June 8, 2016
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Spouses of military service members experience significant sleep problems, which can impact their health and psycho-social functioning, research shows. The results underscore the importance of screening for sleep disturbances, providing evidence-based interventions to service members as well as their families.
Results show that 44 percent of spouses reported sleeping 6 hours or less per night. Approximately 54 percent of the sample endorsed daytime impairment due to sleep problems, and 62 percent reported experiencing daytime fatigue at least 1-2 times per week. Spouses of currently or previously deployed service members endorsed poorer sleep quality and more fatigue than spouses of service members who had never deployed.
"These results are important because we know very little about sleep problems among military spouses. Promoting sleep health may be an important strategy for enhancing military families' adjustment in the post-deployment period," said principal investigator Wendy Troxel, PhD, senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation. "This is particularly relevant given that the past 14 years of protracted overseas combat have exacted an unprecedented toll on U.S. service members and their families."
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented June 12 in Denver at SLEEP 2016, the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).
The study group comprised 1,480 female spouses of military service members who completed self-report instruments related to sleep, physical health, marital satisfaction, and depression. Information regarding service member military characteristics (e.g., branch of service, deployment history) was also available.