Sleep Disorders Linked to Traumatic Brain Injury

By Peter DePaolis

According to doctors, traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients suffer from sleep disturbances more than the general population. Doctors report that TBI sufferers experience insomnia, post-traumatic hypersomnia and sleep apnea, which can affect cognition, attention and judgment. As many as 65 percent of patients with mild TBI reported suffering from insomnia, according to one study.

Sleep disorders can negatively affect a TBI patient’s rehabilitation efforts and diminish his or her quality of life. In addition, sleep disorders can increase the risk of injury from automobile accidents. One study revealed that people who suffer from sleep apnea experienced 250 car accidents in a three-year span, compared to 123 car accidents in the same period in people without sleep apnea.

Doctors caution TBI patients about turning to sleep medications. The Journal of Trauma Rehabilitation reported that TBI patients who took certain sleep medications containing Benzodiazepins experienced a negative effect on cognition. These medications can also interfere with a patient’s neuro-rehabilitation, according to the journal.

Common causes of TBI include car accidents, falls, sports injuries and combat injuries. If you or a loved one experiences TBI as the result of another person’s negligence, contact a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. for a free and informative consultation. Roger Johnson is a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer who is prepared to protect your rights in any type of personal injury action.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.