SLEEP. “No man knows but a soldier, how sweet sleep is.”

So the Iraqis are raining down RPGs like mortars on us and one of my Corpsman tells me, “First Sergeant, get up we are being bombed.” Even though I heard the rockets launch from the other side of the river, I heard them hitting buildings around us, I heard the glass smashing and crashing all around me, I did not care. I had just laid down in the dirt in full battle rattle, but it felt so good to rest for a minute. I was more worried about sleep than my own safety. Most infantrymen (and many other MOSs – do not get your panties ruffled) will know just what I am saying.

SLEEP. “No man knows but a soldier, how sweet sleep is.”

Our body needs four things to survive: air, water, food, and sleep. You can die from lack of sleep faster than you can die from lack of food. Your body sends powerful signals that make you breathe, drink and eat, but over the millennia there has been little need for the body to send strong sleep signals. IMG_5256

Sleep deprivation is the best way to physically Predispose Yourself to become a Stress Casualty. It has been linked to mental health problems, cancer, common colds, depression, diabetes, obesity and strokes.

The Equivalent of Legally Drunk: A person deprived of sleep for 24 hours is virtually the physiological and psychological equivalent of being legally drunk. After alcohol intoxication, lack of sleep is the next major cause of accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration links nearly 100,000 crashes a year to drowsiness.

Exxon Valdese, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island had one thing in common: They were all industrial accidents that occurred in the middle of the night involving people with sleep management problems.

Recommendation to anyone suffering from a lack of sleep due to PTSD. Go get a sleep study done. If you show even the slightest sign of sleep apnea you should get a machine called a CPAP. There is much empirical data (look it up) that shows the CPAP reduces PTS by getting the individual quality sleep without the need for ambien, alcohol or another method you may use, to help you sleep.

According to me (DKD), in the military, “we used to own the night, now the night owns us.”

Believe me, you do not even know what a good nights sleep is until you have slept with a CPAP.

CPAP info below:

CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is an effective treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea treated with CPAP wear a face mask during sleep which is connected to a pump (CPAP machine) that forces air into the nasal passages at pressures high enough to overcome obstructions in the airway and stimulate normal breathing. The airway pressure delivered into the upper airway is continuous during both inspiration and expiration.IMG_5257

Nasal CPAP is currently the preferred treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP is safe and effective, even in children. Daytime sleepiness improves or resolves. Heart function and hypertension also improve. And, importantly, the quality of life improves.

At first, CPAP patients should be monitored in a sleep lab to determine the appropriate amount of air pressure for them. The first few nights on CPAP tend to be difficult, with patients experiencing less sleep. Many patients at first find the mask uncomfortable, claustrophobic or embarrassing. CPAP is not a cure and must be used every night for life. Non-compliant patients experience a full return of obstructive sleep apnea and related symptoms.




About The Author

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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