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Did you know that there is a single activity, that when performed once a day for the right amount of time and quality can improve memory and mood, decrease risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and lead to better job performance? In addition, the hormones produced during sleep can strengthen the immune system, increase muscle growth, and prevent weight gain.1 Whether you follow a traditional schedule or work overnight shifts and sleep during the day, your good “night's” sleep can provide all of those benefits. It is recommended that adults get at least seven to eight hours of consecutive sleep in a 24 hour period.2
While many view insufficient sleep as a way of life, lack of sleep can negatively impact how you function throughout the day.1 Not getting enough sleep can lead to:
These negative side effects of sleep loss can lead to decreased performance, resilience, and readiness for Sailors and Marines.
While it may not be possible to get seven to eight hours of rest every night, there are things you can do to increase both the amount and quality of your sleep:
Even a young, healthy service members can experience a 25 percent decline in mental performance for every 24 hours they go without sleep.5 Although seven to eight hours of sleep is frequently not possible while deployed or operational,7 use the following tips to get as much sleep as you can and maintain quality sleep:
If you continue to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or if you continue to feel tired during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, consult your healthcare provider.5 Resources are also available online and by phone: Visit the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center's sleep resource page.
1. Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/sleep/healthysleepfs.pdff. Published April 2006. Revised September 2011. Accessed May 31 2016..
2. How Much Sleep Is Enough? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/howmuch. Published 22 February 2012. Accessed June 2016..
3. A Good Night’s Sleep. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/good-nights-sleep#problems. Published 2012. Updated 22 December 2015. Accessed June 2016.
4. Patel, S & Hu, F. Short sleep duration and weight gain: A systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(3): 643–653 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.118/full. Accessed June 2016.
5. How to Develop Healthy Sleep Habits. Real Warriors Campaign. http://www.realwarriors.net/active/deployment/sleep.php. Updated 2015. Accessed June 2016.
6. Sleep and Warfighters. Human Performance Resource Center. http://hprc-online.org/mind-body/sleep-optimization-1/sleep-optimization-strategies/sleep-and-warfighters-1. Accessed June 2016.
7. How much sleep does a Warfighter need? Human Performance Resource Center. http://hprc-online.org/mind-body/hprc-articles/how-much-sleep-does-a-warfighter-need.. Accessed June 2016. 8 Physical Fitness Training Year-Round Boosts Resilience. Real Warriors Campaign.
8. Physical Fitness Training Year-Round Boosts Resilience. Real Warriors Campaign. http://www.realwarriors.net/active/treatment/physicalfitness.php.. Published 2011. Reviewed 2012. Accessed June 2016.
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