“Sleep is the golden chain that ties body and health together”-Thomas Dekker-
Why Good Sleep is Important
The average adult should get an average of 7-9 hours per night (Why Do We Need Sleep? | Sleep Foundation). The Center for Disease Control (CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders) reports that not getting enough sleep has been linked to many chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Also, not getting good, quality, sleep can lead to injuring others through vehicle crashes or misjudgment at work. See Peter Attia on Sleep Deprivation - Jocko Willink - YouTube.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Probably the most “famous” sleep disorder is insomnia. This is especially known in the military world. Insomnia has the definition of, “Inability to initiate or maintain sleep.” There is a form of insomnia called, “Chronic psychophysiological insomnia” which is a learned behavior often combined with military stressors such as boot camp, night operations, and drills. Other forms of sleep disorders include narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea (CDC - Key Sleep Disorders - Sleep and Sleep Disorders).
Easy Actions to Better Sleep
Building better sleep habits all starts with the desire (How much sleep do you really need? | Sleeping with Science, a TED series - YouTube). Remember to be patient, be consistent, and seek out professional help (Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker - YouTube).
Sleeping better can be as easy as following these starter tips (Healthy Sleep Habits - Sleep Education by the AASM):
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time, including the weekends
- Make sure where you are sleeping is quiet, dark, relaxing, and comfortable temperatures
- Remove electronic devices from the area
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
- Get exercise on a regular basis! Being physical during the day can help you fall asleep at night
- Get comfortable in your bed…or rack! If you are out in the fleet, Fleet Sheets has numerous options to help make active duty life much more comfortable.