Throughout the Men’s Health Month topics being discussed this June, there is one often misunderstood factor: sleep. Unforgiving and often underappreciated, bad sleep habits can change your behaviors, secretly making you crave another doughnut or cigarette. It can also deflate performance, physically, cognitively, and sexually.
Consistent sleep deprivation is a major problem, both in the Marine Corps and in the United States at large, and the consequences of consistently not getting enough sleep can be wide ranging and significant. The Consortium for Health and Military Performance’s (CHAMP) Human Performance Resources (HPRC) notes that these consequences range from increased stress and decreased physical performance to damaged relationships and poor eating habits! While research has made great strides in understanding sleep and its effects on performance and wellness, there’s certainly still a lot that’s yet to be uncovered.
However, for many Marines, the question isn’t “what happens if I don’t get enough sleep?” Rather, it is “how can I sleep better?”
The first step in the war on sleep deprivation is to evaluate the severity of your sleep concerns. If you’re having severe sleep issues, call for backup - that is, see your primary care professional.
If you don’t have severe sleep concerns, but could stand to improve the quality of your sleep, check out this article from the HPRC. You’ll learn more about sleep and some techniques you can use to win your battle against sleep deprivation. Remember, as Sun Tzu states in his famed work, The Art of War, “if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles.”
Contact your local Semper Fit Human Performance experts for more information!
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