Washington: Sleep deprivation in the first few hours after exposure to a significantly stressful threat actually reduces the risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a new study has revealed.The study revealed in a series of experiments that sleep deprivation of approximately six hours immediately after exposure to a traumatic event reduces the development of post trauma-like behavioural responses.As a result, sleep deprivation the first hours after stress exposure might represent a simple, yet effective, intervention for PTSD.Approximately 20 percent of people exposed to a severe traumatic event, such as a car or work accident, terrorist attack or war, cannot normally carry on their lives.These people retain the memory of the event for many years. It causes considerable difficulties in the person’s functioning in daily life and, in extreme cases, may render the individual completely dysfunctional.“Often those close to someone exposed to a traumatic event, including medical teams, seek to relieve the distress and assume that it would be best if they could rest and “sleep on it,” Prof. Prof. Hagit Cohen, director of the Anxiety and Stress Research Unit at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said.
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