Sleep Disturbances in PTSD: Public Health Issue

Several categories were analyzed: 1. Epidemiology (types of traumas); 2. Consequences of traumatic events in the community; 3. Relationships between PTSD, sleep disorders and public health. 4. Solutions.

War, terrorist attacks, natural disasters are some of the wide-spread traumatic events were studied. The impact of traumas on community varies from social and occupational impairment to medical and psychiatric illnesses. PTSD could last from month to the lifetime affecting a large amount of people from direct victims to community residents (family members, responders, mass-media consumers). Sleep disturbances like insomnia, nightmares are key symptoms in PTSD no matter what type of trauma. Sleep disorders are associated with significant daytime changes in alertness (flashbacks, dissociation states), emotions (irritability), behavior (withdrawal), and decrease of professional job performance, not to mention intra-family problems. The quality of life improves after issues of sleep were corrected.

The research clearly suggests that treatment of sleep disorders is a first necessity in lessening of personal and community’s post-traumatic consequences.

The results of the research under this title were presented at the National Sleep Meeting in Salt Lake, 2007 by Dr. M. Moca, MD from New York.

Ref: Sleep 29. Abstract 0962, 2006