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NEWS | June 27, 2024

334th Training Squadron, 59th Medical Wing work on creating optimal conditions for optimal sleep

By Airman 1st Class Devyn Waits 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

To demonstrate peak human performance in the classroom and on the field, Airmen need not only physical exercise, good study habits, a healthy diet but quality sleep as well.

The 334th Training Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, partnered with the 59th Medical Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, to conduct a sleep study to determine the effects of a controlled sleep environment on an Airman’s physical and academic test scores.

“We have 90 participants split into two groups; the intervention group, who sleeps in rooms incorporating cooling mattresses, top fans and black-out curtains for optimal sleep, and the control group who resides in regular rooms with a thermometer and temperature log,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Krotchie, 334th TRS radar, airfield and weather systems specialist flight chief.

Once the study concludes, the Airmen will take a survey of their experience. Data from academic scores, performance scores from basic military training and survey inputs will be pushed to the 59th Medical Wing for analysis. With participants reporting how their sleep quality is increased, the 334th TRS anticipates an improvement in test scores.

“It’s important that we’re doing this because we’ve witnessed the consequences of Airmen having poor sleeping habits in the operational field: sleeping past their alarms, being late to work, or being groggy and making mistakes on simple tasks,” said Tech. Sgt. Clinton Doriocourt, 334th TRS radar, airfield and weather systems specialist instructor. “If we take preventative measures while they’re in technical school, we can stop a lack of sleep from becoming an issue in the first place. Training units might even take our results and use them for their own Airmen in the future.”

By studying the impact of a sleep environment, the 334th TRS can increase the trend of Airmen getting a good night’s rest by placing them in a setting that promotes proper sleep and teaches them proper sleeping habits so they can reach their highest potential in their careers.