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Sleep and PTSD in the Military Forces: A Reciprocal Relationship and a Psychiatric Approach

About the Course:

Sleep disturbances are well-recognized symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This review updates knowledge regarding the relationship between sleep during deployment, combat-related trauma, and PTSD in military personnel, from which the importance of restorative sleep results. The description of the characteristics of sleep in military forces with the considerable roles of the operational and training contexts highlights the important consequences of degraded sleep. Indeed, a lot of data suggest a dynamic link between sleep and the onset and chronicity of PTSD. We propose a reciprocal relationship model with strategies strongly recommended or already adopted by the military to promote restorative sleep before and after combat exposure. Among the alterations in a variety of sleep architecture and sleep patterns described in PTSD, the physiological hypothesis of REM sleep fragmentation in the development of PTSD symptoms may be important because REM sleep is generally associated with emotional memory. Finally, we address clinical and research perspectives that could be used to detect or restore sleep continuity before and during military deployment to possibly alleviate nightmares and insomnia related to combat exposure and PTSD occurrence and improve our understanding of sleep in PTSD.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Sleep and PTSD in the Military Forces: A Reciprocal Relationship and a Psychiatric Approach created by Emeric Saguin, MD, et al. in 2021.

Publication Date:

Brain Sci.2021, 11, 1310 Oct 2021

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Emeric Saguin, MD
Emeric Saguin, MD is affiliated with Begin Military Training Hospital and VIFASOM (Vigilance Fatigue Sommeil at Sante Publique) in Paris, France. Dr. Saguin has been involved in multiple research projects examining PTSD and has had his work published in multiple peer reviewed journals.
Danielle Gomez-Merino, PhD
Danielle Gomez-Merino is affiliated with VIFASOM (Vigilance Fatigue Sommeil at Sante Publique) in Paris, France, as well as the Neurosciences Department of the French Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute. Her work focuses on sleep disturbances and she has had her work published in more than 50 peer reviewed journals.
Fabien Sauvet, MD, Ph.D.
Fabien Sauvet, MD, Ph.D. joined the Fatigue and Vigilance Unit of the Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute in 2010. Participating in various research projects on human factors, he set up programs to assess fatigue in operational situations within state aeronautical, maritime and medical entities. He is the author of more than 50 international scientific publications in the field of sleep and operational fatigue. Dr. Sauvet's reputation has led him to be contacted by national public and private transport organizations to set up training courses on fatigue management and the management of sleep/wake rhythm alterations

Course Creator

Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D., PMH-C, CPLC
Elizabeth Mosco, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Reno, NV. She opened a private practice after 10 years of conducting home-based assessment and therapy with the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. Dr. Mosco’s clinical interests include maternal mental health, older adults, and third wave cognitive behavioral therapies.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Recognize at least 2 factors associated with poor sleep in military populations.
  2. Describe the relationship between sleep disorders and PTSD in military populations.
  3. List at least 2 interventions to alleviate PTSD and sleep disorders in military populations.

Exam Questions

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Course Number 103208
1 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $5.97
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