Studies on sleep disturbance and insomnia indicate that 70-91% of those with PTSD experience difficulty with their sleep patterns. Research shows sleeping issues are more varied and unpredictable in those with PTSD compared to those with a diagnosable case of insomnia.
Mental health professionals view insomnia disorder as a serious dysfunctional case of insomnia that may stem from medical or physical issues, environmental health concerns, or mental health concerns. Insomnia disorder belongs to a group of sleep-wake disorders where the classic symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep for sufficient amounts of time, or where one wakes up prematurely toward the end of the sleep cycle.
PTSD Sleep Disruption
Insomnia is one of the most common forms of sleep disruption. Those with PTSD exhibit unusually erratic night to night changes in their sleep patterns which are not typically consistent or predictable. In addition, they have an increased change of experiencing sleep disruption associated with nightmares which are reported in 19-71% of cases. Nightmares are one of the core symptoms of PTSD with the unwanted reliving of traumatic events during sleep.
Insomnia and PTSD
Trouble sleeping and nightmares are two symptoms of PTSD. Some of the other issues that may disrupt sleep if PTSD is an issue include:
- Worry or negative thoughts about general problems; worry that they are in danger; worry that they will be unable to fall asleep
- Those with PTSD may use alcohol or drugs to help them cope with their symptoms, which in fact will have a negative impact on restful sleep
- Fear of falling asleep and having a nightmare
- Many with PTSD feel the need to be on guard in order to protect oneself from danger, finding falling asleep difficult and often waking at the slightest noise
- Medical issues that are commonly found in people with PTSD which include chronic pain and stomach problems which may make going to sleep a challenge.
PTSD Sleep Issues Psychiatrist
Many people experience insomnia in their life; however, if sleep disturbances are having a negative effect on your home, work and social life, it may be time for a mental health evaluation to determine the root cause of the sleep disturbance. Call the expert in evaluation and treatment of PTSD and sleep disruption – call Dr. Hege today for a confidential appointment that can lead to restful nights and dreams.