Sleep apnea treatment eases nightmares in vets with PTSD: study

July 17, 2013
Sleep apnea treatment eases nightmares in vets with PTSD: study
For those with both post-traumatic stress and the sleep disorder, sticking with CPAP therapy may help.

(HealthDay)—For military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, reduces their nightmares, a new study finds.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of U.S. veterans who had been treated in a VA medical center between 2011 and 2012. The investigators looked at the average number of nightmares per week before treatment and up to six months after CPAP was prescribed for the veterans.

The use of CPAP led to a significant reduction in the number of nightmares, which was most connected to how well veterans complied with the treatment.

"Patients with PTSD get more motivated to use CPAP once they get without frequent nightmares, and their compliance improves," principal investigator Dr. Sadeka Tamanna, medical director of the laboratory at G.V. (Sonny) VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., said in an American Academy of Sleep Medicine news release.

The findings were recently published online in the journal Sleep and presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Baltimore.

"One out of six veterans suffers from PTSD, which affects their personal, social and productive life," Tamanna said. "Nightmares are one of the major symptoms that affect their daily life, and prevalence of [sleep apnea] is also high among PTSD patients and can trigger their nightmares."

CPAP, which is a common treatment for sleep apnea, helps keep the airway open by providing a stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep. PTSD symptoms such as nightmares usually start soon after a traumatic event but may not show up until months or years later, according to the National Center for PTSD of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Explore further: CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with PTSD and sleep apnea

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about post-traumatic stress disorder.

Related Stories

CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with PTSD and sleep apnea

July 8, 2013
A new study suggests that CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Study shows that bedtime regularity predicts CPAP compliance

May 7, 2013
A new study suggests that regularity of bedtime prior to initiation of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an important factor that may influence treatment compliance in adults with obstructive sleep apnea ...

Stable bedtime helps sleep apnea sufferers adhere to treatment

June 5, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A consistent bedtime routine is likely key to helping people with obstructive sleep apnea adhere to their prescribed treatment, according to Penn State researchers.

Review: Blood pressure drug effective for treating PTSD-related nightmares

March 6, 2012
Mayo Clinic researchers this week will announce the use of the blood pressure drug prazosin as an effective treatment to curb post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related nightmares.

CPAP improves work productivity for sleep apnea patients

April 10, 2013
Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at increasing work productivity, according to a new study.

CPAP found to improve sexual function, satisfaction in men with sleep apnea

June 13, 2012
Men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are seeing another potential benefit from continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP: improved sexual function and satisfaction in non-diabetic men under age 60.

Recommended for you

Concerns that sleep apnea could impact healthspan

July 27, 2017
The number of people with obstructive sleep apnea has steadily increased over the past two decades. The disorder, which causes a person to briefly stop breathing when asleep, affects over 100 million people globally and is ...

Anti-nausea drug could help treat sleep apnea

June 6, 2017
An old pharmaceutical product may be a new treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research presented today by University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University scientists at the SLEEP 2017 annual ...

New disposable, wearable patch found to effectively detect sleep apnea

June 4, 2017
Results of a definitive clinical trial show that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels.

Childhood sleep apnoea is common but hard to diagnose

April 28, 2017
The cessation of breathing during sleep caused by enlarged tonsils is common in preschool-age children and can cause serious complications, but the methods normally used to diagnose the condition are subjective and unreliable. ...

Curbing sleep apnea might mean fewer night trips to bathroom

March 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans battle bothersome nighttime conditions, such as sleep apnea or the need to get up frequently to urinate.

Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

March 17, 2017
A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter - brain cells involved ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.