The Military Service Sleep Assessment: an instrument to assess factors precipitating sleep disturbances in U.S. military personnel
Military personnel frequently experience sleep difficulties, but little is known regarding which military or life events most impact their sleep. The Military Service Sleep Assessment (MSSA) was developed to assess the impact of initial military training, first duty assignment, permanent change of station, deployments, redeployments, and stressful life events on sleep. This study presents an initial psychometric evaluation of the MSSA and descriptive data in a cohort of service members.
The MSSA was administered to 194 service members in a military sleep disorders clinic as part of a larger study.
Average sleep quality on the MSSA was 2.14 (on a Likert scale, with 1 indicating low and 5 indicating high sleep quality), and 72.7% (n = 140) of participants rated their sleep quality as low to low average. The events most reported to negatively impact sleep were stressful life events (41.8%), followed by deployments (40.6%). Military leadership position (24.7%) and birth/adoption of a child (9.7%) were the most frequently reported stressful life events to negatively impact sleep. There were no significant differences in current sleep quality among service members with a history of deployment compared with service members who had not deployed.
The MSSA is the first military-specific sleep questionnaire. This instrument provides insights into the events during a service member’s career, beyond deployments, which precipitate and perpetuate sleep disturbances and likely chronic sleep disorders. Further evaluation of the MSSA in nontreatment-seeking military populations and veterans is required.
Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
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