How To Cope With PTSD-Related Sleep Problems

woman clenching pillow upset with insomnia from ptsd

If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may also be contending with a sleep disorder. Unfortunately, the intensity of one condition often affects the other. For this reason, it can be helpful for those suffering from PTSD to find tools and strategies to sleep better.

If you think you might be suffering from PTSD, reach out to a medical professional. Moreover, if you or a loved one is exhibiting self-injurious or harmful behavior, call 911 immediately.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that occurs in people who have experienced (or witnessed) a traumatic event such as a serious accident, terrorist act, or combat/war. Symptoms often include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

If you’ve survived a terrifying ordeal and the fallout is still disrupting your life months or years later, you may have PTSD. While it can feel like you’re alone in this battle, know that there are many others contending with this condition. In fact, about one in 11 U.S. adults will be diagnosed with PTSD in his or her lifetime.

What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?

woman asking her friend what the symptoms of ptsd are

Signs of PTSD are important to know and recognize when seeking help and during treatment. Symptoms of PTSD can include:

How Does PTSD Affect Sleep Quality?

man sitting on edge of bed sleepless from ptsd, alarm clock shows 4:33am

Insomnia is a hallmark condition of PTSD. The National Institutes of Health says that 70-91% of patients with PTSD have trouble falling or staying asleep.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, fragmented sleep happens because people with PTSD feel they need to be alert for danger continually. Nightmares, chronic pain, or other medical problems, and repetitive negative thoughts also contribute to inadequate rest. Using alcohol or drugs to cope can also affect sleep quality.

Talk to a medical professional to learn how to counteract PTSD-induced sleep issues. In addition, you can try the following bedtime relaxation techniques adapted from the National Sleep Foundation:

A Better Way to Battle Sleep Disorders

PTSD is a complex condition, but with professional help it is treatable. One of the ways you can support your recovery is to get the sleep you need. Ask your doctor if listening to white noise or binaural beats could help get a more restful night’s sleep, and shop the SleepPhones® catalog for the most comfortable sleep headphones.

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