Short sleep duration (SSD) is common among deployed soldiers. The prevalence of SSD during redeployment, however, is unknown.
Cross-sectional study of a brigade combat team (n = 3152 US Army soldiers) surveyed 90–180 days after completing a 6–15 month deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Survey items targeted sleep habits and comorbid medical conditions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate adjusted odds ratios of medical comorbidities associated with SSD.
US Army Infantry Post.
All soldiers from a redeploying brigade combat team participated in a health assessment between 90 and 180 days upon return to Ft. Lewis from Iraq.
Measurements and Results:
A total of 2738 (86.9%) soldiers answered questions regarding self-perceived sleep and were included in the analysis. Mean sleep duration was 5.8 ± 1.2 hours. Nineteen hundred fifty-nine (72%) slept ≤ 6 h, but only 16% reported a daytime nap or felt their job performance was affected due to lack of sleep. Short sleep was more common among soldiers who reported combat exposure. After controlling for combat exposure, short sleep duration (SSD) was associated with symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, panic syndrome, and with high-risk health behaviors such as abuse of tobacco and alcohol products, and suicide attempts.
SSD is common among redeployed soldiers. Soldiers who experienced combat are at increased risk for persistent SSD and comorbidities associated with SSD. Efforts to reestablish good sleep habits and aggressive evaluation of soldiers with persistent SSD following deployment may aid in the prevention and management of associated medical conditions.
Luxton DD; Greenburg D; Ryan J; Niven A; Wheeler G; Mysliwiec V. Prevalence and impact of short sleep duration in redeployed OIF soldiers. SLEEP 2011;34(9):1189-1195.