Navy Rules & Regulations for Sleeping on the Ship

The Navy has specific rules for sleeping on ships.

Rules and regulations govern every aspect of daily life in the U.S. Navy, including sleeping on the ship. These standards relate to the assignment of sleeping quarters, what Navy personnel may wear while sleeping, the use of bright lights and making beds in the morning.

1 Assigned Sleeping Quarters

All Navy personnel must sleep only in assigned berths on the ship, unless otherwise directed by proper authorities. Navy rules and regulations dictate that berth assignments should be commensurate with pay grade or rank.

2 Appropriate Sleeping Attire

Navy personnel may not sleep (or lie down on a berth) while wearing shoes, working clothes or dungarees on the ship.

3 No Smoking in Bed

Rules and regulations dictate that Navy personnel may not smoke, either sitting up or lying down, while resting in a bunk or berth during sleeping hours. Berthing areas, along with most other below-deck areas of Navy ships including lounges and mess rooms, are explicitly excluded from smoking privileges. On most vessels, smoking is permitted only on weather decks or specifically designated, well-ventilated areas.

4 No Tampering With Beds

Navy personnel may not remove mattresses from bunks to place elsewhere on the ship. Regulations state that sleeping takes place on an assigned mattress within an assigned bunk.

5 Quiet Time

During the night, Navy personnel may not make disruptive noises or turn on bright lights that may disturb the sleep of others on the ship.

6 Making Beds

Upon waking up, personnel must make beds unless sick or otherwise authorized to remain in bed later than indicated rising times.

7 No Sleeping in

Navy personnel may not sleep in on the ship without proper authorization due to late watches or late boat trips.

8 Separate male and female quarters

While on the ship, female Navy personnel must sleep in separate quarters from male personnel that are commensurate with pay grade or rank. If there is no space for private sleeping quarters for female civilians aboard ship, their berth assignments take priority over male civilians. Affected male civilians are provided with alternative sleeping quarters.

9 Adequate sleep

Because fatigue can lead to judgment and performance impairment, all members of the Navy must get adequate sleep while on the ship. The Navy relies on a formula that indicates a risk of fatigue-related impairment if sleep within the past 24 hours is less than 5 hours; if sleep within the past 48 hours is less than 12 hours; or if time awake since last sleeping is greater than the amount of sleep within the last 48 hours.

Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.