How Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Affect Sleep

Personal injury lawyers in Oakville see many cases of traumatic brain injury following accidents. After a severe accident, victims may suffer from traumatic brain injuries in various degrees.

A recent study of traumatic brain injury victims seems to have confirmed a correlation between traumatic brain injuries and the biological sleep patterns of TBI sufferers. In fact, it has been shown that altered sleep patterns are a significant problem for sufferers of traumatic brain injuries.

A study in April of 2016 published in Neurology found that many who suffered brain injuries were likely to experience sleep issues over a year after the injury. This study involved patients who had suffered serious head injuries a year and a half before alongside a control group who had no history of head injuries.

The study participants were all asked to keep a diary of their sleep habits and how rested they felt. Participants all spent one night in a sleep lab which kept track of nighttime activity of the brain, heart, muscle and eye movements. During this study, it was found that 67% of the participants with the brain injury history had problems compared to only 19% of the control group. The brain injured group also required a longer duration of sleep than the control group. The study suggested that the physical damage to the brain was at least partially responsible for the sleep disturbances.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sleep disturbances are extremely common following instances of traumatic brain injury affecting 30 to 70% of individuals. These can be a difficulty getting to sleep, an altered sleep pattern, or the need for unusually long periods of sleep. The research shows that sufferers of traumatic brain injuries can require excessive sleep even six months after the injury. This may just be a physiological need for the brain to get extra sleep in order to heal from the injury.

Sleep plays an important role in healing. Disturbances to a sleep cycle can affect functions as important as memory, cognition, and executive functioning. Sleep disturbances can also increase irritability and present as other brain injury symptoms and can aggravate them. For these patients with traumatic brain injuries, sleep is especially important for brain healing. It is being suggested that sleep evaluation be part of the standard protocol for patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

If you have suffered an injury due to an accident, consult with an injury lawyer in Oakville to make sure your rights are being represented. The legal professionals at AG Injury Law Office offer a no-cost initial consultation to answer any of your legal questions after an accident.

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