Sleep is as essential to healthy and normal physical and mental functioning as food and water. Anyone who has ever been sleep deprived can likely attest to the importance of obtaining a sufficient and restful amount of sleep and a recent study reveals that it’s not just new parents and college students who frequently suffer the ill effects of sleep deprivation, but also those who suffer traumatic brain injuries.

Individuals who don’t get enough sleep are at an increased risk of developing several serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and even cancer. Additionally, individuals who experience daytime sleepiness are more prone to cause or be involved in motor vehicle accidents as well as accidents at school or work.

A recent study examined 31 TBI sufferers for 18 months and compared the group’s sleep patterns against those of a group of 42 non-TBI sufferers. Based on their findings, researchers determined that individuals who suffer TBIs are more than three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer from “excessive daytime sleepiness” than healthy individuals. What’s more, most TBI sufferers aren’t aware that they were suffering from this serious sleep disorder.

Sleep disturbances are exceeding common in the wake of a brain injury and an individual may experience such problems for up to 18 months post-injury. What’s more, while a significant percentage of TBI sufferers experience problems with excessive daytime sleepiness, many don’t recognize or report symptoms associated with this serious sleep disorder.

Sleep disturbances are just one of the negative symptoms frequently experienced in the wake of a brain injury. In cases where a TBI is the result of another individual’s negligence, it’s important to consult with an attorney about taking legal action to recover compensation.

Source: WebMD, “Sleep Doesn’t Come Easy After a Brain Injury,” May 10, 2016

National Sleep Foundation, “Excessive Sleepiness,” May 10, 2016