Friday, November 25, 2011

Advice for Veterans Suffering From Insomnia by Paul Stevens

There are many news stories about the ill-effects suffered by those who have been to war. For that reason, the thought of veterans suffering from insomnia may seem unimportant in comparison. Unfortunately, when veterans are suffering from insomnia, it can by a sign of a more serious, underlying issue.

Of course, in other instances, veterans suffering from insomnia can be for a reason as simple as their sleep patterns were severely altered while they were serving. Also, because they were certainly under a lot of stress during their deployment, that could have brought on the insomnia as well.

Once a veteran returns home, his stress level may be lower and he may have the opportunity for a more normal sleep pattern, but his body may have trouble falling back into line with this normalcy.

If the cause of veterans suffering from insomnia is not brought on by something more serious, such as post traumatic stress disorder, they may benefit from some of the tips offered by the Academy of Sleep Medicine.

First, try to go to bed at the same time each night. If possible, create a sleep setting that is comfortable and relaxing. Avoid all drinks that have caffeine including coffee, tea and soda. If you do drink beverages with caffeine, try to avoid doing so for several hours before your bed time. Finally, try exercising in the morning rather than closer to your bedtime.

Not all veterans will be able to implement all of the suggestions. Just try the ones that will fit into your situation and, hopefully, that will provide some relief.

If none of those tips provide any relief, veterans suffering from insomnia may need to consider the possibility that they are suffering from PTSD.

PTSD is a common condition among returning veterans. Insomnia is just one of the symptoms. Other symptoms include flashbacks, irritability, nightmares and a loss of interest in activities that were once important to the veteran.

Some avoid seeking treatment for PTSD, but that is not a good idea. Many veterans suffering from insomnia do in fact have PTSD. Some think it will resolve itself over time.

Such self-correcting is extremely rare in cases of PTSD. Veterans suffering from insomnia should take seriously the possibility that they have a form of PTSD.

The sooner one gets help for PTSD, the more successful their treatment can be. Veterans suffering from insomnia should not ignore the problem. Instead, try a few lifestyle changes, but if they do not help, seek professional assistance.

The quality of your life - and the lives of those you love - may depend on it.