cognition

Optimizing sleep as a Soldier: The science, challenges and significance

A Soldier sleeps as he readies to deploy.

Sleep in the deployed environment and historical military attitudes

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Deployed Soldiers who may get only four to five hours of sleep per night do not receive as much of the end-of-night rapid eye movement sleep as someone who is getting seven to eight hours of sleep, which can affect daily performance and have a negative impact over time.

Nonlinear sleep-wake schedules are common in a deployed environment, which can be challenging to manage.

Optimizing sleep as a Soldier: The science, challenges and significance

A Soldier from Walter Reed Army Institute of Reseach demonstrates the use inside of the sleep suite facility.

The Science

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Imagine you start the day with your phone charged to 80%. However, there won’t be any outlets to recharge until the end of the day. Phone calls, text messages, social media breaks — it adds up. Will 80% be enough to last the average work day?

That is essentially how people function with even mild sleep debt, which is something most of us suffer from. A third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention.