Recently I attended “Sleep 2016” the 30th anniversary meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (co-hosted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society). With a combined membership of over 3,000, this is one of the largest conferences specifically focused on sleep disorders research and treatment. While a full review of the abstracts presented (over 1,000 in total) is obviously outside the scope of this blog post, I’d like to review some findings that may be of help to those we train and those we treat.
Blog posts with the tag "Sleep"
When I was finishing up my clinical training on internship, I was co-leading a therapy group for WWII Veterans who had all been POWs while in theater. Here it was over 50 years since their military service and they all had the same complaint; they had not been able to get a good night of sleep since that time. This is unfortunately a common problem for Veterans and active duty Service members. There have now been several studies reporting high rates of sleep problems, in particular insomnia and nightmares.
For military families, while there has been much attention paid to how military service can impact the Service member’s sleep, aspects of military service such as deployments, TDYs, PCSs, long hours, and stress on a Service member can also impact his or her children’s sleep. That is, on top of normal pediatric sleep issues, children in military families can face additional challenges to sleeping well.
So, I decided to increase my knowledge in this area by going straight to the source and interviewing a subject matter expert on pediatric behavioral sleep medicine, Dr. Brandy Roane, Ph.D., CBSM.
It is well-known that the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has dramatically increased among active duty Service members over approximately the past decade. While greater awareness and treatment-seeking, particularly as part of a medical rating, may contribute to greater diagnoses, it does not seem likely to me that those factors alone would explain a nearly six-fold increase. Which of course leads to the question: what is contributing to the rise in OSA among Service members?