The percentage of Naval officers who are "getting adequate sleep," despite the Navy issuing "a policy in 2017 for managing fatigue," according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office -- Navy Readiness: Additional Efforts Are Needed to Manage Fatigue, Reduce Crewing Shortfalls, and Implement Training.
The Navy issued a fatigue management policy in 2017, but has inconsistently implemented it and sailors are not receiving adequate sleep. GAO conducted a survey in 2020 and estimates that 14 percent of officers received the then recommended 7 hours or more of sleep a day during their most recent deployment, while 67 percent received 5 hours or less. Navy data show that sailor effectiveness declines after prolonged periods without sleep, equating to impairment levels comparable to intoxication. The Navy updated its policy in December 2020—directing adherence to fatigue guidelines—and is taking steps to improve implementation, but is limited by a lack of quality information on sailor fatigue and the factors that cause lack of sleep. Without this information, the Navy cannot effectively manage fatigue to ensure crews operate ships safely.