Sleep Study, Air Force Looking For Drug Free Sleep Aid
Posted Oct 22 2008 4:38pm
A new study is planned by Kettering Health Network and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to learn better ways of improving the performance of sleep-deprived people without using drugs.
It is increasingly common for pilots to go 20 to 30 hours with no rest or very little sleep. The Air Force has found some success in keeping them alert with the psychostimulant modafinil, marketed as Provigil. It is not an amphetamine stimulant, but still has chemical effects on the mind.
The Air Force's goals are to learn who's most likely to suffer cognitive decline from lack of sleep and how to reduce those effects with nutritional supplements, as opposed to chemicals with bad side effects.
The research could have such civilian beneficiaries as truck drivers, commercial pilots and physicians, who can work hospital shifts longer than 24 hours. But the potential benefits of improving cognitive performance go well beyond the obvious targets.
They're trying to enhance wellness here without the use of chemicals. That's very applicable to all of us.