Research by a Navy laboratory in Groton is now leading to changes for the undersea fleet. Military scientists concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch.
The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton, a cancer survivor. He said the illness he experienced as a junior officer helped convince him of the health benefits of keeping a sleep pattern in line with the body's natural rhythm.