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New Study Shows Soaring Rates of Sleep Issues Among Troops

written by / April 17, 2021
New Study Shows Soaring Rates of Sleep Issues Among Troops

A new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio showed a massive increase in the incidence of insomnia and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) among active-duty military personnel. 

The study published late last month covers 14 years between 2005 and 2019 and the active-military members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. 

The results were jaw-dropping, to say the least!

The insomnia occurrence grew an appalling 45 times over time, while the obstructive sleep apnea incidence increased thirtyfold. 

Following their data, researchers also defined the typical sleep disorder sufferer among veterans — a married higher-ranking Army member, white, male, and older than 40.  

That said, both OSA and insomnia incidence rates were lower for female members, even though they are twice as likely than men to develop insomnia in the civilian population. So, experts concluded that there’s possible on-field underdiagnosis in regards to women.

Also, there are several hypotheses as to why Army members are affected more, here’s but a few:

  • Longer deployment periods (21 months vs. 12–16 months for others)
  • Better accessibility to medical centers compared to other military branches
  • Better education on sleep disorders
  • Differences in combat operations

The studies also show a direct link between sleeping disorders and veteran’s combat exposure. For example, during the most warfare-active years of the US Army (2003–2011), insomnia was 652% more frequent, and OSA — a whopping 600%.

What’s more, results from a previous study confirmed that sleep problems are rarely the only health conditions among US Military. They are more likely accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or chronic pain.

What’s worse, these disorders persist well after returning from duty. So, veteran discounts for sleep aids like mattresses for back pain and anti-snoring devices make quite a lot of sense.

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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