Category: PTSD

PS7- #A16 - Caffeine Use in Military Personnel With PTSD: Prevalence and Impact on Sleep

Friday, Nov 17
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) | Addictive Behaviors | Treatment-CBT

Background: Caffeine use is highly prevalent among active duty military personnel and can be beneficial to performance in the short term. However, regular caffeine use has been found to contribute to sleep disturbances, which are elevated among the significant number of military personnel with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study is the first to examine caffeine use and its relationship with sleep disturbances in military personnel seeking treatment for PTSD. 
Methods:
Participants were active duty military personnel (N = 366) who had returned from deployments to Afghanistan and/or Iraq and were seeking treatment for PTSD. Pearson correlations were used to examine the relationships between caffeine use, sleep disturbances, and PTSD symptom clusters. 
Results:
The majority of the sample (89%) reported some caffeine use, with coffee being the largest contributor to total caffeine intake. Contrary to hypotheses, higher caffeine use was associated with lower insomnia symptom severity; follow-up analysis indicated that this was due to elevated insomnia symptom severity in those reporting no caffeine use. Caffeine use was not associated with any other measures of sleep disturbance or with PTSD symptoms. 
Conclusion:
Caffeine use was not associated with greater reported sleep disturbances in this sample, possibly because those with elevated insomnia symptom severity insomnia abstained from any caffeine, or because insomnia symptoms were elevated in this sample.

Hayley Fitzgerald

Research Assistant
University of Pennsylvania
East Brunswick, New Jersey

Carmen McLean

Assistant Professor
University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety
Millbrae, California

Laurie Zandberg

Assistant Professor
University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

John Roache

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Kristi Pruiksma

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Daniel Taylor

Professor
University of North Texas

Katherine Dondandville

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Brett Litz

Professor, Clinical Psychologist
VA Boston Healthcare System
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Jim Mintz

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Stacey Young-McCaughan

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Jeffrey Yarvis

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center

Alan Peterson

Professor
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Edna Foa

Professor and Director
University of Pennsylvania. Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania