A story that guarantees to put you to sleep

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Helena Owens
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

Imagine lying in bed, trying to count sheep, tossing and turning, getting so aggravated you can’t seem to find a comfortable enough spot to fall asleep.

Well fret no more, in June of 2021, U.S. Air Force Capt. Kevin Malina, a licensed clinical psychologist and a sleep optimization course instructor assigned to the 36th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Liela Garcia, health promotions program coordinator assigned to the 36 OMRS established a sleep optimization course that will put your sleeping concerns to rest.

“The sleep optimization class is important because sleep is the most essential function that allows the human body to restore, regenerate, and recover from physical and mental stress,” said Malina. “Good quality sleep with an appropriate amount of sleep has been shown to manifest in increased mental focus and alertness, higher emotional intelligence, greater physical performance with increased energy throughout the day, and increased social interactions.”

Garcia coordinates with various units across the 36th Wing and the resiliency coordinator for advertisement purposes with the intention of recruiting participants, especially within units in which sleep is problematic. It is open to all service members, civilians, contractors and dependents on Andersen.

“It is critical to attract sleep instructors like Capt. Malina who can deliver the information in a dynamic, interesting, interactive, and engaging fashion,” said Garcia. “Otherwise, the students will fall asleep,” she said jokingly.

This class offers an overview of the biopsychosocial aspects of sleep and understanding of key physical functions that contribute to promotion of healthy sleep patterns, as well as review of evidence-based sleep hygiene and stimulus control strategies that promote sufficient quantity of sleep and overall quality.

“The class is structured but there is no death by PowerPoint,” said Malina. “The class is fun, interactive, and informative. If members are ready to apply the skills and techniques in a consistent manner, they will likely experience relief from their sleep problems. When an individual is sleeping properly, their ability to successfully cope with various physical and mental stressors significantly increases. Ultimately resulting in them experiencing increased resiliency, self-efficacy, and an overall greater sense of well-being.”

Sleep is crucial for maintaining service members’ ability to successfully perform their occupational-related duties, thus contributing to mission success. If you are having trouble sleeping, use all the resources available to you. The sleep optimization class is held on the second Tuesday of each month.