Traumatic brain injuries lead to prolonged sleep disorders

Severe head injuries interfere with human sleep patterns
A severe blow to the head can lead to unexpected consequences. Researchers found that traumatic injuries cause our brain to affect our sleep patterns. These sleep disorders can last for more than a year.

Scientists from the University Clinic of Zurich have now found out in their study that severe head injuries lead to traumatic effects. These then disturb our sleep patterns. This condition can last for up to one year. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "Neurology".

Doctors found that severe head injuries can cause sleeping problems. These sleep disorders are then retained for a long period of time.(Picture: Karin & Uwe Annas / physicians have found that severe head injuries can cause sleeping problems. These sleep disorders are then retained for a long period of time.(Image: Karin & Uwe Annas /

Study investigates subjects over a period of 18 months
The scientists investigated the effects of traumatic brain injuries on our sleep behavior. In doing so, they were able to establish that human sleep is decisively disturbed by such injuries. For their study, the researchers estimate the data of 31 people who had previously suffered a traumatic brain injury( TBI).The physicians analyzed the sleep time, eventual waking phases at night and how the subjects were feeling during the daytime. In addition, the scientists observed a control group of 42 healthy subjects. The sleep patterns of the participants were recorded over a period of 18 months. In addition, they wore two weeks within the study equipment, which pursued their body movements. During the whole period, the subjects also slept one night in a laboratory. In this, the brain activity and other body functions were monitored, explain the experts.

People with TBI need more sleep and are often sleepy during the day
It was found that people with TBI need more sleep. Those concerned need about eight hours of sleep per night. This is an hour more than for non-injured participants, the authors say. The study also showed that about 67 percent of people with TBI felt drowsy and drowsy during the day. Only about 19 percent of healthy participants reported an excessive daytime weakness, the experts explain. The current study is based on the results of many previous studies from recent years. In these, it was already suggested that TBI could be associated with sleep disorders, explains the chief author Dr. Lukas Imbach from the University of Zurich. However, it was not clear how the frequency and cause of the sleep disturbances were explained, the expert adds. The new study is the longest prospective study on sleep quality and TBI.Most of the older studies followed the participants only for a period of about six months after suffering a traumatic brain injury, the doctors say. In the past, it was assumed that the effect eased sooner. However, the new results show clearly that the sleep problems can last up to 18 months, so Dr. Imbach.

People with TBI suffer from disturbed functions during the day
The researchers also found in their study that people with TBI are more inaccurate if they were to record their own sleep patterns. This caused concern for the physicians, because sleep disorders have a serious impact on the functions of those who are awake. The cause of these disturbed functions is still unknown, but we plan to carry on research in this direction, explains Dr. Imbach. Alone in the United States affect the impact of traumatic brain injuries about 1.7 million people a year, the authors add to the study.(as)

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