Official websites use .mil
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
Sleep is a necessary daily function as vital to survival and preparedness as food and water. Sleep, or a lack of, affects the functioning of almost every function in your body. Temporary lack of sleep can lead to short term cognitive issues involving memory, judgement and/or coordination. Long term sleep disorders can contribute to serious health conditions.
Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have.
Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
Meet with your primary care provider. They can do a careful evaluation of your specific sleep concerns and recommend strategies to improve your sleep.
Learn about sleep hygiene and keep a sleep diary. Sleep hygiene refers to setting up a sleep schedule, routine and environment to improve your chances for better sleep. A sleep diary helps to track when you go to sleep, how long you sleep and how well you sleep. The mobile app, CBT-I Coach, has information and a sleep diary.
Educate yourself on different aspects of sleep. The podcast, "A Better Night's Sleep" is a set of interviews with experts on all topics related to sleep such as sleepwalking, nightmares, parasomnias, etc.
Episodic podcast covering topics to help you sleep better at night.
A personalized sleep experience for more restful nights and wakeful days. iPhone / Android app featuring calming sounds, meditations and music.
This is a comprehensive guide to help Veterans navigate their own struggles with insomnia and improve their sleep.
An app created for everyone to help manage insomnia. Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
Audio drills to help you fall asleep and sleep better.
Insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day. Before arriving at a diagnosis of primary insomnia, the healthcare provider will rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness are the hallmark signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity. The healthcare provider may treat narcolepsy with stimulant medications combined with behavioral interventions, such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness of narcolepsy on the individual’s life.
RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter dopamine have often been associated with RLS. Healthcare providers often combine a medication to help correct the underlying dopamine abnormality along with a medicine to promote sleep continuity in the treatment of RLS.
Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative. Treatment of sleep apnea is dependent on its cause. If other medical problems are present, such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction, sleep apnea may resolve with treatment of these conditions. Gentle air pressure administered during sleep (typically in the form of a nasal continuous positive airway pressure device) may also be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. As interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep can pose serious health complications, symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. Treatment should be sought from a health care provider.
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/key_disorders.html to learn more about these common sleep disorders
Call 988 & Press 1
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
7700 Arlington Blvd. Ste. 5113 Falls Church, VA 22042-5113
This is an official U.S. Navy website
This is a Department of Defense (DoD) Internet computer system.
General Navy Medical Inquiries (to Bureau of Medicine and Surgery): firstname.lastname@example.org