Effects of Trauma on Children’s Sleep
This chapter reviews the available evidence indicating that traumatized children are hypervigilant not only during the day but also during the night, resulting in disrupted sleep. Most of the extant literature to date has focused on trauma resulting from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or witnessing domestic violence, torture, war, or terrorist attacks. Research on traumatized children includes mostly subjective and descriptive investigations of sleep in children and adolescent samples, with a paucity of studies that use objective sleep methods. Studies that have utilized subjective sleep assessments are first reviewed, followed by investigations that have included objective evaluation of sleep. The chapter concludes with an examination of the limited data on pertinent interventions with children and adolescents.
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