Sleep News Special Report || Veterans Day Edition: Our vets need their sleep!

This special supplement covers the top of mind concerns of military personnel this Veterans Day.

Veterans, by and large, struggle with sleep, and so do their families and caregivers. Whether caused by traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, combat-related cases of sleep apnea, tinnitus, or other problems, they need our help. SHC remembers them this Veterans Day with recent links that specifically address the challenges of living with sleep problems after putting in one’s time in military service.



Read what SHC has to say about sleep problems among military personnel here

Veterans Day sleepyhead central ptsd sleep disability apnea ptsdRead this special edition of Combat Stress magazine: “Sleep: The Missing Link—Sleep Assessment and Interventions for Combat Veterans with Disrupted Sleep,” which was published in February 2017.

Features include:

  • Sleep: The Missing Link
  • Sleep Assessments and Interventions for Combat Veterans with Disrupted Sleep
  • The Epidemic of Veteran Suicides: The Myth of 22 Suicides Per Day
  • What Veterans with PTSD Should Know About Their Claims

Combat Stress is produced by the American Institute of Stress.

Dateline: October 5, 2017 from KSDK
Veterans and first responders with PTSD get help from support dogs

Nicole Lanahan, the executive director of Got Your Six, said the veterans with dogs report being happier and healthier. ‘They’ve all reported an increase in sleep,’ Lanahan said.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 16, 2017 from Current Psychiatry Reports
Dementia Risk in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: the Relevance of Sleep-Related Abnormalities in Brain Structure, Amyloid, and Inflammation

Recent literature suggests several potential mechanisms by which sleep impairments might contribute to the increased risk of dementia observed in PTSD.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 17, 2017 from SleepPhones
Sleep Deprivation in Basic Training

A strictly regulated sleep schedule is customary in the military, one in which five to six hours per night is considered average for new service members. …In addition to being physically and mentally draining, sleep restriction has many other repercussions, including injury, difficulty concentrating, impaired physical ability, and compromised communication between soldiers. The dangers of sleep deprivation were truly illuminated in a qualitative sleep study by Military Medicine, where it was reported that a soldier fell asleep while firing a weapon.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 18, 2017 from Sleep Review
Investigating Forensic Sleep Medicine

A unique aspect of the job, according to [David Brodner, MD, owner of The Center for Sinus, Allergy, & Sleep Wellness] is the ability to help veterans and current military members who have sleep-related problems like sleep apnea or insomnia and need to determine if the disorder was caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. ‘I help veterans who suffer from sleep issues caused by military service to get the proper disability payment,’ he says.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 23, 2017 from The Atlantic
Better Sleep Can Build Emotional Resilience

PTSD is already known to be associated with sleep disturbances, and past studies have shown that sleep-deprived people have more activity in their amygdalae upon being shown upsetting pictures. So why might REM sleep make us less prone to encoding traumatic emotions?(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 23, 2017 from Snoring HQ
Sleep Apnea Disability Benefits for Veterans

The struggles of soldiers returning from duty manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. Of increasing concern in the medical community is the number of growing veterans suffering from sleep apnea (SA). Whether you know someone who has served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or foreign soil somewhere else, returning veterans need and deserve our attention and help. …Although many show the scars of physical injury, countless more veterans bear silent scars. Sleep apnea and its symptoms are devastating for our returning war heroes during their civilian life readjustment period.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 25, 2017 from Disability Denials
Sleep Apnea Long Term Disability Claim Attorney

Veterans may qualify for disability compensation for sleep apnea. However in the past year, VA has changed a few rules.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 25, 2017 from Science Daily
Role of gut microbiome in posttraumatic stress disorder: More than a gut feeling

The bacteria in your gut could hold clues to whether or not you will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a traumatic event.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 27, 2017 from American Academy of Sleep Medicine
AASM supports proposed rule to increase veterans’ telemedicine access

[T]he AASM’s comments to the VA note the Academy’s commitment to veterans’ health and the links between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 27, 2017 from True and Good Health
Sleep disorders 6 times higher among veterans

The research involved more than 9.7 million veterans treated by the Veterans Health Administration system between 2000 and 2010. The majority (93 percent) of these military service members were men. Slightly more than 750,000 were diagnosed with at least one sleep disorder, the study authors said.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 29, 2017 from Task & Purpose
One Sailor’s Withdrawal From Energy Drinks Captures The Navy’s Workload Problems

With focus increasing on the Navy’s long work schedules and sleep deprivation after collisions that resulted in a combined 17 deaths aboard two ships, the service’s medical professionals are warning sailors about the dangers of excessive energy drink intake. … Energy drink abuse has long been reported as a problem within the services, particularly in combat zones. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 2010 showed that soldiers and Marines deployed to Afghanistan who consumed three or more energy drinks per day were more likely to sleep less than four hours per night, and more likely to fall asleep during duty. … The Navy’s recent accidents led senators to question whether sleep deprivation might be partially to blame. Sen. John McCain asked Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson last month whether some sailors were working 100-hour weeks aboard ships, to which Richardson replied, ‘I will not deny that.’(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 30, 2017 from Mountain Xpress
David Lynch offers local veterans scholarships to learn stress-reducing meditation

[Asheville TM teacher Jane Pitt] … cites scientific research studies showing the TM [transcendental meditation] technique [is] effective for reducing symptoms of PTSD, decreasing anxiety and depression, and improving sleep.(click headline for more)

Dateline: October 31, 2017 from Schriever Air Force Base
Schriever shares super powers for Wingman Day

