THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Energy drinks can cause
sleep problems and daytime sleepiness among U.S. soldiers in combat
zones, a new government study says.
Army researchers looked at soldiers deployed in Afghanistan in
2010 and found that 45 percent of them consumed one or more energy
drinks a day and 14 percent consumed three or more a day.
Compared to those who consumed two or fewer energy drinks per
day, soldiers who consumed three or more energy drinks a day were
more likely to get four hours or less of sleep per night. They were
also more likely to report sleep disruptions related to personal or
combat stress and illness, and to fall asleep during briefings or
while on guard duty.
The study was published in the Nov. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
High-caffeine energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular
among U.S. teens and young adults, Robin Toblin, of the Military
Psychiatry Branch at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and
colleagues noted in the report.
The researchers said their findings show that soldiers consume
high amounts of energy drinks during combat operations and that
this is associated with sleep problems and daytime sleepiness.
Soldiers need to be educated about the potential harmful effects
that consuming too many energy drinks can have on sleep and mission
performance, and the need for moderation, the researchers concluded
in a CDC news release.
The Nemours Foundation offers teens advice about
energy drinks and food bars.