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Spinal Cord Injuries Can Impact the Circadian Rhythm

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2019 | Catastrophic Injuries, Spine Injuries

Some car wrecks lead to spinal cord injuries. People can have a variety of impacts from this type of injury but not all of them include paralysis. For some patients, there isn’t a lack of ability to move and feel sensations. Instead, the primary challenge that they are facing is that they simply can’t sleep normally.

A study done by the University of Texas at Austin found that the spinal cord plays a critical role in the body’s circadian rhythm. When the spinal cord is damaged, there is a chance that the person won’t be able to waken and sleep on a schedule. It isn’t likely to occur in minor spinal cord injuries, but the chance of sleep disturbances increases with moderate to severe injuries.

Researchers noted that circadian rhythms include movement, hormones and body temperature. All of these can be altered when there is a spinal cord injury. Researchers are hopeful that recovery might eventually be possible, especially if they can identify the disrupters that are affecting the sleep cycle.

A person who is recovering from a spinal cord injury needs adequate sleep to fuel the healing in the body. Getting enough rest can also lead to the person being able to focus on the tasks at hand and work as hard as they can during therapy.

There might be other reasons for a spinal cord injury victim to lose sleep. One of these might be that they are worried about their finances. The treatments and adaptive items for these injuries can be very costly, but some victims might be able to defray those costs by seeking compensation for the damages they suffered.