How Does Trauma Affect Sleep?

How Does Trauma Affect Sleep?


Trauma — the blanket term for any physically or psychologically damaging experience —  is sadly common in our society. According to the National Center for PTSD, roughly 60% of men and 50% of women will experience at least one traumatic event during their lifetimes. Trauma can cause a wide range of long-lasting, negative health effects, including insomnia and other sleep-related problems.

This piece will discuss the realities of trauma and how traumatic events can impact our sleep patterns and routines. Read on to learn more about common sleep disorders associated with trauma, treatment options, and resources that help segments of the population that are considered especially vulnerable to trauma-related symptoms (such as children and war veterans). First, let’s see how the medical and psychological communities currently define different types of trauma, as well as the condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is defined as any form of major damage to an individual with the potential for negative after-effects. Physical trauma is technically any injury caused by bodily harm, although the term is usually applied to severe injuries that lead to secondary conditions like shock or respiratory failure — even death, in some cases. Psychological trauma, on the other hand, is damage to the human psyche that occurs after an emotionally upsetting or distressing event. In many cases, both physical and psychological trauma will occur at the same time.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Immediately following a traumatic event, people often seem distant and disoriented. They may express unwillingness to speak, or ‘zone out’ when being addressed by someone else. In the days and weeks following trauma, they may also display symptoms of anxiety, such as mood swings, inattentiveness, night terrors, and irritability. In many (but not all) cases, this anxiety will develop into a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Read the Full Article HERE: Trauma and Sleep