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Health Tip: Traumatic Events May Affect Sleep

-- If you've been traumatized by an act of violence, a car accident, or the death of a loved one, the repercussions can affect your daily life, including your sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation describes how a traumatic event can cause sleep disturbances, and offers suggestions to help you sleep better:

  • Problems falling asleep can result from anxiety, recurring thoughts of the trauma, feeling that you "can't let your guard down," and flashbacks.
  • Nightfall and darkness may increase anxiety.
  • Nightmares may be common, causing you to awaken and making it difficult to fall asleep again.
  • To sleep better, pick a spot where you feel safe and comfortable. It doesn't necessarily have to be your bedroom.
  • Don't eat or drink much right before bedtime.
  • Take time to relax before bed. Let go of your anxieties, listen to music, read, or take a bath to help you feel calm and relaxed.
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Posted: January 2009