Study Links Sleep Quality to Veterans’ Resilience

The quality of a veteran’s or returning servicemember’s sleep can negatively affect his or her resilience. This from a new study conducted by the Durham VA Medical Center by lead author Jaime M. Hughes and colleagues. The research, the abstract for which was published in the medical journal Sleep and presented at the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, found associations between poor sleep quality and lower resilience in veterans and returning servicemembers.

The study included 2,597 veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Approximately 80 percent of the participants were men with a mean age of 37 years. The participants underwent an in-person assessment of their resilience, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep quality, and combat exposure.

The researchers found that 63 percent had poor sleep quality and that was negatively associated with resilience. The following sleep qualities were associated with lower resilience.

  • Longer sleep onset
  • Shorter sleep duration
  • Lower sleep efficiency
  • Worse sleep quality
  • Greater daytime disturbance

Resilience was identified as positive stress-coping ability, and could be a key to helping improve how veterans cope with PTSD. Sleep disturbances, PTSD, and other stress disorders are all part of a cycle of sleep deprivation and stress that many veterans face when readjusting to civilian life. If you suffer from health conditions related to your military service, Veterans Help Group® is here to help you file your veterans disability claim/ Call today – 1-855-855-8992.