Sleep in the Fire Service
Sleep disruptions and difficulties falling/staying asleep is an issue that many Americans face today. But sleep, or lack-there-of has been an issue firefighters have faced since the inception of the fire service. Whether it is difficulty falling asleep the night before your shift, restless legs that won’t let you fall asleep, sleep apnea that drives your shift partners (and life partners) crazy , waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep or any other sleep related issues; just about all of us have or will have to deal with sleep issues. There has been a lot of research conducted in what happens to us when we deprive ourselves of sleep. Long story short, it decreases our life expectancy and quality of life significantly. There is little that can be done that can ensure we get a “good night’s sleep” while on duty. However, there are some things you could do immediately that would improve your sleep at work. And there’s certainly things you can do, and steps you can take to improve your sleep when not on duty.
Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and a Professor of Neurobiology at the Stanford School of Medicine. In his weekly podcast “The Huberman Lab” he addresses an array of topics on how to improve performance and the steps to take to optimize performance with a focus on the neurochemical science within the body. The podcast below is centered all around sleep and a the chemical process of sleep. It is a bit long but it packed with information.
Please feel free to reach out to us or request a station visit for more information regarding sleep there is a ton of information available.
If you are struggling with sleep your are not alone. Your peer support team is always there and we have many vetted resources available to you. Please let us know if we can help you or your family.