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Can Ptsd Cause Sleep Apnea

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Can Ptsd Cause You To Stop Breathing In Your Sleep

Central Sleep Apnea: Caused by PTSD can be eliminated with Beyond TalkTherapy®.

Good sleep is beneficial to everyone.

In people with PTSD, sleeping well could be particularly crucial. Sleep helps to heal the mind and body, making it easier for us to cope with emotional and difficult situations.

Studies show that sleep helps to facilitate the removal of various fears and bad memories from our minds. Just as your brain learns to consolidate events in REM sleep, it also helps to adjust the fear associated with certain memories, therefore improving PTSD symptoms.

Both fear removal and nightmares occur during REM sleep too. When a person with PTSD wakes up from a nightmare, it disturbs their sleep and interrupts the process. If the individual suffers with sleep apnea, then this will also disturb the sleep, making recovery from PTSD less likely.

So, does PTSD cause sleep apnea?

One study suggests that psychiatric disorders and OSA can have a bidirectional relationship. This essentially means that the presence of one condition can make the other worse. So far its difficult to say whether PTSD will actually cause sleep apnea or not.

People with worse cases of sleep apnea can also have more severe PTSD. At the same time, the worse PTSD is for someone, the worse their OSA becomes. Each clinically significant increase in PTSD symptom severity can increase a veterans risk of OSA by 40%.

Sleep Disturbances Associated With Post

PTSD and Sleep | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Sleep

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a trauma and stress-related disorder characterized by re-experiencing, avoidance, hyperarousal and negative alterations in cognition or mood.1 Events that involve threat to integrity of self or others such as rape, physical assault, natural disasters and combat exposure are commonly associated with the development of PTSD.1 The lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adults in the United States ranges from 6-10%,2,3 with women being more than twice as likely to have PTSD at some point.

Significantly higher estimates have been reported in combat veterans .4 Rates of PTSD in veterans are higher if they were stationed in combat zones, had tours of longer than one year, experienced combat or were injured. Specifically, among veterans with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, 31-86% report multiple traumatic combat exposures and 11-20% endorse significant PTSD symptoms.5,6

Diabetes Secondary To Sleep Apnea

Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar inside of the body is too high. This is caused by the body creating an inadequate amount of insulin, which helps the sugar in the bloodstream to create energy for the body. When there isnt enough, or any insulin, the body will keep the sugar, also known as glucose, in the bloodstream, which can link to a whole host of health issues. As time goes on, the excessive glucose in the bloodstream can damage the eyes, heart, kidneys, and nerves. These health issues are incredibly damaging, so diabetes needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible to ensure that the disease progresses as little as possible.

Diabetes is often caused by problems with obesity, which is the condition of having too much excess weight on the body. It can be harmful to many areas of the body, as well as causing heart problems and conditions that link to shorter lifespans. Certain types of sleep apnea is often linked to obesity because the stress and inability to properly rest and maintain a stable metabolism cause issues in many other areas of the body. These problems can all come together to create issues that are often very negative and very dangerous.

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Acceptance And Efficacy Of Mandibular Advancement Device Treatment In Military Veterans With Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Effect On Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

1Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 2Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Geisinger Health System, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 3Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut 4Dental Division, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut

Negative Thoughts And Feelings

PTSD and Its Connection to Sleep Apnea

PTSD is sometimes treated with a toxic blame the victim mentality. The disability is often handled poorly by a sufferers friends and family, making a Veteran with PTSD feel responsible for their trauma. However, PTSD is not a weakness, nor is it something that anyone should blame themselves for. Nevertheless, many Veterans with PTSD feel intense guilt and shame related to their condition.

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Key Evidence Item #: Va/dod Clinical Practice Guidelines For Management Of Ptsd

This document is known, more colloquially, as the PTSD Management guidelines.

It is a pretty insightful tool, and can help a Veterans PTSD claim in a lot more ways than I talk about here. Because the VA has a habit of disappearing helpful information, you can download this document for FREE off the Veterans Law Blog Servers, below:

When Its Time To See Your Doctor About Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from PTSD and are concerned you may also have sleep apnea, consider seeing a doctor if:

  • Your sleep partner complains of loud snoring or mentions that your pause breathing pauses during your sleep.
  • You wake up gasping or choking during the night.
  • You still feel tired after a full nights sleep.
  • You have trouble staying awake at school or work, or when youre driving.

If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor about your sleep. With consistent treatment, including CPAP and talk therapy, the symptoms of PTSD and OSA can be significantly reduced.

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About Va Claims Insider

VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements for a wide range of disability conditions.

