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Can Trauma Affect My Sleep?

If you’ve been through a traumatic experience, whether in the form of a one-time event or ongoing stress, you’ve likely noticed a wide range of physical symptoms. People who have been through trauma can experience symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and digestion issues. One symptom that may be less talked about is the impact of trauma on sleep.

Columbia Associates provides PTSD treatment services in our locations throughout Maryland and Virginia. Call 703.682.8208 today to discover how we can help you manage your symptoms, get better sleep, and begin to heal from the effects of trauma.

Understanding Trauma-Related Sleep Issues

Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on both your mental and physical health. One common issue that arises after experiencing trauma is difficulty sleeping.

One theory is that traumatic events can disrupt the body’s natural stress response system. When faced with danger, the body produces a surge of adrenaline and cortisol to help it react quickly. This is known as the “fight or flight” response. However, after a traumatic event, the body may continue to produce these stress hormones even when there is no immediate danger. This can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

Additionally, people who have experienced trauma may also struggle with nightmares or flashbacks that can disrupt their sleep. These symptoms are commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Signs That Trauma Is Affecting Your Sleep

If you suspect that trauma may be impacting your sleep, there are a few signs to look out for. These include:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep – Do you find yourself tossing and turning for hours before finally falling asleep? Or do you wake up frequently throughout the night?
  • Nightmares or vivid dreams – Do you experience disturbing dreams that make it difficult to go back to sleep?
  • Waking up feeling tense or on edge – Do you wake up feeling restless, anxious, or easily startled in the middle of the night?
  • Fatigue during the day – Do you feel tired and lacking energy, even after getting a full night’s sleep?
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things – Do you struggle to focus or remember things due to poor sleep quality?

While these symptoms can be indicative of other issues, they may also be a sign that your sleep is being impacted by trauma. Working with an experienced therapist can help you identify the root cause and develop a treatment plan to improve your sleep and overall well-being.

Seeking Help for Trauma-Related Sleep Issues

If you are struggling with sleep issues related to trauma, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. At Columbia Associates, we offer PTSD treatment services that can address the underlying causes of your sleep problems. Our experienced therapists can work with you to develop coping strategies, improve your sleep hygiene, and address any underlying trauma that may be contributing to your symptoms.

In treatment, you might also learn techniques like relaxation exercises, meditation, and breathing techniques that can help you calm your mind and body before bedtime. These practices can be especially helpful for those who struggle with anxiety or racing thoughts at night.

Reach Out to Columbia Associates Today

Don’t let trauma continue to impact your sleep and overall well-being. Our team at Columbia Associates is here to help you on your journey toward healing and better sleep. If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.