Sleep Disorders Linked to History of TBI

April 13, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Photo of Woman Leaning on Her DeskAs time has passed since the major military deployments in the middle east medical professionals have noted that those veterans who sustained a concussion (mild traumatic brain injuries) are more likely to have sleep disorders. In fact, according to a new paper published in Neurology (March 2021), those veterans are 49% more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, excessive daytime drowsiness, and insomnia than the control group.


What was the study based on?


The study investigated 200,000 US Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans in a longitudinal study from 2001 – 2015. Roughly half of the group were veterans with a history of TBI and the other half were age-matched veterans without a history of TBI.


The most interesting finding was that soldiers with a history of mild TBI were more likely to have sleep disorders. The link was present regardless of the presence of PTSD and was a long-term issue. Researchers believe that this may be the case because in a mild TBI the entire brain is jiggled whereas in a moderate to severe TBI specific areas of the brain are damaged. The study concluded that prevention of TBI is required to prevent sleep disorders. The research also pointed to the need for long-term strategies to manage sleep for veterans with TBI.


TBIs are common injuries outside of the military as well and the results seem to be applicable for those who have sustained a brain injury from sports, assaults, slip and falls or car accidents. Other studies have confirmed that for people who have had multiple TBIs almost half had a history of sleep disturbance.


What can improve sleep post TBI?


Experts advise that the general rules for sleep hygiene are even more important for people who have a history of TBI. Rest is crucial to recovery and healing post-TBI and if the patient isn’t getting the rest required then the recovery will slow or be incomplete. Sleep deprivation is also linked to depression and other complications which compound the problems.


Sleep Hygiene


Experts recommend the following guidelines if you want to improve your sleep:

  1. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
  2. Keep your bedroom dra and quiet and at a temperature that is good for your sleep
  3. Keep electronics out of the bedroom
  4. Don’t drink coffee in the late afternoon or evening
  5. Don’t eat large meals or drink alcohol before bedtime
  6. Exercise regularly

If this doesn’t help then you should see your health care professional for advice.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, concussion, traumatic brain injury

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