Sleep Disturbances Common in National Guard Soldiers After Deployment, Professor Lincoln Finds

Monday, July 02, 2018
Black and white photo of Martha Lincoln

PSYCH CONGRESS NETWORK/REUTERS HEALTH -- National Guard soldiers may be plagued with sleep problems when they return home from the battlefield, according to a small study.

For the new analysis, published online June 22 in Sleep Health, researchers first surveyed 928 veterans on National Guard bases in Hawaii and New Mexico who had been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or other war zones. More than 90 percent were male.

All branches of military personnel are prone to having sleep issues after deployment, which means they’re also more prone to mental health problems. Military culture has a tendency to stigmatize servicemen and women who receive services for mental or behavioral problems,” lead author Martha Lincoln of San Francisco State University told Reuters Health in a telephone interview.

“We hope the impact of this research will be to add to the evidence base for military intervention and health policy so there can be upstream awareness of how insomnia is affecting people,” she said.