A study by researchers at the University of South Carolina in Columbia reveals that sleep disorders in veterans has increased six-fold over an 11-year period. A sample of more than 9.7 million U.S. veterans seeking care in the Veterans Health Administration between 2000 and 2010 showed the prevalence of sleep disorders increased from less than 1% in 2000 to nearly 6% in 2010, according to the study published in the July issue of the journal Sleep. Veterans who had post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental disorders or combat experience suffered from the largest number of sleep disorders. Results also show that the prevalence of PTSD tripled during the study period.
Military spouses suffer from sleep troubles, too
While the number of veterans experiencing sleep disorders is growing, spouses of military personnel also suffer from sleep problems, according to findings presented at Sleep 2016, a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society held in June in Denver. As part of the Deployment Life Study, 1,480 female spouses of deployable military members completed self-reports regarding sleep, physical health, marital satisfaction and depression. Researchers found that 44% of spouses reported sleeping six hours or less per night. As a result, 54% said their sleep problems caused daytime impairment and 62% reported feeling fatigue during the day at least once or twice a week. Not surprisingly, those married to military members who currently or previously were deployed reported poorer sleep and more fatigue than spouses of members who were never deployed.