Veterans and Sleep: Common Sleep Disorders in our Veteran Population
Everyone knows about the importance of sleep and its role in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, though, getting the sleep we need is not always an easy task, and it can be an especially vexing problem for our veterans.
Research shows that veterans face heightened challenges when it comes to sleep. In one study, a significant percentage of veterans and current service members — over 74% — reported symptoms consistent with insomnia, and this figure is even higher in veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Lack of sleep can cause or contribute to a wide range of health issues. For example, it can exacerbate mental health problems like PTSD and depression, reinforcing sleeping problems. A sleep deficit can affect the cardiovascular and metabolic systems in complex ways. It can also disrupt cognitive function, create risks when driving, and lead to problems in the workplace.
To understand more about this issue, we’ll review the current research about sleep disturbances for veterans, their possible causes and effects, and some of the treatments that may be helpful in addressing them.