Symptoms of PTSD – Insomnia
It is extremely common for people diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to report trouble sleeping and the occurance of nightmares. However, there is a substantial amount of individual variation determining how sleep may be affected by PTSD.
Type of sleep problems in PTSD
Many people suffering from PTSD have difficulties falling asleep. A scientific comparison of Vietnam veterans suffering with PTSD and those not diagnosed with the condition, reported that almost 50 percent of the PTSD suffers had trouble getting to sleep compared to only 13 percent of those not meeting the diagnosis.
Another sleep problem reported by people diagnosed with PTSD is that they are often unable to stay asleep for the whole night. From the same piece of research, 90 percent of the veterans diagnosed with PTSD reported waking up at numerous times throughout the night and had extreme difficulty getting back to sleep. Additionally, those that reported they were able to sleep often reported it as extremely active, commonly with sleep talking or walking. This indicates that sleep was not optimal or restful.
One symptom of PTSD is the presence of nightmares, these are sometimes seen as the night time flashbacks or re-experiencing symptoms. Nightmares, experienced by a PTSD sufferer are not necessarily only about the traumatic event but could include other threatening or upsetting contents.
Finally, it is reported by some people suffering from PTSD that the anxiety and fear about potentially experiencing nightmares inhibits them from relaxing or allowing themselves to go to sleep.
It is important to address sleep problems as a lack of sleep can lead to a number of other problems such as relationship stress, memory problems reduced productivity and can also be a contributing factor to developing depression.