Difficulties in Deployed Active-Duty Service Members Performing Security Duties

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Authors
Matsangas, Panagiotis
Shattuck, Nita Lewis
Saitzyk Arlene
Subjects
Advisors
Date of Issue
2020
Date
2020
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Language
en_US
Abstract
Objective: To assess sleep-related difficulties (e.g., trouble staying asleep, oversleeping, falling asleep while on duty, disturbing dreams, sleep paralysis) and behavioral patterns of active-duty service members (ADSMs) performing security duties. Participants: The participants were 1,169 ADSMs (20–44 years of age). Methods: ADSMs completed an online survey (67.3% response rate) with items assessing demographics, the occupational environment, sleep-related attributes, habits, or difficulties, factors affecting sleep, aids and techniques used to improve sleep, and the use of sleep-related products. Results: ADSMs reported sleeping ~6.5 hr/day (~56% reported sleeping < 6 hr). Sleep-related difficulties were reported by ~72% of the ADSMs (i.e., 55.1% had problems staying asleep, 33.1% reported experiencing sleep paralysis, 25.6% reported over- sleeping, 21.6% had disturbing dreams, and 4.79% reported falling asleep while on duty). Daily sleep duration and quality, occupational factors (shift work, operational commitments, collateral duties, habitability, taking anti- malarial medication, years deployed), and personal factors or behaviors (history of sleep problems, problems in personal life, late exercise times, altering sleep schedule to talk or text with family or friends) were asso- ciated with sleep-related difficulties. Some ADSMs reported using alcohol (~14%) or exercising prior to bedtime (~34%) in an attempt to fall sleep faster. Conclusions: We identified a high prevalence of sleep-related diffi- culties in our military sample. Even though most ADSMs used sleep hygiene practices to improve their sleep, some ADSMs used methods not recommended. Improving ADSMs’ daily schedule (to include periods for exercising, and protected sleep periods), and further emphasis on sleep hygiene practices may be viable methods to reinforce behaviors promoting healthy sleep and improve performance.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1080/15402002.2019.1578771
Series/Report No
Department
Operations Research (OR)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
14 p.
Citation
Panagiotis Matsangas, Nita Lewis Shattuck & Arlene Saitzyk (2020) Sleep-Related Practices, Behaviors, and Sleep-Related Difficulties in Deployed Active-Duty Service Members Performing Security Duties, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 18:2, 262-274
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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