The transition from military to civilian life can often come with some detrimental side-effects. Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are common causes for these challenges, however returning from service by itself can also prove stressful to a veteran even without these conditions.
Insomnia is one symptom that comes with this transition. It is a common sleep condition that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep or can cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. As a result, you don’t feel rested and remain tired for the rest of the day.
Most adults experience bouts of insomnia throughout their life, which become more common with age and only last for a few days. But some suffer from chronic insomnia that can last for months at a time. Usually, insomnia is the result of stress or a traumatic event. PTSD can easily cause this stress, as some of its symptoms–nightmares, flashbacks and hyper-vigilance–tend to intrude on a good night’s sleep.
In addition to affecting one’s ability to sleep and leaving one tired, it can also cause fatigue and sluggishness throughout the day. It can make it difficult to pay attention, focus on tasks or remember things, leading to an increased amount of errors and accidents at work, which produces more stress. In many cases, simply worrying about getting enough sleep can cause this stress as well.
Insomnia can also cause and be caused by anxiety and depression. The aches and pains that come with depression can cause one to toss and turn at night, and the physical symptoms of anxiety cause one to wake back up. These symptoms tend to go hand-in-hand, each making the other worse.
At FMF, we understand how these issues tie into each other. Because managing one symptom is often the key to dealing with another, it comes down to the individual grappling with them to overcome their own issues. As a result, our FOCUS program is centered around giving veterans the tools they need to take control of their own symptoms and mitigate their own stresses.
If making the transition back to civilian life is causing you stress and making it difficult to sleep at night, we’re here to help. You’ve faced challenges before and earned your Eagle, Globe and Anchor. And by coming to this site, you’ve already taken the first step to recovery.