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Stress from a traumatic event (or events) can often lead to a variety of sleep problems. When one's body is over-stimulated, the
brain is flooded with neurochemicals that keep us awake (such as epinephrine and adrenaline), making it difficult to wind down at
the end of the day.
The neurochemicals stay in the brain and can interrupt your normal sleep cycle. The result can be insomnia, bad dreams, and daytime fatigue caused by sleep disturbance. Symptoms of PTSD and co-occurring disorders or diseases that may impact sleep patterns are:
The following are sleep problems commonly seen in those with PTSD/CPTSD:
Flashbacks and troubling thoughts can make falling asleep difficult. The victim might feel the need to maintain a high level of vigilance, which can make sleep elusive. For those who experienced violent situations, nighttime and darkness can, in and of themselves, bring about added anxiety and restlessness.
Taking naps during the day might be helpful, but, if overdone, can also interfere with efforts to sleep
through the night.
Once asleep, nightmares can frighten a survivor back to consciousness, and getting back to sleep can be very difficult. Research has shown that somewhere around 50-70 percent (or more) of those with PTSD have nightmares. Not only are trauma survivors more likely to have nightmares, those who do may have them quite often. Some survivors may have nightmares several times a week. Sleep walking/talking/eating, night sweats, lucid dreaming (you are aware that you are dreaming), and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (dreams are acted out) have also been reported.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder has been found to commonly occur for those with PTSD. This is when one is unable to fall asleep until late at night and, therefore, wakes later in the day than is expected for a "normal" sleep schedule. Many survivors use alcohol or illicit drugs to numb the emotional and physical pain following trauma. These substances can not only impact the healing process, they can also exacerbate sleep problems.
Medications to target symptoms of PTSD can affect sleep patterns by increasing or decreasing tiredness levels. Talk to a physician about the possible effects that a medication may have on sleep.
Those with PTSD have higher rates of depression, which is itself often associated with poor sleep.
Promoting Good Sleep Patterns
Improve the Feng Shui. Feng shui is more than just decorating your space in a visually appealing way; it's a full philosophy that instructs on how to arrange your room, furniture, office, etc., to maximize good energy flow throughout living spaces.
Here are a few tips for improving the Feng shui of your bedroom to help you get the most of a good night's rest:
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