It’s not big surprise, to either civilians or those in the military, that military service can have an impact on regular sleeping patterns. But new research that looked at National Guard personnel has shown even after their tours of duty end the soldiers can still suffer from sleep problems. The study looked at National Guard who deployed to war zones, and found over fifty percent reported sleeping issues after they were off active duty and back in their homes. These issues ranged from difficulty staying or falling sleep, or side effects of having interrupted or inefficient sleep such as stress and anxiety. The risk was even higher for soldiers who are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms; more than eighty percent of such soldiers had sleep issues.
The study also looked at how the affected soldiers responded to their sleeping problems, which included self medication with over the counter drugs or alcohol, or turning to exercise or hobbies to manage the issues. Many military personnel resist medical treatment for mental or behavioral matters. The study’s authors are hopeful their research can be used by the military to help effect cultural change within the military, or at least to alert military doctors to be in a better position to monitor and assist soldiers so fewer have to suffer needlessly.
Even after their deployment ends, soldiers may have sleep disorders that impact their life. #HealthStatus
- 1After coming home, National Guard soldiers report having sleep problems.
- 2Having sleep problems increases the likelihood of developing mental health problems.
- 3Researchers are hoping to combat the stigma of receiving mental services in the military.
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