Graves Offers Support for Veterans Suffering from PTSD

Introduces Resolution Addressing Cases of Sleep Apnea in Returning Soldiers
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves today introduced a resolution designed to help combat high rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other complications facing U.S. veterans. H.Res. 825 addresses the connection between PTSD and sleep apnea, which can lead to a host of other health issues for returning military men and women.

“Our armed service members face so many challenges when they come home from the front lines and work to readjust to life in America. From physical injuries and trauma to conditions like PTSD, we have an obligation to provide them the very best care possible,” Rep. Graves said.

PTSD is increasingly prevalent among United States soldiers and veterans, characterized by recurring nightmares and disrupted sleep. Those suffering from PTSD also have a high occurrence of sleep apnea. According to studies, 54% of patients with PTSD were diagnosed with sleep apnea, compared to only 20% of the general population. When untreated, sleep apnea can worsen the symptoms of PTSD.

“Sleep apnea can be brought on by the PTSD that far too many military men and women face after serving in combat,” Rep. Graves continued. “With this resolution, I hope we can find solutions to this very real problem and begin providing our veterans with the resources needed to curb the effects of PTSD. Our soldiers bravely sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms, the least we can do is give them everything they need to lead healthy, successful lives once they come home.”

In 2007, Congress asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay closer attention to sleep apnea among veterans, and greater awareness has prompted more veterans to seek treatment for the disorder. One proven treatment for the condition is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system. Soldiers and veterans suffering from PTSD have experienced fewer nightmares when exposed to the therapy.

Graves’ resolution supports public awareness of sleep apnea, seeks to provide access to care for soldiers and veterans suffering from the condition, and further explores CPAP as a viable treatment for PTSD.