Impact of parental injury on adolescent sleep

Saira Ahmed*, Gregory H. Gorman, Apryl Susi, Brian D. Robertson, Jacob F. Collen, Elizabeth J. Hisle-Gorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of serious parental injury on adolescent sleep disorder diagnoses, outpatient care, and medication use. Methods: U.S. military personnel who sustained a serious injury and were parents of adolescents aged 10-18 years were identified. Included adolescents were enrolled in the Military Health System for 2 years before their parent's injury and 2 years after the injury. We used logistic regression clustered by adolescents to compare the odds of having a sleep diagnosis and negative binomial regression analysis clustered by adolescents to compare outpatient sleep disorder visits and sleep medication days before and after parental injury. Results: There were 96,318 parents seriously injured during 2004-2014 who had 117,577 children aged 10-18 years in 2002-2016. Approximately 2% of adolescents had a sleep disorder diagnosis, both before and after their parent's injury or illness. Outpatient sleep disorder visits increased 36% after a parent's injury (incidence rate ratio 1.36 [1.24-1.50]), with a twofold increase in insomnia visits (incidence rate ratio 2.35 [2.08-2.64]). Increases in sleep visits were most pronounced in adolescents of parents with traumatic brain injury, comorbid traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder, battle injury, and those who were medically discharged from the military. The number of adolescents using sleep medications increased, but sleep medication days did not increase. Conclusions: Adolescents in our study used more outpatient medical care for sleep disorders; sleep medication use increased after parental injury. Sleep disorders should be considered in the care of adolescents with injured parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1444
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Brain injuries
  • Family health
  • Military family
  • Parents
  • Posttraumatic stress disorders
  • Sleep
  • Wounds and injuries


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