How Does PTSD Impact Sleep?

People can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after all kinds of traumatic experiences. When you have PTSD, your state of biochemical arousal remains chronically heightened, even after the original trauma has ceased.

PTSD can be accompanied by many symptoms, including panic attacks and flashbacks. Did you know that PTSD can also have a profound impact on the quality of your sleep? And, you might be surprised to learn, the quality of your sleep can also impact the intensity of your PTSD symptoms.

From our four locations in San Jose, Santa Clara, Aliso Viejo, California and Reno, Nevada, the team of mental health counseling experts at Nugent Family Counseling Center provide diagnostic services, as well as ongoing care and support, to new and existing patients with PTSD.

Sleep issues and PTSD

Sleep issues are actually considered to be a core part of PTSD. Both symptoms of hyperarousal and intrusion from PTSD can negatively impact your sleep, causing you to suffer from sleeplessness or nightmares. 70% of people with PTSD experience some form of sleep-related symptoms, including insomnia, nightmares, and night terrors, and even obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep disturbance is often one of the first signs of developing PTSD. And, if you dealt with sleep problems prior to experiencing trauma, you may be more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event. Dreams are a key mechanism for processing trauma and other emotions, one reason why sleep is so connected to post-trauma mental health.

The link between sleep issues and PTSD is strong, and can be difficult to live with. We’re still learning more about whether PTSD causes sleep problems, or whether sleep problems tend to precede PTSD.

Finding rest

No matter how your PTSD and sleep disturbance issues interact, the team at Nugent Family Counseling can help you find the rest you need to stay physically and mentally healthy.

Without sufficient high-quality sleep, including periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, your health and wellness can suffer in multiple ways. Not getting enough sleep can further worsen your PTSD symptoms, trapping you in a negative cycle.

The team at Nugent Family Counseling can help you unravel the knot of sleeplessness and mental health symptoms. Instead of stressing out over lost sleep, or turning to unhealthy and unhelpful coping strategies like alcohol, make an appointment with one of our therapists today.

You can book an appointment by giving our helpful offices a call now, or schedule online with our booking tool at your convenience. 

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