Connection between Trauma, poor sleep, and stress symptoms

Trauma, sleep problems, and stress symptoms are closely

In a new study, clues have been found that sleep problems could have a decisive influence on the fact that people develop after a hard stressful experiences a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post-traumatic stress disorder after harrowing experiences

If people have experienced Terrible, can occur alongside anxiety disorders, and depression, so-called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even if the dramatic experiences are already weeks or months, also years back. Trauma researchers at the University of Saarland found in a sleep study evidence that sleep problems could have a decisive influence on the fact that people develop after a hard stressful experiences PTSD. The results of the study were published in the journal “Sleep Medicine”.

Trivial little things can trigger Flashbacks

People, the extreme physical violence, a terrorist attack, accident, war, or anything else Shocking have experienced, not to create it sometimes, to process the experience.

In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder is Concerned, the reminder of the Problem. Trivial little things – a smell, a T-Shirt in a certain color can trigger without warning, so-called Flashbacks:

Suddenly, and with force you will experience the Terrible again and again – several times a day.

“It is also typical, in addition to symptoms such as compulsive Rumination or irritability that Affected person cannot remember significant parts of the action completely,” explains psychology Professor and Trauma therapist Tanja Michael, Saarland University, in a statement.

In the case of Trauma-related disorders is, therefore, reduced the memory.

Most of the patients suffer from and sleep disorders

The Saarbrücker Trauma wanted to go to researchers to Tanja Michael closer to the bottom.

The results of your sleep study indicate that Trauma, poor sleep, and the emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are closely linked.

The scientists found evidence that trauma can cause a table event, sleep disturbance, and that the quality of sleep in turn has an impact that PTSD symptoms develop.

“Seventy to about ninety percent of the patients with post-traumatic stress disorder to suffer – and by sleep disturbances, which is known from previous studies,” explains the Ph. D. psychologist Roxanne Sopp.

The sleep plays generally a crucial role in memory formation. “In particular, when Saving into long-term memory and Consolidating memory, sleep has a crucial function,” says Sopp.

Interplay of Trauma, sleeping disorders and memory-related symptoms

The Combination of Trauma, sleep disorders and memory light-related symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, confronted the Team volunteers with a “traumatic” film content.

In their experimental study, the researchers investigated how this film’s content, which will trigger a kind of “small”, time-limited Trauma, the impact of the test persons on the quality of sleep, and in a spontaneous, incriminating memories.

32 subjects, all of them robust Sleeper and sleeper with no sleep difficulties, spent a night in the sleep lab of the Saarland University – observed by the scientists, who woke up with a Brain wave measurement (EEG) about your sleep.

A group saw before going to bed the Trauma Film, and the control group a neutral, non-stressful Film.

“The sleep duration was reduced in the Trauma group, the Non-Rem sleep is significantly reduced and the were awake in the night,” summarizes Sopp.

The study participants in the Trauma-group had several days of a diary and documented, how often they thought of scenes in the film and how stressful they perceived it.

In addition, they answered questionnaires, in which typical symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as Flashbacks were queried. The results the researchers evaluated together with the brain current measurements.

Confrontation therapy continue to improve

The Team found significant evidence of an Association: “More sleep, less symptoms,” Roxanne Sopp to the point.

“The more REM stages of sleep were the subjects, the less Flashbacks you irritate according to the key, and they perceived them as less stressful. The talks symptoms for a connection between sleep and PTSD.“

These findings, the researchers are now in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The aim is, in particular, to improve the confrontation therapy, one of the most successful Trauma treatment methods. In the context of such therapies you want to use targeted sleep therapies, to support memory formation.

“The disruption of memory processes is responsible for the traumatic event for the individuals Concerned constantly back to the present, is the Central starting point of the confrontation therapy,” says Sopp.

“At the same time, this disorder makes it difficult but also the therapy process and, thus, the effectiveness of the therapy. Here we are with our research,“ says the scientist.

“To improve in the future, the effectiveness of confrontation therapy, we examine whether the sleep-memory processes strengthened, the therapies take place during successful Trauma.” (ad)