I had to laugh this morning when I read today's BreakPoint because just last night my husband and I were talking about the importance of sleep. Caught up in a whirlwind of project deadlines and law school classes, my husband has been seeing less and less sleep this month... and consequently, his outlook on life has been less and less positive. Our soon-to-be newborn daughter, who we anticipate arriving in just a few short weeks, has also inspired our thoughts on sleep... or the lack thereof.
All this brings to mind the study conducted for the U.S. Army back in 2003 on sleep deprivation.
The military studies sleep as it pertains to both sustained and continuous operations. During sustained operations, combat soldiers get less than four hours sleep each night for days at a time, which is considered severe sleep deprivation. During continuous operations, soldiers get less than seven hours sleep each night....
Both sustained and continuous operations take their toll, but what complicates deprivation is that sustained operations can occur simultaneously with continuous operations.
As far as the grande triple-shot Americanos go, the Army found that...
[w]hen looking at different stimulants, it's not surprising that studies have shown caffeine is an effective aid.... For caffeine to be most effective, however, regular users need to minimize their caffeine use so that when they need it, caffeine will give them a boost.