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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Why are you having trouble sleeping?

If you have recently suffered a brain injury in Bozeman, you may be worried about having to deal with long-term cognitive deficits or physical limitations. Such concerns may be enough to keep you up at night. Or are they? Could it be that you are losing sleep (or conversely, are experiencing persistent tiredness and fatigue) not because of your worries about how you will deal with the effects of your brain injury, but rather due to the injury itself?

Information shared by the National Institutes of Health shows sleep disturbances and disorders to be among the most common outcomes of a traumatic brain injury, with 30-70 percent of victims reporting them. The more common disorders reported by TBI victims include:

  •          Insomnia
  •          Hypersomnia
  •          Obstructive sleep apnea
  •          Narcolepsy

Contact injuries that occur in the areas around the brain stem, the posterior hypothalamus and the high cervical cord can result in damage to those regions of the brain that maintain your sense of wakefulness. It may seem unsurprising then to learn that those who suffer injuries this area typically report sleeping problems like sleep apnea or hypersomnia. The basal forebrain (located near the base of the skull in the inferior frontal and anterior temporal regions helps initiate sleep, which is why injuries to this area often result in insomnia. Low levels of the neuropeptide hypocretin-1 in the cerebral spinal fluid (which is common following a TBI) are associated with narcolepsy.

While you may view a sleep disorder as being little more than a nuisance, you should know that such problems contribute directly to excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, and the development of heart disease and diabetes.


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