Infantry Drills

6-56: Rest and Sleep Plan Management

Previous: 6-55: Mess Plan

6-56. All leaders within the platoon must understand the problems associated with sleep deprivation and the consequences of not following the unit rest and sleep plan. The body needs regular rest to restore physical and mental vigor. When a Soldier is tired, his bodily functions are sluggish, and his ability to react is slower than normal, which makes him more susceptible to sickness, and to making errors that could endanger him or other members of the platoon. For the best health, you should get six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each day. As that is seldom possible in combat, use rest periods and off-duty time to rest or sleep.

6-57. The platoon leader must develop and enforce the unit sleep plan that provides Soldiers with a minimum of 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period. If sleep is interrupted, then 5 hours should be given. During continuous operations when uninterrupted sleep is not possible, blocks of sleep which add up to 6 hours in a 24-hour period are adequate for most people. Remember, 4 hours each 24-hour period is far from ideal. Do not go with only 4 hours sleep each 24 hours for more than two weeks before paying back sleep debt. Recovery time should be approximately 8 to 10 hours sleep each 24 hours over a 5- to 7-day period.

Next: 6-58: Alert Plan and “Stand To”

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad