Trauma and Sleep

Many individuals experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger post traumatic events. Here at Talking Sleep, we can help you overcome these symptoms and guide you through the process of grief and healing. 

Research shows that most people will experience at least one traumatic event during their lives. Such events are often followed by periods of traumatic stress. Research shows that prolonged traumatic stress is often associated with several negative mental and physical health issues, including lower quality of life, impaired day-to-day functioning, suicide ideation, depression, anxiety, and difficulties surrounding sleep.

Sleep issues are extremely common after a traumatic experience, with many people reporting difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking during the night, difficulty falling back asleep, non-restful sleep, and day-time fatigue. Heightened startle response, hyperarousal, and distressing dreams and/or nightmares relating to the traumatic experience are common, and often contribute to the maintenance of sleep disorders, including insomnia. While it is clear that traumatic stress can negatively influence your sleep, it is important to note that traumatic stress and poor sleep interact in a cycle. That is, while the experience of traumatic stress symptoms reduces your sleep quality and longevity, this in turn maintains the effects of PTSD by reducing your ability to effectively process your trauma due to inhibited functioning. As such, treatment of both conditions would be most helpful in breaking this cycle.