The impact of sleep on soldier performance

Scott G. Williams*, Jacob Collen, Emerson Wickwire, Christopher J. Lettieri, Vincent Mysliwiec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The military population is particularly vulnerable to a multitude of sleep-related disorders owing to the type of work performed by active duty servicemembers (ADSMs). Inadequate sleep, due to insufficient quantity or quality, is increasingly recognized as a public health concern. Traditionally, ADSMs have been encouraged that they can adapt to insufficient sleep just as the body adapts to physical training, but there is a substantial body of scientific literature which argues that this is not possible. Additionally, the military work environment creates unique challenges with respect to treatment options for common sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and parasomnias. This review highlights sleep disorders which are prevalent in the modern military force and discusses the impact of poor sleep on overall performance. Medical treatments and recommendations for unit leaders are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number459
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Combat related sleep disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep disordered breathing


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