Sleep disorders in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are both diagnostic (nocturnal reliving) and prognostic. Poor sleep worsens the daytime symptomatology of PTSD and makes it resistant to treatment. However, no specific treatment is codified in France to treat these sleep disorders although sleep therapies (cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, psychoeducation and relaxation) have proven for years to be effective in treating insomnia. Therapeutic sessions can be part of a therapeutic patient education program, which is a model for the management of chronic pathologies. It allows for an improvement in a patient’s quality of life and enhanced medication compliance. We therefore carried out an inventory of sleep disorders of patients with PTSD. First, we collected data by means of sleep diaries concerning the population’s sleep disorders at home. Then we assessed the population’s expectations and needs regarding its management of sleep, thanks to a semi-qualitative interview. The data from sleep diaries, which was consistent with the literature, showed that our patients suffered from severe sleep disorders that strongly impact their daily lives, with 87% of patients having an increased sleep onset latency, and 88% having nightmares. We observed a strong demand from patients for specific support for these symptoms, 91% expressing an interest in a TPE program targeting sleep disorders. Thanks to the data collected, the emerging themes for a future therapeutic patient education program targeting sleep disorders of soldiers with PTSD are: sleep hygiene; management of nocturnal awakenings, including nightmares; and psychotropic drugs.
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