The event featured guest speaker Lt. Col. Rena Nicholas, 460th Medical Group, director of psychological health. … As one of only two board certified sleep specialists in the Air Force, Nicholas detailed the physical and mental effects of sleep and spoke to the importance of maintaining a proper sleep cycle. …’If we really want a world-class organization, prioritizing sleep matters,’ Nicholas said. ‘Why sleep? It’s not just about performance, but also health. Every single health-related health concern will have a sleep vector associated with it.’ …Nicholas highlighted various methods to improve sleep, including waking up at the same time consistently (even on weekends) to regulate one’s sleep cycle, and avoiding large meals before bed.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 1, 2017 from Defense Video Industry Distribution System
Behavioral health professionals provide a ready resource for deployed Soldiers

‘The first step in going to talk with someone may be the hardest—but after that, it’s easy,’ said [Staff Sgt. Michael McMillan, behavioral health non-commissioned officer in charge]. ‘The goal is not to send Soldiers home or put them on medication unnecessarily. We want to do all we can to help Soldiers, so they can do their jobs and learn better tools for coping and managing stress.’ …There are a plethora of unforeseen issues that can arise during a deployment and after. Issues are not restricted by rank or gender—and any Soldier can find themselves in a position of needing help to restore a healthy balance of sleep, nutrition, exercise and spirituality.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 2, 2017 from The New York Times
Navy Orders New Training After Deadly Ship Collisions

Navy officials have now ordered more sleep for crews and no more 100-hour workweeks for sailors. The new rules essentially will adopt studies by the Naval Postgraduate School to develop a shorter watch schedule to match circadian rhythms, which uses three hours of watch duty and nine hours off.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 2, 2017 from News Medical
Intrusive Thoughts and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

People with PTSD are stuck in the memories and time during which they experienced the incident and are less attentive to their present life. Sufferers report a frequent recurrence of distressing memories. Patients also have nightmares about the event. They exhibit movements during sleep as a result of nightmares.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 2, 2017 from Northwest Florida Daily News
Judge to receive Governor’s Medal of Merit for work on vets issues

Maney’s stay at Walter Reed, which also provided him and his wife, Caroline, with opportunities to mentor other wounded warriors, got him more attuned to the challenges of mental health and substance abuse issues among veterans and service members, and planted the seeds for what would become the veterans court. …As just a couple of examples of how the veterans court deals with warriors who come into the criminal justice system, Maney noted that a service-experienced head injury, for example, might manifest itself as a short temper contributing to a criminal charge. …Or, he said, veterans and service members suffering post-traumatic stress disorder likely could experience sleep deprivation, which can in turn lead to problematic conduct.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 2, 2017 from Telegraph
I made it back from the brink of suicide. Many military veterans like me aren’t so fortunate

John-Paul Jordan, former French Foreign Legion and SAS soldier: It was the undiagnosed, non-visible injuries from war that got me – not the physical ones from being blown up. Those mental wounds triggered the drink, the drugs, the loss of sleep, the feeling that I wasn’t a man, the irrational thinking, the paranoia, the break-up of my marriage. I reached a point where I’d had enough.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 2, 2017 from US Department of Veterans Administration
Tips for getting a better night’s sleep for Veterans with PTSD

There is evidence that people with with PTSD, including Veterans, often suffer from sleep problems and poor sleep, which can make it difficult to function and decrease quality of life. …Insomnia can be a significant challenge. Among active duty personnel with PTSD, research tells us 92 percent suffer from clinically significant insomnia, compared to 28 percent of those without PTSD.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 3, 2017 from The New York Times
The Promise of Ecstasy for PTSD

The F.D.A. approval is a beacon of hope for the roughly eight million Americans believed to suffer from PTSD, a group that includes victims of abuse, refugees and combat veterans. The shortcomings in the way we have typically treated PTSD mean that many are condemned to suffer from the condition for years, even decades, with little relief.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 3, 2017 from SELF
What’s the Difference Between Nightmares and Sleep Terrors?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are a few things that increase the likelihood of having a nightmare, including eating before bed (your metabolism kicks in, keeping your brain active), medications including certain antidepressants, lack of sleep, sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome, and stress. Recurring nightmares, or bad dreams where the same theme or events play out, are especially prevalent among trauma survivors and people with PTSD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 4, 2017 from Chicago Tribune
Retirement brings peace for some Vietnam vets, distress for others

Their PTSD symptoms, which can include sleep disturbance, social isolation and irritability, can be triggered by TV series, photographs or news coverage of tragedies, such as the Las Vegas mass shooting, said [Laura Broderick, a mental health social worker with Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital]. … When it kicks in, Broderick said, they can become ‘hypervigilant.’(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 4, 2017 from The Corsair
The Horrors of living with PTSD

Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: flashbacks, nightmares, horrifying thoughts, avoidance of reminders of the trauma, becoming emotionally numb, being easily startled, having difficulty sleeping, and angry outbursts. These symptoms can disappear over time with the help of counseling, but some symptoms can last a lifetime.(click headline for more)

Dateline: November 6, 2017 from Huffington Post
Taking Care Of Our Veterans’ Caregivers

The RAND Corporation estimates that informal caregivers for veterans save the United States millions of dollars in health care costs each year, providing in-home assistance to 5.5 million veterans. Yet time spent on caregiving takes a toll; family members are often not well-trained or well-supported as they care for their loved ones, and taking on a caregiver role may lead to the loss of a job or income. The role can be physically and emotionally taxing, and caregivers may feel burned out, stressed and isolated.(click headline for more

Dateline: November 6, 2017 from Washington Post
Veterans tell of medical marijuana use in defiance of backward federal policy

Joshua James Frey, combat veteran of the Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment: “Medical marijuana saved me …I feel like I did before the war (in Iraq) mentally and …know this could help not just the veterans struggling, but it could help anyone struggling with addiction and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).(click headline for more)


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