Lande RG, Gragnani C. Sleep Trends of Active-Duty Service Members Referred for Psychiatric Care: A Descriptive Study. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2013;113(2):144–150. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2013.113.2.144.
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Context: Military service members have unique experiences that may contribute to sleep problems in this patient population.
Objective: To gather sleep habits and chronic sleep complaints among active-duty service members to identify common characteristics.
Methods: The investigators administered a detailed sleep log, the Pittsburgh Insomnia Rating Scale, the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and the Pre-Sleep Arousal Scale to consenting service members referred to a military psychiatric partial hospitalization program.
Results: A total of 57 service members participated in this study. Participants reported a mean of less than 5 total hours of sleep and sleep latencies of 30 minutes or more. Tobacco users (n=22) reported nearly a full hour less of total time slept. Service members with combat experience (n=26) reported qualitatively poorer sleep with less total sleep time (P=.05), greater presleep arousal (P=.01), and a substantially greater number of troubling dreams (P=.06) compared with service members without combat experience.
Conclusion: Chronic sleep issues are common complaints among military personnel, an anecdotal finding confirmed by the results of this study. These results lend support for more detailed sleep assessments, particularly among combat veterans.
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