Sleep disorders are one of the most common and persistent complications
that patients may experience following a
mild traumatic brain injury
(mTBI). However, sleep disturbances are often undiagnosed in these patients,
who may suffer from sleep deprivation a year or more post-TBI.
A recent review examined a broad pool of data from post-TBI individuals
to determine risk factors for sleep disturbances. Researchers found that:
An individual’s unique neural organization and genetic makeup may
affect the likelihood of experiencing sleep disorders after a
- Females with mTBI may be more sensitive to prolonged sleep disturbance
- Older patients with mTBI experience sleep disorders for a longer time and
at a higher rate than younger patients.
- In children, mTBI is a risk factor for sleep disturbance, while moderate/severe
TBI is not.
Although sleep disturbances are a common and often long-lasting complication
following TBI, clinicians often overlook them when diagnosing patients.
Due to the prevalence of TBI-related sleep disorders, knowledge of risk
factors and early detection are crucial, as well-rested patients recover
faster and more fully.
Source: Mollayeva T, Mollayeva S, Colantonio A. The risk of sleep disorder
among persons with mild traumatic brain injury. Current Neurological and
Neuroscience Reports. (2016).