Enhanced Rack Curtains Improve Sleep

Photo above U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Isaac Cantrell/Released. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

A 2020 study conducted by Lt. Mittleider (U.S. Navy), a graduate student at the Naval Postgraduate School, found that premium blackout rack curtains can “improve habitability within the berthing compartments, not only through its light and temperature properties, but also through the utility of customizations such as pockets or fasteners.”

The study compared sleep patterns in 71 officer and enlisted participants aboard the USS MOMSEN (DDG 92). Sailors slept longer when using a high-quality rack curtain capable of reducing light entering the rack. More than half of the Sailors surveyed believed that temperature and light played important roles in their sleep quality. Light and temperature data collected using monitoring devices showed that enhanced rack curtains do a better job at reducing the amount of light entering a rack and regulating temperature. The individual fans installed in each rack are not as effective if the cool air escapes into the room. High-quality curtains can help keep fan air circulating within the rack.

In addition to improved sleep, curtains with pockets gives Sailors more options for storing belongings and keeps racks organized. Most enlisted Sailors are limited to the storage beneath their rack. Getting something simple like a cell phone charger requires them to get out of their rack and open the storage compartment. Curtain pockets are a simple way to add convenience and improve the utility of a Sailors personal space.

Lt. Mittleider believes “it is time for the Navy rack curtain to go beyond the initial design criteria of merely providing privacy.” Until the U.S. Navy decides to invest in upgrading shipboard rack curtains, we at Cruise Curtains will continue to offer a high-quality alternative to the basic rack curtain.

Source: Mittleider, C., , Megan. (2020). Improving U.S. Navy Shipboard Habitability: Effects of Light and Temperature in Berthing [M.S. thesis, Calhoun]. https://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/64934

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