Sleep issues

I was on a fire contract in Arkansas in the early 2000’s where not a whole bunch was happening. It was a slow season with a lot of rain. We spent most of the time finding a hangar for the helicopter so it doesn’t get beat up by the hail storms. As a result, my mechanic didn’t have a lot to do. I am always busy, fire or not, but since he didn’t have 2 other business to run or the need to come up with new comics, he slept. Most of the bases we were stationed at didn’t have internet yet, and that was all he could think of doing to pass the time. He had his little routine where he would do the preflight and a little paperwork, then sleep until noon. Then, after lunch, he slept for another two hours or so to pass the time, then he secured the aircraft and we went home.

After about a week or so, he came to me and confided in me that he has a really hard time sleeping at night. “I think I’m getting insomnia or something. I feel like I might need to see somebody. I just can’t sleep here in Arkansas.” I asked him if the sleep he did get was around 3 hours. “How did you know?”, he asked me slightly puzzled. I said “I’m no doctor, but it occurs to me that if the body needs about 8 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period and you sleep about 5 hours a day, your body would only need 3 more hours that night.” He was one of the best mechanics I’ve ever had with me on contract, but that thought never occurred to him, HAHA. Luckily, we started getting some fires not too long after that and getting back into a working-all-day routine seemed to fix his sleeping issues right away.


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