Ptsd Narcolepsy And Hypersomnia

How To Link Sleep Apnea To Service Connected PTSD – Sleep Apnea Secondary To PTSD

PTSD often causes daytime sleepiness, sleeping too much, vivid, distressing dreams, or hallucinations just before falling asleep. All of these are symptoms of narcolepsy or hypersomnia . Doctors believe that some people with PTSD may develop narcolepsy as their bodys way of dealing with the strong emotions of PTSD.6

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Emotional Trauma Chronic Stress Depression Anxiety

Most Americans are familiar with the extreme toll that combat stress can exact on military personnel. The loss of both peers on the job and loved ones back home. Hypervigilance and paranoia caused by relentless stress and sleep deprivation. The overwhelming uncertainty of combat. The witnessing of violence and atrocity. These can heap psychological burdens on our veterans.

Sleep Apnea Secondary To Ptsd

An increasing number of scientific studies show that sleep apnea and PTSD are comorbid conditions. One study compared the records of 4 million Veterans who have PTSD and those not who have PTSD to find a connection between PTSD and sleep apnea. They found an incredible statistical difference. Approximately 11.85% of individuals who have PTSD also had sleep apnea. This is a relatively significant difference when you compare it to the 4.74% of individuals with sleep apnea who do not have PTSD.

Thus, according to the study, individuals with PTSD are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than those without PTSD. This means Veterans are at a higher risk of having sleep apnea secondary to PTSD. This statistic does not verify that a Veterans sleep apnea is secondary to PTSD, but it is still helpful. To get service connected, a Veteran will need to provide the VA with medical records and other information to verify that the two conditions are directly linked.

In addition, other studies also came to the same conclusion as the previously mentioned study. Researchers at Walter Reed Army medical center looked at sleep problems among 80 OIF/OEF Veterans returning from combat diagnosed with PTSD. Almost all of them said they had problems sleeping, and almost two-thirds suffered from sleep apnea. This is substantial compared to the American frequency of 20% of men and 9% of women who have had sleep apnea at some time in their lives.

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Drugs That Can Cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea

A psychologist colleague of mine once told me that at the hospital where he works, many of his patients are on antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. A significant number of these patients will go on to gain significant weight, snore heavily, and end up dying of heart attacks or strokes. While this is purely anecdotal, based on what we know about the side effects of commonly prescribed prescription medications, its not too far fetched for the following reason: Any medication that causes weight gain can potentially aggravate or uncover obstructive sleep apnea.

Ive written extensively in the past how obstructive sleep apnea is mainly a structural problem with narrow jaws and upper airways, but if you add fat in the throat due to being overweight, it just makes things much worse. Here are 7 commonly prescribed prescription medications that can aggravate obstructive sleep apnea due to their ability to put on weight:

2. Depakote is a common mood stabilizer to treat bipolar disease and seizures. Its also used to prevent migraines. One study found that 44% of women and 24% of men gained about 11 pounds on average over one year.

4. Prednisone, one of many corticosteroids to control inflammation, is one of the most commonly prescribed medications. Chronic, long-term use is given for asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and various other autoimmune conditions. One study found that 70% of people on chronic steroid use reported significant weight gain.

How Ptsd Affects Sleep

Central Sleep Apnea: Caused by PTSD can be eliminated with ...

As part of its diagnostic criteria, PTSD has two sleep-related problems noted: recurrent bad dreams and difficulty sleeping characterized by insomnia.

It is common to relive a traumatic experience through bad dreams. Research from 2002 showed that, in a general community sample, nightmares were experienced by 71% of individuals with PTSD.

In addition, difficulty falling or staying asleep in the acute aftermath of a traumatic event is a significant risk factor for the subsequent development of PTSD. Personnel with insomnia prior to trauma exposure are also more likely to develop PTSD following the exposure.

In data published from the Millennium Cohort Study in 2010, 92% of active-duty military personnel with PTSD, compared to 28% of those without PTSD, reported clinically significant insomnia. If insomnia occurs at least three nights per week and lasts for at least three months, it is deemed chronic insomnia

Moreover, an ongoing sleep disturbance may play a critical role in the maintenance of PTSD, and sleep apnea may be one potential contribution to this persistence.

Some research suggests that the presence of more severe sleep apnea worsens PTSD symptoms concordantly. Although there is some evidence that suggests this potential relationship, not all studies have supported the association.

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Sleep Tips For Partners Of People With Ptsd

While most efforts are focused on how to help someone with PTSD sleep, the partners of people with PTSD may also find it difficult to sleep soundly. For those with a partner who wakes up multiple times during the night, it may help to invest in a mattress that muffles sound and movement.

