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Unhealthy sleep can interfere with U.S. military service members affective and cognitive functioning, and increase accident and injury risks. This study examined the relationship between U.S. active duty and veterans' (n = 233) self-reported sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), anxiety (Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale), and cognitive performance (Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metric). Statistical analyses included Pearson product moment correlations and multivariate analysis of variance, with Tukey-b post-hoc tests, with a p < 0.05 significance level. Higher education, abstinence from sleep aids, longer time in active duty service, and being on active duty were correlated with better sleep and lower anxiety. Greater sleep disturbance, poor sleep quality, and sleepiness-related daytime dysfunction were associated with greater anxiety and slower response times, and lower response accuracy. Statistically controlling for anxiety diminished the magnitude and significance of the correlations between sleep and cognitive performance, suggesting that reducing anxiety will improve sleep and diminish cognitive performance effects. These findings suggest the need for addressing both sleep and anxiety for those with diagnosed sleep disorders, as well as using a procedural systems approach to decrease anxiety during missions that demand outstanding cognitive performance.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Military medicine
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Historically, scientific knowledge gaps - including a lack of information regarding the minimum amount of sleep needed to sustain nominally adequate, militarily-relevant performance and nescience of t...
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Anxiety related to the execution of a task. (Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary, 9th ed.)
Anxiety disorder characterized by the persistent and irrational fear, anxiety, or avoidance of social or performance situations.
Periods of sleep manifested by changes in EEG activity and certain behavioral correlates; includes Stage 1: sleep onset, drowsy sleep; Stage 2: light sleep; Stages 3 and 4: delta sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, telencephalic sleep.
A nonapeptide that is found in neurons, peripheral organs, and plasma. This neuropeptide induces mainly delta sleep in mammals. In addition to sleep, the peptide has been observed to affect electrophysiological activity, neurotransmitter levels in the brain, circadian and locomotor patterns, hormonal levels, psychological performance, and the activity of neuropharmacological drugs including their withdrawal.
Dyssomnias (i.e., insomnias or hypersomnias) associated with dysfunction of internal sleep mechanisms or secondary to a sleep-related medical disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, post-traumatic sleep disorders, etc.). (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)
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Anxiety is caused by stress. It is a natural reaction, and is beneficial in helping us deal with tense situations and pressure. It is deterimental when is becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations. The most common types of anxiety di...