Turns out sleep is so critical to our overall performance that it’s the top initiative in the US Army’s “Performance Triad”—a plan to improve readiness and increase resilience in our armed forces. Somewhat surprising, especially because the other two elements—activity and nutrition—are such obvious factors. But a quick Google search proved that sure enough, study after study back up the importance of sleep.
So the problem is real. But how did military health arrive at sleep as a top priority? They saw the whole story in their data. It’s only in the last decade or so that the importance of sleep has become a noteworthy topic, and it’s certainly not as much in the public eye as nutrition and exercise.
Understanding how sleep impacts a factor like financial success, for example, comes from marrying multiple data sets from sleep studies with socioeconomic data. Today, it’s easier than ever to make these connections, thanks to our improved ability to store and analyze data.
Qlik’s Federal Director, Monica McEwen, recently participated on a Federal Health IT panel where she discussed how the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta is doing just that. By storing and analyzing all vitals on premature babies in the NICU (data that is typically purged daily), they learned that babies were in distress as a result of a retina procedure. As a result, they made improvements to their post-operative care procedure.
What’s the secret to uncovering more of those “ah ha” moments? It’s simple: store more data and dig deeper into your analysis.
And now that we know lack of sleep can essentially make us dumber, I suppose it’s a valid excuse for occasional bouts of stupidity. So please forgive any typos in this blog—just chalk it up to poor cognitive ability.