Sleep disturbances following traumatic experiences in childhood and adolescence: a review

Bader, Klaus; Schäfer, Valérie
May 2007
Somnologie;May2007, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p101
Academic Journal
The present review article discusses the long-term effects of traumatic and stressful events in childhood – a research area that has attained growing interest in the last decade. The results of several longterm studies, some of them largescale, indicate that early physical and psychosocial stressors can lead to an increased vulnerability to physical and mental diseases in adult age. Sleep and dreaming seem to be affected as well. Several studies yield evidence that physical and emotional abuse, neglect, familial violence and conflicts, injuries, accidents, war and disasters experienced during childhood are associated with sleep disturbances. Difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep, non-restorative sleep and an elevated frequency of night terror, anxiety dreams and nightmares are among the most commonly reported problems. Polysomnographic and actigraphic recordings show reduced sleep efficiency, more frequent and prolonged night awakenings and increased body movement during sleep in individuals who report traumatic experiences. Sleep disturbances can be an immediate effect of traumatic childhood experiences, but can also persist for years after a stressful event. The search for an empirically founded theory explaining the relations between traumatic childhood experiences and sleep is not yet concluded. Chronic hyperarousal and hypervigilance, maladaptive sleep behaviours, secondary anxiety conditioning processes as well as disturbances of trauma processing and memory functions during sleep are hypothesized to be factors involved.


Related Articles

  • Sleep Disturbance and Its Relation to DSM-IV Psychiatric Symptoms in Preschool-Age Children With Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Community Controls. Devincent, Carla J.; Gadow, Kenneth D.; Delosh, Danielle; Geller, Lynda // Journal of Child Neurology;Feb2007, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p161 

    This study describes the relation between sleep problems and psychiatric symptoms in preschool-age children (3 to 5 years old) with pervasive developmental disorder and a community- based sample of children attending early childhood programs. Parents completed the Early Childhood...

  • THE SECRET DISEASE: high ANXIETY. Gotell, Lucy // Alive: Canada's Natural Health & Wellness Magazine;Jun2008, Issue 308, p122 

    The article provides information on anxiety disorders in Canada. It states that anxiety which is a host of mental disorders affect approximately 12% of the Canadian population. Despite its prevalence and debilitating effects, anxiety might well be dubbed as secret disease. For while 12% of...

  • Sleep difficulties are associated with increased symptoms of psychopathology. Tkachenko, Olga; Olson, Elizabeth; Weber, Mareen; Preer, Lily; Gogel, Hannah; Killgore, William // Experimental Brain Research;May2014, Vol. 232 Issue 5, p1567 

    Sleep problems often co-occur with psychopathological conditions and affective dysregulation. Individuals with mood disorders have significantly higher rates of sleep disturbances than healthy individuals, and among those with mood disorders, sleep problems are associated with lower rates of...

  • Idleness and Lawlessness in the Therapeutic State. Szasz, Thomas // Society;May/Jun95, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p30 

    This article focuses on the social condition of chronic mental patients in the U.S. in relation to the concepts of idleness and lawlessness. Most chronic mental patients, especially schizophrenics, are idle, economically dependent, and inclined to lawlessness. Today, as of 1995, after a century...

  • Axis I Psychopathology during the First Four Mounts After Traumatic Brain Injury. Rezaei, Sajad; Salehi, Iraj; Moosavi, Heshmatollah; Yousefzaeh, Shahrokh // Iranian Journal of Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology;Spring2012, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p13 

    Objectives: The aim of this research was to examine the dimensions of axis I disorders during the first four months after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and mental states after TBI. Method: Overall, 238 patients (43 females and 195 males) with TBI, in a descriptive longitudinal study, were...

  • SLEEP DISTURBANCE IN DEPRESSED PATIENTS: OBJECTIVE AND SUBJECTIVE MEASURES. Samuel, J. G. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Sep64, Vol. 110 Issue 468, p711 

    The article presents the study about the objective and subjective measures on sleep disturbance in 18 depressed female patients. It sought to examine whether the use of thioridazine is thought to affect the reticular activating system rather than the cerebral cortex primarily would cause a...

  • Aspects of the relationship between sleep and nutrition: a study of 375 psychiatric out-patients. Crisp, A. H.; Stonehill, Edward; Stonehill, E // British Journal of Psychiatry;Apr73, Vol. 122 Issue 569, p379 

    The article presents a study on the relationship between sleep patterns and nutrition of psychiatric outpatients. A study of 375 psychiatric out-patients were investigated by a standardized measure of their sleep, weight, level of nutrition and psychiatric and mood states at the psychiatric...

  • Quality of sleep in patients with schizophrenia is associated with quality of life and coping. Hofstetter, John R.; Lysaker, Paul H.; Mayeda, Aimee R. // BMC Psychiatry;2005, Vol. 5, p13 

    Background: While sleep disturbance is widespread in schizophrenia it is less clear whether sleep disturbance is uniquely related to impaired coping and perceived quality of life. Methods: We simultaneously assessed sleep quality, symptoms, and coping in 29 persons with schizophrenia or...

  • Erratum zu: Störungen des Tiefschlafs und psychische Erkrankungen. Doerr, J.P. // Der Nervenarzt;Jul2010, Vol. 81 Issue 7, p866 

    No abstract available.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics