Sleep variability in military-related PTSD: a comparison to primary insomnia and healthy controls

Laura D Straus, Sean Patrick Andrews Drummond, Carla M Nappi, Melissa M Jenkins, Sonya B Norman

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep disturbances are prevalent in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are associated with a number of adverse health consequences. Few studies have used comprehensive assessment methods to characterize sleep in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) veterans with PTSD. OEF/OIF/OND veterans with PTSD and sleep disturbance (n = 45) were compared to patients with primary insomnia (n = 25) and healthy control subjects (n = 27). Participants were assessed using questionnaire-based measures as well as daily subjective and objective measures of sleep. The 3 groups were compared with regard to (a) group means, (b) intraindividual (i.e., night-to-night) variability of sleep, and (c) interindividual (i.e., within-group) variability of sleep. In terms of group means, only objective sleep efficiency was significantly worse with PTSD than with primary insomnia (d = 0.54). Those with PTSD differed from those with primary insomnia on measures of intraindividual as well as interindividual variability (d = 0.48?0.73). These results suggested sleep symptoms in OEF/OIF/OND veterans with PTSD are more variable across nights and less consistent across patients relative to sleep symptoms in insomnia patients without PTSD. These findings have implications for research, as well as for personalizing treatment for individuals with PTSD
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8 - 16
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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