Optimizing Sleep in the Military: Challenges and Opportunities

Vincent F. Capaldi, Thomas J. Balkin, Vincent Mysliwiec

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Historically, scientific knowledge gaps—including a lack of information regarding the minimum amount of sleep needed to sustain nominally adequate, militarily relevant performance, and nescience of the potential impact of chronic sleep restriction on health and psychological well-being—have hindered decision-making vis-à-vis sleep/alertness management in operational environments. However, against a backdrop of increasing awareness of the importance of sleep for sustaining both performance and health, military researchers are currently doing the following: (1) developing a comprehensive, individualized sleep/alertness management system to optimize the general effectiveness of military personnel (ie, without regard to the potential relationship between sleep and specific aspects of military performance, thus sidestepping what has historically been an impediment to development of such a system); and (2) investigating the prevalence, potentially unique etiology (eg, resulting from the interaction of long-term exposure to combat-related stressors and sleep restriction), and treatment of sleep disorders and comorbidities in the military population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • military performance
  • sleep disorders
  • sleep loss
  • sleep/alertness management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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