Sleep is ammunition for the brain. All Soldiers need to be physically and psychologically strong and resilient. This is especially true of those Soldiers who operate at the “tip of the spear” as members of small teams in far-forward environments where the operational tempo (OPTEMPO) is high, the margin for error is small, and the ability to access support functions (e.g., air support, evacuations, reinforcements) is lacking. The necessity for Soldier performance during nocturnal operations introduces additional challenges for maintaining Soldier lethality. Ironically, although sleep is critical for sustaining military performance and effectiveness under such conditions, sleep loss is all but inevitable under such conditions.
Sleep is also armor for the brain. Research shows that the more sleep that military personnel obtain, the better they perform and the less vulnerable they are to development of mental disorders like PTSD and depression. An emerging body of research also suggests that good sleep is linked to the body's ability to prevent and overcome infectious disease, further underscoring its importance to overall health.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help manage sleep loss and its deleterious effects on performance, psychological resilience, and general health. The following are fact sheets, checklists, and other tools developed by the Behavioral Biology Branch for this purpose.
Quick Tips, Checklists, and Fact Sheets:
- Sleep Checklist for Healthcare Workers and First Responders
- Sleep Checklist for Leaders
- Fatigue Management for COVID-19 Shift Workers
- Fatigue Management for COVID-19 Shift Work Supervisors and Leaders
- Rules for Timezone Travel
- Warrior Fatigue Management Strategies
- Maximizing Sleep at High Latitudes
- Warfighter Fatigue Management during Nocturnal Operations
- Considerations for Sleep in Operational Settings
- Provider's Guide to Sleep Medications
- A Full Night of Sleep Could Be Your Best Defense Against COVID-19
- Sleep in Operational Settings - Presentation
- Investigator's Dispatch: Sleep
- Comprehensive Fatigue Management Information Paper
- A Leader's Guide to Soldier Health and Fitness
- Comprehensive Fatigue Management Product Map
- Pharmacological Treatment of Acute Stress Reaction Product Map