When I walk into a doctor’s exam room, it’s usually to the sight of a lovely paper-covered table. But when I walk into the exam room at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence’s sleep lab, it’s a little different – there’s a full-sized bed. And some wires.
This is where active-duty service members with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries learn if they’ve got serious sleep issues.
The chance of that is pretty high. According to NICoE neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Greg Morgan, about 90 percent of TBI patients have some sort of sleep complaint. They, along with PTSD sufferers, also have an increased risk of sleep apnea.
“About 40-50 percent of our patients have it,” Morgan said, adding that experts believe disrupted sleep during deployment predisposes some people to the problem.