PTSD and Disordered Sleep

Treatment in Albuquerque, New Mexico

PTSD affects sleep, and sleep deprivation can exacerbate PTSD symptoms. For any PTSD treatment to be effective, those recovering from trauma should involve a board-certified sleep specialist in their care. Dr. Senthil Ramasamy, board-certified sleep specialist at Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Albuquerque, NM, can help people with PTSD address sleep problems that complicate their mental and emotional health.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms and Sleep

PTSD may be caused by physical or mental trauma. Many symptoms of PTSD involve the quality and quantity of the sufferer’s sleep, such as:

  • Chronic insomnia (insomnia lasting one month or longer)
  • Frequent and/or recurrent bad dreams or nightmares

While these symptoms are diagnostic criteria for PTSD, the experience of them exacerbates other symptoms of the condition, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety

In fact, the experience of frequent nightmares is a risk factor for suicide among people with PTSD.

Challenges of Treating PTSD-Related Sleep Problems

Treatment strategies for a number of sleep disorders, including insomnia, include prescription medications. However, many people with PTSD are already on other medications that may conflict with sleep aids. Commonly prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for people with PTSD are often causes of insomnia, too.

In many cases, the best treatment options for PTSD and related sleep disorders is non-medicinal, involving instead:

  • Counseling
  • Reprocessing strategies (e.g. EMDR)
  • Lifestyle changes

Dr. Ramasamy is happy to work with primary care providers and mental health specialists to improve the quantity and quality of sleep for people with PTSD.

Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about integrating sleep medicine into your PTSD treatment.

Better sleep can improve the quality of life for people suffering from PTSD. Call Neurology & Sleep Medicine today to schedule a consultation.

Sleep: The Foundation of Your Health—We Can Strengthen It.