Nightmares and night terrors can be frightening and may cause your partner to lash out violently. Though you want to be there for your partner, you may find it necessary to sleep in a separate, nearby bedroom from time to time so you can get the restful sleep you need.

It may also be constructive to do exercise together with your partner during the day. In addition to improving sleep, developing healthy routines together can help you bond and help re-establish a sense of security for your partner.

Many caregivers struggle with feelings of guilt and a sense that they are responsible for saving their partner. However, pouring all your energy into helping another person can have a serious effect on your own mental health. Couples therapy, individual therapy, support groups, or a strong network of family and friends may help you manage your own thoughts and feelings to reduce the risk of burnout.

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Study Finds High Risk Of Sleep Apnea In Young Veterans With Ptsd

DARIEN, IL A new study of young U.S. veterans shows that the probability of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea increased with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

The study involved 195 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who visited a VA outpatient PTSD clinic for evaluation. Results show that 69.2 percent of participants had a high risk for sleep apnea, and this risk increased with PTSD symptom severity. Every clinically significant increase in PTSD symptom severity was associated with a 40 percent increase in the probability of screening as high risk for sleep apnea.

The implication is that veterans who come to PTSD treatment, even younger veterans, should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea so that they have the opportunity to be diagnosed and treated, said co-principal investigator Sonya Norman, PhD, researcher at the San Diego VA, director of the PTSD Consultation Program at the National Center for PTSD, and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. This is critical information because sleep apnea is a risk factor for a long list of health problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and psychological problems including depression, worsening PTSD and anxiety.

The study was led by Norman and co-principal investigator Abigail Angkaw, PhD. The lead author of the study is Peter Colvonen, PhD.

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Secondary To A Current Rated Disability

One solution is to claim secondary to a current rated disability, such as PTSD . Why PTSD? Research has shown that having PTSD has a higher chance of developing sleep apnea. The connection between the two is directly correlated.

A secondary condition occurs when a service-connected condition, or treatment for that condition, causes or aggravates another condition. That other condition would be secondarily service-connected. By understanding what a secondary condition is, it will be easier to connect the dots in the primary state.

Because proving your sleep apnea claim is such a complicated process, many veterans go the route of obtaining a rated PTSD disability by the VA. Most vets can vouch for PTSD while in the service. Again, you will need to gather the medical information to prove your PTSD.

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How Can You Receive Va Disability For Sleep Apnea

VA Rating for Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects about 22 million people nationwide. If you are among the former military service members living with sleep apnea, you may be eligible for veterans disability compensation. This guide will outline the basics of sleep apnea, how the VA disability rating works for this condition, and how qualifying veterans can prove service connection.

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Pay Attention To Your Eating And Drinking Habits

Avoid eating heavy meals before going to bed however, make sure that you do not go to bed hungry. Either move can disrupt your sleep schedule. You should also reduce the amount of caffeine and nicotine that you consume during the day. Avoid drinking caffeine after lunchtime, and do not smoke before going to bed. Avoid consuming alcohol within a few hours of your bedtime as well.

Mental Health And Sleep

If youve ever missed a night of sleep, you know how difficult it can be to function the next day. With a disorder that commonly disrupts your sleep, you may feel like that every day. When you cant sleep, you may gain weight and feel fatigued.

Mental health has been found to worsen when sleep deprivation is present. For people who suffer from sleep issues and a mental health disorder, the two can affect each other in a vicious cycle. A lack of sleep can cause your mental condition to worsen, and when your mental health worsens you may have more trouble sleeping.

The good news is that this relationship can also be affected positively. When one condition is treated with positive results, the other condition usually improves as well. The link between mental and physical health can be used for the betterment of your life.

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Sleep Problems In Ptsd

People with PTSD may experience a number of different types of sleep problems. Many people with PTSD have difficulties falling asleep as compared to people without PTSD. In fact, one study of Vietnam veterans found that 44% of those with PTSD said that they have trouble falling asleep at night, whereas less than 10% of combat veterans without PTSD said that they have this problem.

People with PTSD may wake up frequently during the night, have difficulty falling back asleep, or may wake up earlier than they intended. Also, even if sleep does occur, it is often not good, restful sleep.

Of course, nightmares are also very common among people with PTSD. Nightmares are considered one of the re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD. Among people with PTSD, nightmares may be about the traumatic event a person experienced or they may be about some other upsetting or threatening event.

Finally, because of these sleep problems, people with PTSD often develop fears about going to sleep. They may experience worries or thoughts about their traumatic event as soon as they go to bed. They may also fear acting out their nightmares while asleep or impulsively upon being woken up from a nightmare, leading them to sleep alone away from their partners.

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