More people suffer from sleep disorders after quakes: Experts

More people suffer from sleep disorders after quakes: Experts

More people suffer from sleep disorders after quakes: Experts

Sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders have become much more common after the deadly earthquakes that ripped through Türkiye’s south last month, experts say.

Professor Dr. Hikmet Fırat, a member of the Turkish Sleep Medicine Society Board, stated that “post-traumatic stress” has emerged in many people after the earthquakes centered in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.

Fırat stated that this condition is inevitable for those living in the quake zone, saying it is a natural response of the body.

He explained that when human beings are stressed, there are some hormones released from the brain called “neurotransmitters,” and the brain protects itself to survive with these hormones. However, this protection also causes diseases in the long run.

“People face forgetfulness, stress and depression after the earthquakes. They don’t want to talk about it too much. These are the symptoms at the first stage, but in the later stages, we come across both behavioral and sleep disorders, such as insomnia,” he said.

Emphasizing that sleep disorders are rapidly increasing in numbers, Fırat said that previous studies have shown that if these problems are left untreated, they can continue for up to 10 years.

The sleep disorders they encounter, in particular, include a decrease in sleep duration, waking up frequently at night, having nightmares, waking up tired in the morning and the tendency to sleep during the day, he said.

Sleep disorders, in the future, can lead to metabolic diseases, psychological disorders and cardiovascular diseases, Fırat noted.

He underlined that if a person has been suffering from these symptoms for over a month, they should definitely consult a specialist.

Stating that not only quake survivors but also people outside the quake zone are negatively affected by the events, Fırat said that especially people with underlying sleep problems, depression, or anxiety get much more affected in these situations.

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