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Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Long-Term Sleep Problems

Sleep IssuesStatistics indicate that at least 1.7 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year. Some may recover completely, but others may suffer from severe long-term or permanent disability. Both groups are at risk for long-lasting sleep disturbances, a new study says. Why is this important, and what might it mean for your personal injury case?

TBI and Sleep Disturbance

In what was said to be the longest and most comprehensive study on the possibility of sleep disturbances in TBI victims, researchers followed 31 first-time TBI sufferers for a total of 18 months. The study also included a control group of 42 healthy people who did not have a history of traumatic brain injury. Both groups were asked to report their sleep behaviors and sense of daytime sleepiness. Body movements were recorded for a total of two weeks using a wrist device, and each participant also spent a night in a video sleep lab. Here, doctors monitored individuals for muscle activity, body movements, and heart rhythm.

When comparing the two groups, researchers found that only 19 percent of the control group had experienced daytime sleepiness. This was compared to a concerning 67 percent of all TBI sufferers. What makes this so interesting is that the TBI sufferers, on average, tended to sleep about an hour longer than those in the control group. Another interesting but concerning point was that TBI sufferers seemed to be less apt to notice sleep disturbances than non-sufferers.

Why Sleep Disturbances are Concerning

While, hypothetically, a short-term disruption of sleep patterns may be fairly harmless, there are situations that could potentially increase harm to sufferers. For example, many experienced sleep disturbances long after their injury, even when the injury was minor. Long-term sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness could place the victims at risk for other issues, such as an increased risk for experiencing an automobile accident. Some may even be at risk for developing certain health conditions, including weight gain, hypertension, and diabetes.

Fighting for Fair Compensation

When negligence leads to the injury of another, the victim has the right to pursue full and fair compensation for any losses they experience. In the case of TBI sufferers, those losses can extend well beyond a simple bump on the head, and this must be taken into account when calculating the potential award. Unfortunately, insurance companies and claims adjusters typically attempt to reduce settlement amounts, sometimes by minimizing the pain and suffering experienced by the victim. Protect your rights with help from an experienced attorney.

At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., we understand the challenges you face. We will fight to ensure your best interests are preserved, and that all factors are considered in the analysis of your case. Learn more about how our experienced Monterey County personal injury attorneys can help with your situation. Call us at (408) 298-7200 and schedule your free consultation today.

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