Patients with PTSD Likely have Poor Sleep Quality and Less Physical Activity

Patients with PTSD Likely have Poor Sleep Quality and Less Physical Activity


There are so many health problems that can develop in the human body. Some of these problems can be related, while others don’t have any correlation to one another. A recent study showed that patients diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder were often found to be less physically active because of poor sleeping quality. The study found that patients with PTSD would often see an association between poor sleep quality and decreased physical activity. The more researchers examined the research, the more they found that sleep quality – good

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or bad – “mediated the relationship between baseline PTSD status and physical activity at the one-year follow up.” This shows that reduced sleep quality and lessened physical activity could create a link to negative health outcome.

The Study

The results of the study appeared in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine on July 15. The journal is a publication from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

For years, the link between sleep quality and positive health has been known and what this study has done is add to the ever-growing literature covering that topic. The data contained in this study includes 736 outpatients that were recruited to from two medical centers for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The study was a part of the Mind Your Heart Study and the depth in which a patient suffered from PTSD was through the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, or CAPS. At their baseline levels, participants rated the quality of their sleep for the previous month and a year later, at their baseline level, would rate their quality of sleep, along with the amount of physical activity they took part in. Of the 736 veterans that were examined, 258 had current or subsydromal PTSD.

According to Lisa Talbot, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, “The findings also tentatively raise the possibility that sleep problems could affect individuals’ willingness or ability to implement physical activity behavioral interventions.” She would add, “Sleep improvements might encourage exercise participation.”

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD used to be known as battle fatigue syndrome or shell shock, which came after soldiers returned home from war. The difficulty in which these soldiers were able to re-adapt themselves to every day life was what PTSD originally meant for these men and women. This condition will occur in men and women alike,

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and can develop after the individual has experienced or witnessed a terrifying and traumatic event. In soldiers, this could be losing a friend in front of you, being in a bombing or anything else that brought on harm.

Soldiers aren’t the only people that can be diagnosed with PTSD. Civilians can also be diagnosed with PTSD after experiencing a life threatening accident including those in automobiles, at work, or being witness to something like 9/11. Following the terrorist attacks in the

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United States in 2011, many first responders were diagnosed with PTSD because of all the trauma they experienced helping to save the lives of thousands of people.

When a person suffers througha traumatic event that leads to PTSD, they may experience several different emotions including anger, shock, guilt, disbelief, and nervousness. These are the most common emotions that those with PTSD may feel, and over time, they tend to go away. This can happen due to simply speaking with someone about the trauma, or naturally over an extended period of time. If a person suffers from PTSD for more than a month will likely struggle to function normally.

After a traumatic event, symptoms usually begin within three months. There are cases where these symptoms will begin to develop more than a year later. The duration and severity of each individual case of PTSD depends on the person, trauma, and treatment methods.

There are usually three categories in which the symptoms of PTSD are in: reliving, avoiding, and increased arousal. In the reliving category, patients will repeatedly experience the traumatic event in their mind. These can occur in the form of hallucinations, nightmares, and flashbacks. It is even known to occur when driving past the location of the incident. When a person is in the avoiding category, they are likely to avoid going to places where people may be, or avoid being put in situations where they may be forced to think about their trauma. In the increased arousal stage, patients may suffer problems showing affection, suffer problems relating to others, and the “jumpy” feeling.

Even young children can be diagnosed with PTSD. In these cases, the kids may suffer from delayed development in simple areas including language, motor skills, and potty training.

About the Author

541480_10151782779092178_1954746168_nHobson Lopes is a 2012 graduate of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. He is a professional writer and author of a cookbook for men called Men Cook Too. He is also the owner of The First Pitch and can be followed on Twitter.


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