Baseline sleep characteristics were explored for 71 U.S. military service members with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) enrolled in a post-concussive syndrome clinical trial. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), sleep diary, several disorder-specific questionnaires, actigraphy and polysomnographic nap were collected. Almost all (97%) reported ongoing sleep problems. The mean global PSQI score was 13.5 (SD=3.8) and 87% met insomnia criteria. Sleep maintenance efficiency was 79.1% for PSQI, 82.7% for sleep diary and 90.5% for actigraphy; total sleep time was 288, 302 and 400 minutes, respectively. There was no correlation between actigraphy and subjective questionnaires. Overall, 70% met hypersomnia conditions, 70% were at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 32% were symptomatic for restless legs syndrome, and 6% reported cataplexy. Nearly half (44%) reported coexisting insomnia, hypersomnia and high OSA risk. Participants with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had higher PSQI scores and increased OSA risk. Older participants and those with higher aggression, anxiety or depression also had increased OSA risk. The results confirm poor sleep quality in mTBI with insomnia, hypersomnia, and OSA risk higher than previously reported, and imply sleep disorders in mTBI may be underdiagnosed or exacerbated by comorbid PTSD.

Walker, James, Campbell, Wilson, Churchill, Weaver, , , (). Sleep assessments for a mild traumatic brain injury trial in a military population. Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc, ;43(5):549-566. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28768073