Stars and Stripes: Sleep deprivation hinders military readiness, yet service members are twice as likely as civilians to experience it, according to a recent government report.

The “Study on Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Readiness of Members in the Armed Forces,” published Feb. 26, said sleep deprivation “may be the most important biological factor that determines service member health and combat readiness.”

The report was compiled by Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Virginia Penrod after a comprehensive review of relevant scientific studies, several of which indicated that 64% of service members lack enough sleep compared to 28-37% of civilians.

Sleep deprivation causes “reduced ability to execute complex cognitive tasks, communicate effectively, quickly make appropriate decisions, maintain vigilance and sustain a level of alertness required to carry out assigned duties,” according to the report.

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