What is sleep health?

Sleep health includes those characteristics of sleep that are most clearly associated with physical, mental, and neurobehavioral well-being. Sleep health includes things like treatment for sleep disorders, efforts to promote healthy sleep behaviors, developing positive sleep hygiene habits, and increased knowledge of the link between sleep and health. Additionally, sleep is imperative to military performance, including boosting physical performance and cognitive processing.

So what?

According to the World Health Organization, adequate sleep is necessary to fight off infection, work effectively and safely, decrease the chance for mishaps such as medical errors and motor vehicle or industrial accidents. Additionally, sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to maintaining individual health. Without enough quality sleep, an individual’s risk for heart disease, cancer, and other negative health impacts, increases. In the military setting, low levels of optimal sleep can affect cardiorespitory endurance, ability to generate power, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, mood, and can negatively impact the body’s ability to recover from injury.

Now what?

Following are some resources to help you learn more about sleep health:

You can also visit the Consortium on Military and Human Performance webpage for resources, like this sleep hygiene tip sheet, or visit your local Semper Fit Health Promotion Program for help with your sleep health goals.