Religion, Combat Casualty Exposure, and Sleep Disturbance in the US Military

J Relig Health. 2018 Dec;57(6):2362-2377. doi: 10.1007/s10943-018-0596-0.


Does religious involvement (i.e., attendance and salience) mitigate the association between combat casualty exposure and sleep disturbance among US military veterans? To address this question, we analyze cross-sectional survey data from the public-use version of the 2011 Health Related Behaviors Survey of Active Military Personnel. Results from multivariate regression models indicate: (1) Combat casualty exposure was positively associated with sleep disturbance; (2) religious salience both offset and moderated (i.e., buffered) the above association; and (3) religious attendance offset but did not moderate the above association. We discuss study implications and limitations, as well as some avenues for future research.

Keywords: Health; Military; Religion; Resilience; Sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Combat Disorders / complications*
  • Combat Disorders / epidemiology
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Religion*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology*