It's no secret that stress can have a particularly significant effect on your ability to sleep. When your thoughts race, your mind can't slow down — and that leaves little opportunity to focus on clearing your head. It's especially the case for service members, who experience varying degrees of stress throughout their military careers. That begins in the early stages of their journey, when they leave their homes and are exposed to entirely new environments, and extends to periods when they're stationed in new places, involved in combat, or dealing with the loss of a fellow soldier. Whether they're deployed or not, they may experience situations and events that affect their quality of sleep and, consequently, their quality of life.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM) found that there were several culprits that affect sleep among service members. Stressful life events accounted for 41.8%, with deployments coming in second at 40.6%. The study also found that there weren't remarkable differences in the quality of sleep between members who were deployed or had once been deployed and those who were not. 

As Aubrey Strode "Red" Newman, a major general in the United States Army, wrote in his book Follow Me I: The Human Element in Leadership: "In peace and war, the lack of sleep works like termites in a house: below the surface, gnawing quietly and unseen to produce gradual weakening which can lead to sudden and unexpected collapse."

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