Youngsville, North Carolina (PressExposure) March 05, 2012 -- SLEEP: After brain injury, is a new brochure on sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy. It helps survivors of brain injury, including returning service members and veterans, understand the causes, symptoms and available treatments, with tips and strategies for coping. The authors include Samantha Backhaus, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana's comprehensive outpatient brain injury Neuro Rehab Center; Kathleen R. Bell, M.D., Professor in the University of Washington's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Medical Director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program at the university's medical center; and Marilyn Lash, M.S.W., President at Lash &Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. "Difficulty sleeping is one of the most common complaints of survivors of brain injury, especially among adults and veterans," explains Marilyn Lash. "Just thinking about the night ahead can be exhausting and stressful for survivors," she continues.
Oftentimes, sleep patterns change after a brain injury. Many survivors describe these changes in sleep:
difficulty falling asleep easily
trouble staying asleep throughout the night
waking up very early in the morning and not falling back asleep
falling asleep and awakening far later than desired
purposely staying up late at night to get things done.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make sleep disorders even more difficult for survivors and their families. The hyper-alertness of PTSD usually makes falling and staying asleep harder. "Getting a good night's sleep is necessary in the recovery of all survivors of brain injury, and if not attained, can affect their quality of life - at home, at school and on the job," says Dr. Bell. Dr. Backhaus adds, "Sleep disorders can also affect cognitive, physical, behavioral and emotional skills and can affect relationships with family, caregivers, and friends."
Tips for managing sleep include:
avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and sugar after 4PM, or 5 hours before bed
avoiding exercise a couple of hours before bed
avoiding taking frequent naps during the day
avoiding taking sleep aids late at night.
This newly published brochure is a must-have for adults and veterans experiencing sleep disorders.