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Insufficient Sleep and Behavioral Health in the Military: A 5-Country Perspective.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The goal of this paper was to highlight the degree to which sleep, behavioral health, and leader involvement were interrelated using data from militaries in five English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the United States.

RECENT FINDINGS: Many service members reported sleeping fewer than the recommended 7 h/night: 34.9%, 67.2%, and 77.2% of respondents from New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, respectively. Countries reporting shorter sleep duration also reported fewer insomnia-related difficulties, likely reflecting higher sleep pressure from chronic sleep loss. Across all countries, sleep problems were positively correlated with behavioral health symptoms. Importantly, leader promotion of healthy sleep was positively correlated with more sleep and negatively correlated with sleep problems and behavioral health symptoms. Insufficient sleep in the military is ubiquitous, with serious implications for the behavioral health and functioning of service members. Leaders should attend to these risks and examine ways to promote healthy sleep in service members.

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