An analysis of warfighter sleep, fatigue, and performance on the USS Nimitz
Kerno, Kevin M.
Shattuck, Nita Lewis
Whitaker, Lyn R.
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In an effort to inform Navy leaders of the potential effects of the ever increasing demands placed on enlisted sailors and officers, this thesis explores the sleep, fatigue, performance, and work schedules of the crew aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). This research used actigraphy, self-reported sleep, and survey and questionnaire data to determine the amount of sleep that participants received and to assess whether differences existed between various groups, departments, and watch rotations. The Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness Model-Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool was used to predict the on-watch effectiveness of the participants. This research also sought to determine if the Navy standard workweek (NSWW) is an accurate tool for determining manning levels on U.S. aircraft carriers. The results showed that sailors and officers experienced severe to moderate sleep debt, often stood watch with low predicted effectiveness levels, and experienced high levels of daytime sleepiness. This study suggests that the NSWW should be updated and supplemented with a more robust tool for informing manpower decisions. Key differences in daytime sleepiness, diurnal preference, average daily sleep, and on-watch predicted effectiveness levels were found between the various groups, departments, and watch rotations analyzed in this study.
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