With Veterans Day quickly approaching, there’s something that we’d like to try, but we’ll need some input in order to bring it to life. Perhaps you or someone you know can help, and maybe make a difference in someone else’s life.
First, here are some key stats to consider:
- 85% of active duty military members are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep disorders not only cause extreme fatigue, they can also affect mood and decision making. This can put pose as a serious risk for military members’ jobs and their safety.
- Trauma-related nightmares (TRN) have been referred to as the “hallmark” of PTSD, with rates as high as 90%.
- Shift work (working outside of a typical 9-to-5 job and/or sleeping less than 8 hours at night) puts soldiers at greater risk for motor vehicle or work-related accidents and impairs decision-making and alertness. Shift workers notably have a higher prevalence of insomnia and mental disorders compared to non-shift workers.
- Veterans with PTSD are two times more likely to have insomnia, and those with depression or pain syndrome are about 1.5 times more likely to have insomnia.
- Other physiologic and psychological diagnoses such as cardiovascular disease and dementia have also been associated with chronic, insufficient sleep.
- Increased co-morbidity and mortality are compounded by traumatic brain injury resulting from blunt trauma, blast exposure, and highly physically demanding tasks under load.
- Chronic pain is very common in the military, affecting more than 40% of active duty soldiers following deployment. In a study involving veterans treated at a primary care clinic at the Western New York Veterans Administration Health System, 71% reported experiencing pain; of those patients, 35% reported that their pain was constant and 85% reported that pain had been ongoing for several years.
- Opioid medications are often prescribed for chronic pain conditions but use and misuse of opioids resulting in hospitalizations and death has been on the rise.
- A study examined the prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use among U.S. soldiers following deployment. The researchers found that of the more than 2,500 participants surveyed, 44% had chronic pain and 15% regularly used opioids—rates much higher than the general population.
- Prescription drug misuse is reportedly highest in the Army and lowest in the Coast Guard.
The reality is that military culture often coincides with insufficient sleep and pain management – not just for soldiers, but sometimes for their immediate family members too. It’s not all that surprising considering the traumatic experiences that our service members are exposed to, but that doesn’t mean that they must suffer for the rest of their lives. At the very least, they deserve adequate rest, and to feel okay.
With that said, one of our passions at TrueDark® is to help light a path toward drug-free sleep and pain management solutions for military personnel. We would like to offer more support for those who have served and continue to do so – specifically with helping military members sleep better, and healing their bodies, naturally — but we realize that education must come first. There’s nothing quite like the solidarity and trust that is established within military units; so, what better way to help educate other military members than to hear directly from their brothers and sisters?
We invite all Active Military, Veterans, Retirees, Guard Troops, Military Spouses and their Immediate Family Members, to share their personal experiences with using:
- TrueDark® eyewear to help improve sleep, mood, and cognitive function
- TrueLight® light therapy devices to help heal their skin or body
We acknowledge that serving the nation isn’t for praise and that sharing personal stories comes with a degree of vulnerability. We also believe that it can help others heal, that is the next mission.
If you’d like to join this effort, all you have to do is submit your story/testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 7th, and we will share it publicly (on our website, social channels, and via email) throughout the week of November 11th. Please include any photos/videos that we are permitted to share along with your story or let us know if there is anything that we need to omit. We respect your privacy and discretion.
It goes without saying, but thank you to all military members and their families for your service and sacrifice to defend our nation. Because of you, this country continues to enjoy the freedoms and privileges that are so often taken for granted.
– Your TrueDark® Team