According to national statistics, there are almost 2 million people who sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year. While many people recover from their injuries, there are also a great many that are left with serious long-term and permanent disabilities. A recent study concludes that anyone who has suffered from a TBI could end up with long-term sleep issues, and many of those people do not even realize they are suffering from sleep disturbances.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University Hospital Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland. There were two groups of participants in the study. The first group was comprised of 31 people who had sustained a TBI for the first time. Researchers followed that group for 18 months. The second group was made up of 42 participants who had no history of TBI.
Each group reported on their own sleep behaviors, as well as any daytime sleepiness they felt. All participants were also monitored for a two week period by using a wrist device. This device measured body movements. Each participant also spent one night in a sleep video lab where their brain activity, eye movements, heart rhythm, and muscle activity was measured. They were also tested for excessive daytime sleepiness.
When all the results were compared, the study team found that almost 70 percent of the group of TBI sufferers experienced issues with daytime sleepiness, while only 20 percent of the healthy group participants had issues. Yet the majority of the TBI group averaged eight hours of sleep per night, while the healthy group averaged seven hours of sleep per night.
An alarming factor that came out of the study was that TBI sufferers who suffered from daytime sleepiness did not realize their bodies were struggling with this issue. But medical research has found that long-term sleep disturbance issues can be dangerous for a person’s physical health, putting them at a higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, and weight gain. It is also dangerous for their cognizant health, increasing the chances of being involved in vehicle accidents, work injury, or any other activity which requires focus and attention.
Have You Been Injured?
If you or a family member is suffering from a traumatic brain injury received as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, contact a dedicated North Carolina brain injury attorney. Our Carolinas personal injury firm also offers a free brain injury guide which can help answer some of your questions regarding TBI and injury law.