CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with PTSD and sleep apnea
July 8, 2013 — A new study suggests that CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
The most effective treatment option for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure therapy, CPAP, which helps keep the airway open by providing a stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep.
Results show that the mean number of nightmares per week fell significantly with CPAP use, and reduced nightmare frequency after starting CPAP was best predicted by CPAP compliance.
“Patients with PTSD get more motivated to use CPAP once they get restful sleep without frequent nightmares, and their compliance improves” said principal investigator Sadeka Tamanna, MD, MPH, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Laboratory at G.V. (Sonny) VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.
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