Sleep Disturbances in U.S. Army Soldiers after Deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq


Name: Betty Garner

Rank: MAJ, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA

Year Published: 2008

Abstract Status: Project Completed


Over one million military personnel have deployed since 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operational Iraqi Freedom (OIF).The deployed environment is filled with great uncertainty and a heightened sense of awareness for survival that may potentially lead to the development of sleep disturbances in Soldiers who are involved. Epidemiologic studies have identified sleep disturbances as both a risk factor and a manifestation of psychiatric problems and/or physical problems. Studies on deployed military personnel from wars in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have focused on the prevalence of psychiatric problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Even though sleep disturbances are common and treatments are available, problems with sleep are often overlooked and not examined by healthcare providers or under-reported by military personnel possibly due to stigmatization and barriers associated with seeking help for psychiatric problems. Hence, a study assessing the prevalence of sleep disturbances in Soldiers returning from deployment would enhance the timely identification of Soldiers with sleep disturbances and those at risk for persistent sleep disturbances after their return to the United States. Describing the prevalence of sleep disturbances is an initial step toward improving assessment and treatment of disturbed sleep that may ultimately improve health outcomes in this population. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to assess the prevalence sleep disturbances and to identify factors associated with sleep disturbances in U.S. Army Soldiers after returning from at least one year deployment in support of OEF or OIF at two different time points: initially upon returning from deployment (Time 1) and 90 days after initial data collection (Time 2). Sample: Soldiers, ages 18 - 45, all genders and ranks, conducting post-deployment assessments at Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) site on Ft. Lewis, WA. Plan for Analysis: Descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple regression will be used. The impact of sleep disturbances on public health is enormous. As both a risk factor and a consequence of psychiatric and/or physical problems, billions of dollars are spent on direct and indirect costs associated with sleep disturbances in forms of medical costs and loss of productivity due to fatigue, sleepiness, and accidents. Thus, a timely assessment and treatment is imperative in improving health outcomes in the military population.


Final Report is available on NTRL: