditate, eat breakfast, then start marking up my charts to trade the first couple hours of NY open. Once my trading session is over I head to my day job.

    On the weekends I keep the same schedule. The change in sleeping habits is HUGE change in lifestyle. Not to mention my social life. I had a very active social life, going out late every weekend and several weekdays, always hanging out with different groups of friends. Now I spend what time I can with only my closest friends. I've also changed my eating schedule and habits. So big changes all around.

    But again, if you're serious then be serious. If you're not gonna go all the way, then why trade at all?

    Even though I'm used to this schedule now, once I'm able to trade full time I actually plan on moving to a better timezone for trading. Which sucks because all my friends are here in the bay area. But, I want a normal schedule so gotta do what I have to do, and in the meantime gotta be early to bed/early to rise.
  10. I'm changing to a daytime schedule, wake up at 7am - 4am would kill me and I'm not
    about to do it again, tho the exception might be the NFP and ECB announcements -
    I trade the 6E - eurusd

    don't use sugar including Coke etc

    there's 2 trading methods that aren't so time dependent, one is trading B&H - Day-to-Days
    trading, or even Days-to-Weeks, and the other is contracts volume where rather than
    a large number of pips/ticks you're trading a large number of contracts for what might
    be a smaller amount of pips/ticks
    #10     Jun 10, 2011