A new study of active duty soldiers suggests that veterans continue to have sleep problems even after experiencing improvements in their overall PTSD diagnosis, Military Times reports.
While an exact rate is unknown, there is an extremely common trend of veterans with PTSD suffering from sleep disturbances. If someone is battling PTSD, particularly veterans, he or she is also likely having a hard time sleeping.
Severity of sleep issues depends on each individual person, but some level of it is found in most PTSD patients.
A variety of treatments can help PTSD sufferers manage their diagnosis. Some people have luck with lifestyle changes such as yoga, meditation, healthier diets, and more. Some see improvements with therapy or medication. Often, a person with PTSD uses a variety of treatments to alleviate symptoms.
Unfortunately, a new study suggests that some veterans with PTSD still experience sleep problems, even as other symptoms improve.
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and other experts, involved a survey distributed to more than 100 active-duty service members.
Per the study, 92 percent of participants admitted to experiencing sleep troubles – making insomnia the most commonly shared PTSD symptom prior to treatment.
Another significant sleep disturbance reported was nightmares – reported by 69 percent of the study’s participants.
These numbers did decrease when participants were asked about post-treatment struggles, but there is still a long way to go.
Post-treatment, about 75 percent of participants still experience insomnia and about 50 percent still have nightmares.
Sleep struggles continue to plague even those participants who no longer have enough symptoms to be medically diagnosed with PTSD. In this demographic, insomnia affects more than half and nightmares affect about 13 percent.
These numbers are disheartening, but helpful. By knowing that sleep is the biggest struggle for those with PTSD, both before and after treatment and diagnosis, professionals can tailor their suggested methods to help achieve quality sleep.