Many people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) experience problems with sleep after their injury. Sleep disorders can lead to or worsen depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and one’s sense of well-being—already big problems for TBI victims. A brain injury and follow-up treatment can effect sleep patterns in many ways, including:
- Damage to the brain’s sleep control center
- Disruption of brain chemicals essential to sleep
- Changes in breathing control
- Physical inactivity due to disability
Four Common Sleep Disorders People With TBI May Experience
A properly-functioning brain is essential for good sleep patterns. The type of sleep disorder a TBI victim will suffer from depends on the extent and location of his brain damage, but he will generally experience one of these four sleep problems:
- Insomnia. This can include not being able to fall asleep or to stay asleep and can worsen behavioral and thinking problems.
- Excessive sleepiness. A person with this problem often experiences extreme drowsiness during the day, making it difficult to work and complete day-to-day activities.
- Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. A person with this problem cannot get to sleep for at least two hours after most people—even night owls—go to bed. This can make it extremely difficult for a person to get up at a scheduled time to go to work or to do other planned activities.
- Narcolepsy. This causes a person to fall asleep suddenly and uncontrollably during the day. This could be extremely dangerous if, for example, a person was driving when it happened, and can limit a person’s ability to work.
Even if a TBI victim does not experience a full-blown sleep disorder, he or she may suffer from sleep-related syndromes such as restless leg syndrome, grinding of the teeth, sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, and sleepwalking.
Get Help for Your Suffering
A person with TBI from a vehicle crash, slip and fall accident, or other accident can suffer with sleep disorders and their effects on his day-to-day life on a permanent basis. The emotional toll of this serious problem can be part of the pain and suffering recovery to which an injured victim of an accident is entitled.
Have you or a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident caused by another person or business? We understand how overwhelming your injury can be and are here to help. Start an online chat with our experienced and friendly legal team to start learning about your legal options and the compensation you deserve.