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.


 
 

 

Legal counsel helps Soldiers with Integrated Disability Evaluation System

Soldiers undergoing a medical evaluation board sometimes feel lost and confused with the significant decisions they have to make that will affect their military careers and the rest of their lives. The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel is the Army’s team of qualified and trained attorneys and paralegals who assist Soldiers in the Integrated Disability Evaluation...
 
 
JAG_seal

The power to contract – use it wisely

The basic memorialization or record of any business transaction is a contract. More often than not, this contract is the only evidence of any relationship between the parties to the transaction. Whether you are purchasing somet...
 
 
Convoy_brief

NTC trainers prepare units for success on battle fields of today, tomorrow

Staff Sgt. Marcus McCormick, of the 289th Quartermaster Company, provides a convoy its mission brief Aug. 20 during a morning supply mission.   The training that rotational units receive here can be brutal – challenging ...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Department of Defense official views training area

Gustavo Bahena National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin motions while speaking with Jamie Morin, director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense. The director of Co...
 
 
Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook

Women combat isolation with mentorship

Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook Sgt. Meriem Ettioutioui (right), 51st Translator and Interpreter Company, talks with Spc. Farida Alvi and Spc. Maryam Mahfeli, also with 51st TICO, about her deployment experience in 2013. The tough ...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

IMCOM command sergeant major visits Fort Irwin

Gustavo Bahena Fort Irwin USAG Commander Col. Jon Braga points to an illustration of the installation’s future new hospital while speaking with Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Hartless, of United States Army Installation Management...
 




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