Fort Stewart News


-This article was written as part of a joint project between the Army Wellness Center and the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Emotional Resiliency Working Group to promote healthy sleep habits. Stay tuned for May’s Sleep and Resiliency Solarium for follow up!

Photo by Graphic Courtesy of cdc.gov

The Understated Importance of Sleep
Special to the Frontline
Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Understated Importance of Sleep:

Sleep, it’s one third of the Performance Triad and supposed to be one third of our day. All too often however, people are going without the necessary seven to eight hours of sleep in a twenty-four hour period needed to maintain their health and resiliency. This happens for a variety of reasons, some of which we have control over, and some of which we don’t, but what happens when we go chronically without adequate rest?

The obvious answer is that our performance and resiliency takes a huge hit. When overly sleep deprived, it becomes harder to focus, harder to engage with others, and especially difficult to work to our normal standards. We become irritable and moody. Judgment is profoundly impaired as well- as a comparison, going a twenty-four hour period without adequate rest is similar to being legally intoxicated.

In addition to the mental toll lack of sleep takes, there are physical consequences as well. Our bodies don’t recover as well as they should from normal physical activity and injury. Additionally, our immune system takes a hit, making us more prone to illness.

Again, there are many things that we can’t control when it comes to our sleep, but if we focus on those things we can, it will go a long way to promoting healthy and restful sleep. Set up a regular bedtime routine, trying to set a normal bedtime when possible. Consider your caffeine consumption and try not to consume any at least six hours before bedtime. Use your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy only; keep the TV out and avoid using devices like cell phones and iPads in bed!

Lastly, if you find that you have optimized the things within your control, but are still having trouble, consider reaching out to the resources available at Ft Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. The local Behavioral Health Clinics have providers that can help, and the Army Wellness Center offers individuals a Healthy Sleep Habits class on the second Tuesday of each month that can be scheduled by calling 912-767-4077. Unit classes can be coordinated with Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness by calling 912-767-4153. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

-This article was written as part of a joint project between the Army Wellness Center and the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Emotional Resiliency Working Group to promote healthy sleep habits. Stay tuned for May’s Sleep and Resiliency Solarium for follow up!