|Navy 'Boot Camp' (Public Domain)|
Soldiers supporting our freedom to do this are often forced to catch a few winks on the run. If you “get out of bed at 4 in the morning, jam yourself into boots… [then] run from 5-10 miles at a hearty pace,” you too can be wondering: Is it nap time yet?
The answer would be a resounding “No!” In fact, the never-ending day is just beginning.
Hunger trumps fatigue, so you choke down some breakfast within “a couple of minutes” before being herded into a “cattle car.” A three-day field training exercise is about to begin.
This would be grueling under normal circumstances, but cumulative sleep deprivation makes it far worse. In sweltering heat, you carry a 75-pound backpack for miles. Snakes cross your path, and chiggers chomp your skin. You momentarily get to rest on a jagged rock (which by then feels like a “well worn leather recliner”).
After going without any sleep for two more days, you continue on “like a zombie.” By now you’re hallucinating, and your REM patterns are “so messed up.” “Micro-sleeps” spontaneously occur, which are sometimes interrupted by “a kick in the ribs.”
So that’s the military cure for insomnia. Are you feeling lucky yet?
Copyright October 9, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved