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Medicine in Uniform
June 7, 2000

Getting Enough ZZZs

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JAMA. 2000;283(21):2780. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2780-JMU00001-3-1

Studies repeatedly indicate that many Americans fail to get enough sleep. But what if the American is a pilot flying a 30-hour mission, as was done repeatedly in the Kosovo conflict? US Air Force physicians agreed to the purchase of $9 "lounging" lawn chairs, positioned them behind the cockpit seats of B-2 Spirit bombers, and allowed the two pilots to take turns napping above the plane's floor vibration, one sleeping while the other remained at the controls.

The matter of getting enough rest to efficiently operate various vehicles also has led the National Transportation Safety Board to urge the US Coast Guard to expand its emphasis on adequate rest for crews of seagoing vessels.