Healthy sleep essential to Airmen performance

  • Published
  • By 501st Combat Support Wing Health Promotions Office

Sleep is an integral part of daily life, in fact if each person got the recommended hours of sleep they would spend roughly one third of their life sleeping. Just like food and water, the body needs sleep. 

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, a lack of sleep can lead to decreased concentration, irritability, poor decision making and physical health problems. Many factors such as shift work, anxiety, caffeine, smoking and stress can affect your sleep. 

The required number of hours vary by individual, but sleep experts recommend adults get between seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. 

The three elements to good sleep are duration, depth and continuity.

A few ways to improve on all three elements are: limit tobacco and caffeine before bed, set a sleep routine even on your days off and limit TV and device usage an hour before bed. 

Over the past year, approximately 43% of 501st Combat Support Wing Airmen and Guardians reported getting adequate sleep with almost 10% stating it affected their performance. In support of project Health and Readiness Optimization (HeRO) and the Healthy People 2030 initiative, the 501st CSW Health Promotion office wants to help improve sleep for personnel across the wing. 

Military members and their dependents, at both RAF Alconbury and Croughton, can schedule an appointment with the wings Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) specialist, Dr. Sara Flanagan, to get more information about improving their sleep. Patients can call the Military Treatment Facility appointment line at DSN 268-2273 (RAFA) or 236-8737 (RAFC) to schedule an appointment.

This year’s World Sleep Day theme is Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World. Join the 501st CSW Health Promotion office on March, 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the RAF Alconbury Community Activity Center to celebrate World Sleep Day, learn relaxation techniques and the importance of sleep optimization.

Additional information about how to improve sleep can be found at and