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Based on research by Mysliwiec, Vincent, Gill, J., Lee, H., Baxter, T., Pierce, R., Barr, T. L., … and Roth, B. J. (2013) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.
Did you know that sleep difficulties are among the most common symptoms of military personnel returning from deployment?
Psychologists examined the presence of sleep disorders in 110 active duty US military personnel., who were referred for an evaluation within 18 months of returning from deployment. The researchers studied the relationships between sleep difficulties and other service-related diagnoses of pain, depression, mild traumatic brain injury, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Results indicated almost half met diagnostic criteria for two or more service-related diagnoses. About 90% participants were diagnosed with a sleep disorder; 60% insomnia and 60% sleep apnea, while 40% experienced both. These military personnel who experienced both insomnia and sleep apnea were 70% more likely to have depression, mild traumatic brain injury, pain, or PTSD, and almost half reporting two or more diagnoses. And more likely had depression and PTSD compared with those with no sleep disorder or with sleep apnea only .
Health care providers and veterans, be aware. Check for and treat sleep apnea and disturbances following deployment, especially if depression, PTSD or other mental health and insomnia complaints are present.
Mysliwiec, V., Gill, J., Lee, H., Baxter, T., Pierce, R., Barr, T. L., … & Roth, B. J. (2013). Sleep disorders in US military personnel: a high rate of comorbid insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. CHEST Journal, 144(2), 549-557.