Deployment-Related Insomnia in Military Personnel and Veterans
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- Bramoweth, A.D. & Germain, A. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2013) 15: 401. doi:10.1007/s11920-013-0401-4
Insomnia is a prevalent disorder that greatly impacts military personnel, especially those deployed in support of combat efforts. Deployment-related stressors like combat exposure, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) irregular sleep-wake schedules, and adjustment to the return home all contribute to insomnia. However, insomnia can also exacerbate the deployment experience and is a risk factor for traumatic stress reactions such as PTSD, depression, and suicide. Military personnel with mTBI are significantly impacted by insomnia; the majority experience sleep disruption and this can impede recovery and rehabilitation. As more service members return home from deployment, treatment is vital to reduce the impact of insomnia. Preliminary outcome data, showing positive results for reduction of sleep disruption, has been found with treatments such as combined cognitive behavioral treatment of insomnia (CBTI) and imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), preference-based interventions, as well as efforts to broadly disseminate CBTI. The recent literature on the impact and treatment of deployment-related insomnia is reviewed.