Healthier sleep, healthier you!

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — (Editor’s note: This is part one of a four-part series on the importance of sleep. Stay tuned for a part two article that will focus on sleep and performance and how a catabolic pre-workout state can diminish your workout program goals.)

For years individuals have boasted about getting little sleep and still making it to the gym by zero-dark thirty. Any believe insufficient sleep has little negative impact on performance in the gym as well as at the office.

The mind-set by many is that deciding not to get enough sleep will simply make one feel a little more tired tomorrow. No big deal, an energy drink will make things right.

Don’t be fooled, poor sleep doesn’t mean, “It’s okay, I’ll just feel a little tired tomorrow.” It means you will be performing with decreased cognitive abilities, weakened problem solving and creativity skills, decreased concentration and have a diminished value in your work center.

As an Air Force culture we must get past the perception that those who manage to get 7-8 hours of sleep are weak and less productive at their jobs. Sleeping just one night for less than 4 hours has been shown to impair performance by as much as a person with a .10 blood-alcohol level.

If you get less than 7 hours of sleep for four consecutive nights, an Army study has reported that this decreases cognitive abilities by 20 percent. There is also science showing that individuals will experience a decrease in their attention levels and the ability to remember newly acquired skills.

We must embrace the science showing that insufficient and inconsistent sleep results in a risk to the success of our mission through diminished physical and mental performance.

Your Hill Air Force Base Health Promotion department offers Healthier Sleep, Healthier You classes on the fourth Tuesday of each month. In addition, our team is available to conduct flight- and squadron-level briefings on sleep and various other healthier lifestyle topics.

Call 801-777-1215 for additional information.