Reaching out for care for your psychological health is an important, positive step in your military career. When seeking a role that requires a national security clearance, you will be instructed to fill out the Standard Form 86 (SF86), “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.” [PDF] The federal government uses information from this form to conduct background checks and evaluate individuals who are:
Whether training in the field, deployed abroad or at home, sleep plays an important role in your physical and psychological health. Getting 7-8 hours of rest per day is recommended, but it can be difficult to maintain on a busy schedule. Maximizing your sleep can improve your mood, reduce mental fog and decrease your risk of many chronic health conditions, like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Sometimes, an invisible wound, your military duties or even the stress of home life can make it hard to get enough good-quality sleep. Because sleep is so important to your health and performance, it is critical that you build good sleep habits and talk to a health care provider if you are struggling to rest. Reaching out for help keeps you mission ready and there for the people who count on you most.
The demands of military life often get in the way of a full night’s sleep. Service members should get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but most get less. On deployment, service members average just six and a half hours per 24-hour period. This can be a threat to mission readiness.
Sleep is important in life, just like air, food and water. It allows your body to heal, boosts your immune system and improves learning and memory. With healthy sleep habits, you are more likely to perform your best, whether you are at home, deployed or away for training.