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Following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), sleep disorders are a common problem. Even in mild cases of TBI, the quality and quantity of an individual’s sleep can suffer.
Studies estimate that around 30% to 70% of TBI patients have sleeping disorders. Furthermore, regular sleep is a crucial part of our health. A lack of sleep may lead to various health problems — cardiovascular disease, strokes, depression, and anxiety are all possible.
So how can we help our loved ones find good rest again?
Identifying possible sleeping disorders is the first step.
Our brains play a crucial role in how our bodies sleep. The brain regulates essential sleep hormones, like melatonin. So, any trauma to the brain can cause a significant change in normal sleeping patterns. What’s more, any sleeping issues can quickly snowball into more severe health issues, affecting both mental and physical health.
Additionally, TBI patients can develop mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and more. Depression can make falling and staying asleep hard. Or, it can cause you to sleep for longer than you should. While your body needs rest to recover, too much sleep can indicate more serious issues.
Furthermore, because headaches often occur after TBI, pain can make falling asleep difficult. And, sometimes, even adding or changing medications will affect how we sleep. If you believe your medication is preventing or drastically increasing your sleep, talk to your doctor. It may just be a matter of adjusting the time of the day you take each dose.
If you’re looking for the best recovery programs for your loved one, reach out to Moody Neuro. We specialize in helping TBI patients and their families to recover and reclaim their lives. Our mission is to help each patient through their recovery.
When you experience a TBI, some of the following sleep disorders may develop.
It’s important to acknowledge changes to your sleep patterns as they occur. Keeping a sleep journal or making notes on your phone may help. There are also endless apps you can use that are designed to track sleep patterns.
Insomnia can make falling asleep and staying asleep tough. Additionally, you might wake up earlier than usual and feel restless.
Hypersomnia will leave you feeling tired throughout the day. This drowsiness makes focusing harder than usual. It can also make driving dangerous if you’re falling asleep behind the wheel.
Having a delayed sleep phase means that your internal sleep clock is off. You might not be able to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. Eventually, the delayed sleep phase makes having a consistent sleep schedule difficult.
Parasomnia is a sleeping disorder that includes several types of disruptive sleeping behavior. For example, teeth grinding, sleepwalking, and night terrors are all kinds of parasomnia.
Having a TBI can make managing sleeping disorders difficult. But, certain lifestyle changes can help symptoms.
However, contact your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping for longer than a few weeks or feel like your symptoms are getting worse.
First, try going to bed at night and waking up in the morning at the same time every day. A regular sleep schedule is one of the best ways to help get your body used to a sleep routine. Although this can take some time to work, a little patience goes a long way!
Additionally, if you take long naps during the day, try to cut the length to only 20 minutes a day. Lengthy naps can disrupt a regular sleep schedule and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Furthermore, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help sleep disorder symptoms.
Each patient receives highly personalized care at our facilities. Our goal is to make the recovery process as supportive and successful as possible for both families and patients.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the outpatient, inpatient, and other therapeutic services we offer to those with TBI. Together, we can tackle any challenges that lie ahead. Contact us today to learn more.
Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute (Moody Neuro) provides personalized care to treat the unique challenges of brain injury with the singular purpose of achieving the best possible outcome for patients and their families.