Insomnia is the most commonly reported symptom and predicts other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. service members returning from military deployments

Mil Med. 2010 Oct;175(10):759-62. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-10-00193.


This study retrospectively reviewed records from current members of the U.S. military who had completed the PTSD Checklist (PCL) at 0 and 3-months after returning from deployments. Insomnia was the most commonly reported symptom of PTSD on the PCL and had the highest average severity scores. At initial screen, 41% of those who had been to Iraq or Afghanistan reported sleep problems. Those who had initially reported any insomnia had significantly higher overall scores for PTSD severity at follow-up than did service members without such a complaint. These results show that insomnia is a particularly frequent, severe, and persistent complaint in service members returning from deployment. Such complaints merit particular attention in relation to the possibility of PTSD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • United States