Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a highly debilitating disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 7%–8% [1, 2]. Sleep problems are the most prevalent symptoms of PTSD with roughly 70% of patients experiencing co-occurring sleep disorders. The sleep problems typically include nightmares, distressed awakenings, nocturnal panic attacks, sleep terrors, and insomnia.
Sleep abnormalities following trauma are a strong predictor for future development of PTSD. However, sleep abnormalities may also pre-date trauma and then also predict subsequent PTSD. These and other findings suggest that sleep disturbances play an important role in the development and maintenance of PTSD. This role may be related to sleep’s crucial involvement in memory consolidation reduction of memories’ emotional tone and emotional regulation in general.