Management of Sleep Disturbances Following Concussion

March 10, 2016; 1-2:30 p.m. (ET)


Nearly 340,000 service members sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2000 and 2015 with 82.5 percent of these classified as mild TBI, also known as concussion (Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, 2016). Mathias & Alvaro (2012) showed that as many as 50 percent of people who sustained a concussion suffered from a sleep disturbance. Additionally, in a 2008 Department of Defense survey of Operation Iraqi Freedom service members, 92.9 percent of those surveyed with a TBI history endorsed fatigue (Hoge et al., 2008). Sleep disturbances and fatigue can lead to worsening symptoms such as decreased cognition, pain, irritability and ultimately affect return to work.

Clinically, sleep problems may co-exist with headache, somatic pain, and other neurological symptoms, and diagnosis and treatment can be challenging for providers. This presentation will address the assessment and management of concussion-associated sleep disturbances and fatigue. The speakers will present recent research and discuss ways to enhance quality of life and function in individuals who are experiencing post-concussion sleep dysfunction and fatigue.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe common sleep disturbances following TBI
  • Discuss appropriate diagnostic strategies for sleep disorders
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fatigue management following TBI
  • Articulate pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of sleep disturbances and fatigue
  • Relate new advances in treatment of sleep disorders


Emerson M. Wickwire, Ph.D.
Director of the Insomnia Program Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland
Michael R. Yochelson, M.D., MBA
Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Washington, District of Columbia


Panakkal David, M.D.
Traumatic Brain Injury Subject Matter Expert Division of Clinical Affairs Contract support to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Silver Spring, Maryland


Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. (2016). DoD Numbers for Traumatic Brain Injury Worldwide - Totals. Retrieved from

Hoge, C. W., McGurk, D., Thomas, J. L., Cox, A. L., Engel, C. C., & Castro, C. A.. (2008). Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Soldiers Returning from Iraq. New England Journal of Medicine, 358(5), 453-463.

Mathias, J. L. & Alvaro, P. K. (2012). Prevalence of sleep disturbances, disorders, and problems following traumatic brain injury: A meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine, 13(7), 898-905.

Continuing Education

Continuing education credit is available from Professional Education Services Group (PESG). You must register by 3 p.m. (ET) March 10, 2016, to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit.

The awarding of continuing education credit is limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide psychological health and traumatic brain injury care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and their families.

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