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Deployment-Related Traumatic Brain Injury and Co-Occurring Conditions

A Course for Civilian Health Care Providers from BrainLineMilitary.org

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Sleep

Sleep problems are among the most common symptoms that can accompany service-related concussion. Erratic work schedules may mask the problem initially. It's important to ask about sleep difficulties so problems can be identified and treated promptly. Better sleep can result in improved mood, reduced stress, and fewer headaches.

VIDEO: In the Quiet After Returning from Combat, Sleep Problems Become Louder

In the Quiet After Returning from Combat, Sleep Problems Become Louder

"I started to notice problems with my sleep after I was injured in Iraq …"

 

Stress and hypervigilance can also contribute to difficulty with sleep. Physician John Rigg explains that many returning service members have left one war only to find themselves in another.

VIDEO: "War" with Sleep After Brain Injury

"War" with Sleep After Brain Injury

"Their amygdala has them pumped up, 'don't sleep, it's dangerous, people can get you.' So they'll wake up …"

 

Treatment for sleep problems begins with common sense. Neuropsychologist Alison Cernich suggests asking service members about their "sleep hygiene."

VIDEO: Sleep Problems After a TBI May Not Be TBI-Related

Sleep Problems After a TBI May Not Be TBI-Related

"What you want to find out is what they're doing prior to going to sleep …"

 

Finally, here are more practical tips for service members with concussion who are having trouble sleeping:

Sleep and Traumatic Brain Injury

Getting a good night's sleep — especially after a TBI — is often harder than it seems.



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