Linking Sleep & Deployment in US Naval Personnel

Research Paper Title

Self-Reported Sleep During U.S. Navy Operations and the Impact of Deployment-Related Factors.


Sleep disruption is a growing concern among military personnel. Very little is known, however, regarding sleep and associated factors in military members serving in combat environments.


The researchers sought to quantify the prevalence of sleep disruption among military personnel serving in a combat zone during Operation Enduring Freedom, utilising a cross-sectional survey of active duty and reserve U.S. Navy personnel in the Afghanistan combat theater (N = 6,118).

Survey sleep measures included total hours of sleep per day, total hours of sleep needed to feel well rested, difficulty falling asleep, and difficulty staying asleep.

Other reported outcomes included accidents related to the mission.


Participants reported an average of 5.9 hours of sleep per day despite needing an average of 6.8 hours to feel well rested. Fifty-seven percent reported insufficient sleep, and this interacted with mission type. Sleep disruption was associated with number of prior deployments, as well as total number of months in a combat zone. Further, those who reported less sleep were more likely to report causing an accident or error that affected the mission.


This article documents basic sleep metrics and deployment-related correlates of sleep disruption among military members in a combat zone.


Harrison, E. Glickman, G.L. Beckerley, S. & Taylor, M.K. (2017) Self-Reported Sleep During U.S. Navy Operations and the Impact of Deployment-Related Factors. Military Medicine. 182(S1):189-194. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00078.


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