Research suggests that almost 90% of Americans are exposed to at least one potentially traumatic event during their lives (Kirkpatrick ’13). Insomnia is one of the most common sleep issues related to trauma. It’s normal for a traumatic experience to affect the quantity and quality of sleep. More severe and persistent sleep disorders are associated with PTSD and both are predominant in the eating disorder and mood and anxiety population. Since PTSD is a condition characterized by recurrent and involuntary memories of the traumatic event (flashbacks, nightmares), it makes sense that introducing treatment strategies aimed at improving sleep should play a pivotal role in recovery. Researchers have found evidence that multiple overlapping brain regions are implicated in both PTSD and sleep problems.
This course addresses how memory consolidation during sleep is responsible for many of the consequences experienced by people struggling with trauma/PTSD. Treating sleep is necessary for effective trauma resolution and this overview of trauma presents timely interventions (Imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), exposure response prevention (ERP), rescripting, relaxation therapy (ERRT), sleep hygiene; cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia (CBT-I); unique pharmacological therapy (α and β- adrenergic blockers). Furthermore, this talk will provide an unlikely and underutilized treatment for trauma/PTSD and expound on the sleep dysregulation that trauma generates.
At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be prepared to:
- Describe five psychotherapies that improve sleep dysregulation that are a result of traumatic experiences
- Explain how REM sleep may be an underpinning for EMDR
- Illustrate how trauma influences memory consolidation
- List 5 types of memory and their function
- Identify five treatment protocols and three medications use to treat trauma induced sleep deprivation
- Support the evidence that multiple overlapping brain regions are implicated in both PTSD and sleep problems
- Appraise how quality sleep contributes to brain healing
About Ralph Carson, LD, RD, PhD
Dr. Carson has been involved in the clinical treatment of obesity, addictions, and eating disorders for over 40 years. His unique background in health science and medicine, coupled with nutrition and exercise has prepared him to integrate neuropsychobiological intervention and proven psychotherapeutic treatment. He is an active board member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). He has authored several popular books on nutrition, lifestyle practices, good health and the brain: Harnessing the Healing Power of Fruits and the recently published The Brain Fix: What’s the Matter with Your Gray Matter? He is currently Vice President of Science and Innovation for the Eating Recovery Center’s CORE Program for weight management and binge-eating disorders in Denver, CO and consultant for the Pinegrove Behavioral Health and Addiction Center in Hattiesburg, MS.
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