East Coast Injury Clinic
Auto Accident Injury Care & Chiropractic
located in Jacksonville, FL
You’ve probably never imagined that being in an automobile accident would wind up disrupting your ability to sleep for weeks, or even months down the road, but insomnia, which is a common symptom of post-concussive syndrome, is a frequent complaint among car accident victims. It’s important to seek treatment for insomnia that disrupts your daily life because sleep is critical to your physical and mental well-being. The neurology specialists at East Coast Injury Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida offer comprehensive care for patients with trauma-related insomnia, so they can go back to getting a good night’s sleep.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a complex condition that’s defined as having difficulty either falling or staying asleep, even when conditions are conducive to sleep. Short-term insomnia, which is caused by psychological stress or a traumatic life event, typically resolves itself and isn’t usually a cause for concern.
Chronic insomnia, which occurs at least three nights a week, and lasts three months or longer, can be far more problematic. Chronic insomnia can wreak havoc on your daily life, causing low energy, daytime fatigue or sleepiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and even anxiety or depression.
How can insomnia be related to an earlier auto accident?
Although you may think of a concussion as something that’s sustained from a blow or a bump to the head, it can also be the result of any sudden movement that jars your brain inside your skull. This typically happens during the unexpected change of direction and deceleration that take place upon impact in an auto accident.
Post-concussive syndrome is a common diagnosis following many car accidents, including minor fender benders. It happens when various concussion-related symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, or insomnia, last for weeks, months, or longer following an initial injury.
How do I know if I have post-concussive syndrome?
Post-concussive syndrome can be challenging to diagnose conclusively, but if you have a traumatic injury in your recent past, and you begin experiencing insomnia — or any other neurological symptom — it’s one of the most likely scenarios.
After going over your complete medical history and performing a comprehensive exam, the team at East Coast Injury Clinic can perform in-office neurocognitive tests to determine the presence and extent of any brain trauma. Next, they’ll work with you to develop a customized treatment plan designed to get you back on the road to recovery.
How is accident-related insomnia treated?
If the specialists at East Coast Injury Clinic determine that you do have post-concussive syndrome, they’ll try to establish whether your insomnia is a direct result of your injury, or whether it’s been brought on indirectly by other problems, such as medication, anxiety, or depression.
Treatment for chronic insomnia typically includes cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Making appropriate behavioral changes, such as keeping a regular bedtime, skipping daytime naps, and avoiding caffeine after a certain time of day, can go a long way in helping you sleep.
If behavioral changes aren’t effective, you may be a suitable candidate for prescription medication designed to help regulate sleep. It’s important to approach drug therapy with caution, starting with a short trial reinforced by behavioral changes, to avoid dependence.