• New Training Helps Providers Treat Service Members with Post-Concussion Sleep Problems
    Image of training with text "Managing Sleep Disturbances Following Concussion: Deployed and Non-Deployed Primary Care Settings"

    Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) released a new training module to help primary health care providers assess and treat patients with sleep problems after a brain injury.

    The training teaches providers how to quickly navigate the “Management of Sleep Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Guidance for Primary Care Management in Deployed and Non-Deployed Settings” clinical recommendation. This clinical guidance helps standardize the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of post-concussion sleep disturbances among service members.

    “The overall goal of this training is to help providers mitigate sleep disturbances resulting from a mild TBI by increasing the consistency of care for patients throughout the Military Health System,” said Dr. Scott Livingston, DVBIC’s education director.

  • Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep in the Military?
    Photo Credit: David Vergun

    Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for service members. The demands of military life are often at odds with proper rest, but even on active duty, you have options to improve your sleep. 

    Studies of service members show that poor sleep can lead to a variety of mental and physical health concerns, including increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder or depression. Poor sleep can also cause problems such as fatigue or daytime impairment during daily tasks.

    Many strategies for getting enough rest involve altering your sleep environment, your bedtime or wake-up time. These strategies assume you have control over your schedule and quarters. Often, you don’t control these factors, especially while deployed. Issues such as low manpower, fast-paced work and frequent shift jobs can increase fatigue. What’s more, noise and light may be impossible to regulate.

  • Manage Your Screens for Sweeter Dreams
    Read the full story: Manage Your Screens for Sweeter Dreams

    We all know that a good night’s rest is important for our health, but sleep can be hard to come by. Many of our daily habits can make it hard to fall asleep consistently, especially habits that involve electronics and screens. Learn how managing your screen exposure can make it easier to rest easy with this infographic!

    But wait, there’s more! We have more resources to help improve your sleep…

  • Counting Sheep? 10 Tips to Help Foster Healthy Sleep Habits
    Read the full story: Counting Sheep? 10 Tips to Help Foster Healthy Sleep Habits

    Sleep is important for healthy brain function, emotional well-being and overall good physical health. But many service members and veterans are not getting the sleep they need. A study conducted by Rand Corp. determined about 70 percent of deployable service members reported six hours or less of sleep per day, almost half said they sleep poorly and one-third felt fatigued three to four times per week.

    Psychological health concerns or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may make sleep even more difficult. Sleep disturbances are common for those recovering from a brain injury, while nightmares are common for those who have experienced trauma. Making simple changes to your behavior and environment — sleep schedule, bedtime habits and daily lifestyle choices — can help you get a better night’s rest.

  • Your Electronics May be Ruining Your Sleep
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Denoris Mickle

    Do you spend countless hours at night playing video games, watching TV and trolling on social media? Are you having trouble falling asleep? Using electronic devices more often for longer periods of time has a negative impact on sleep, according to a recent study presented at a webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Dec. 3.

    Sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions are controlled by a person’s circadian rhythm over a 24-hour period of time. Light exposure can disrupt sleep and affect the circadian rhythm, which is why research is looking at how the increased use of electronics may be impacting our sleep. TV, computers, tablets and cell phones all produce what is referred to as blue light waves in dark rooms during night hours.

  • Can’t Sleep? Concussion May be Culprit
    Can't sleep? Head injuries can cause insomnia.

    Army Spec. Daniel Peña had trouble sleeping at night and often felt tired during the day. Sleep can be a problem for service members who chug caffeinated drinks to stay awake during long shifts and then pop pills to help them sleep.

    But Peña’s problem was a little different. A sleep study found that during a six-hour period when Peña thought he was asleep, he actually woke up 529 times after he stopped breathing, a condition known as sleep apnea.