Health & Safety

June 6, 2014

Sleep critical to good health

Maj. Robin Shelton,
Army Public Health Nursing Chief Weed Army Community Hospital NTC and Fort Irwin

Adequate sleep plays a critical role in maintaining one’s health.

Yet, 42 percent of military personnel are getting less than five hours of sleep per night according to researchers at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. This particular study revealed various sleep disorders among active duty military members including sleep apnea, insomnia, and behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome. Behaviorally induced insufficient sleep syndrome means personnel routinely do not get enough sleep each night.

Among the study group, half of the 85 percent who had deployed did so with at least two sleeping disorders. Researchers also reported that individuals with post traumatic disorder syndrome were more than twice as likely to suffer from insomnia, and those with chronic pain almost 50 percent more likely to experience insomnia.

These statistics are alarming. Sleep is necessary not only for good health, but for overall well-being and maximal functioning according to William Kohler, MD, director of the Florida Sleep Institute in Spring Hill, Fla. Lack of sleep can result in poor performance and impaired judgment. Sleep is also crucial in sustaining the mental capacity needed for successful training on and off the battlefield. Simple tasks such as driving and communicating can be impaired by lack of regular sleep (seven to eight hours every 24 hours.)

In addition, inadequate sleep or short sleep is associated with weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease according to researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers found that what you eat may also play a role in how much you sleep. The new study revealed that short sleepers (five to six hours per night) consume the most calories followed by normal sleepers (seven to eight hours), but normal sleepers consumed a greater variety of foods. Consuming a variety of foods is one indicator of a healthy diet. For the first time researchers showed that certain nutrients may influence sleep patterns.

Signs of insufficient sleep in Soldiers include:

• Difficulty staying awake while driving, during guard duty, or mission breaks

• Difficulty understanding or tracking information

• Attention lapses

• Irritability and decreased initiative

Tips for developing good sleep habits for Soldiers include:

• Sleep seven to eight hours every 24 hours

• Do not consume caffeine within six hours of bedtime

• Do not exercise three hours before bedtime

• Establish an evening routine of winding down 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Stop using electronics.

• Empty your bladder before going to bed.

• Sleep in a safe, quiet place, use soft foam earplugs or a fan to block sounds and a sleep mask to block light.

• Wake up at the same time every day.

• See your healthcare provider if sleep problems persist.

For more information on sleep visit the United States Army Public Health Command Web site at http://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/healthyliving/sleep/Pages/BestSleepHabits.aspx.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Making Fort Irwin “Go First Class”

Gustavo Bahena National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin (second, from left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers attach a “Go First Class” dental streamer to the guidon of United States Army D...
 
 

‘Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives’

The nation celebrates Women’s History Month in March and Fort Irwin will host a ceremony to honor the observance, March 11. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Sandy Basin Community Center and is hosted by the installation’s Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity offices and Operations Group. The guest speaker will be Col. Cathy Walter,...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

Inspiring a bright future from the past

Gustavo Bahena Maj. Kiryenski Jones, officer in charge of Sustainment Automation Support Management with 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, spoke at the Fort Irwin African American/Black History Month celebration here, Feb. 11. For...
 

 
Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

The most memorable 25 months of my military life

Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office Major Gen. Ted Martin stands in his office next to a photo of his father, Ephraim Martin III. Martin senior, who has since passed away, served in the Navy during World War II. Afte...
 
 

A service invested in your community

The Fort Irwin Exchange plans to complete improvements to some of their facilities and enhance their provided services to the community by this spring. “Currently, the Service Station on Langford Lake Road is undergoing an image upgrade to make it look more appealing for our customers and to increase efficiency related to customer service,” stated...
 
 
DoD

Farewell message from Secretary Hagel

To the men and women of the Department of Defense: When I joined the United States Army 48 years ago, I could not have imagined one day serving as secretary of defense. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve with you. As I leave office, I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin