NS  Vol.6 No.5 , March 2014
Epidemiological Studies on the Relationship between PTSD Symptoms and Circadian Typology and Mental/Sleep Health of Young People Who Suffered a Natural Disaster, Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
Abstract: This study aims, first, to determine the relationship between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and current circadian typology and sleep habits of adults who experienced the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in their childhood in January 1995. An integrated questionnaire was administered to 275 university students (females: 173, males: 93, unknown: 9) aged 19 - 37 (mean age: 21.9 years) in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The questionnaire consisted of basic questions about attributes, questions on sleep habits and sleep quality (Monroe’s sleep quality index), the Torsvall-?kerstedt Diurnal Type Scale and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to obtain PTSD scores. Participants who scored 25 or more in the IES-R were placed in a high-traumatic group (HTG) and those who scored less than 25 were placed in a low-traumatic group (LTG). HTG participants exhibited significantly worse sleep quality than LTG participants (p < 0.001). Although there was no significant difference in sleep latency (p > 0.05), HTG participants woke more frequently during sleep (p < 0.001) and had more difficulty falling asleep (p = 0.001) than LHG participants. Significantly more LTG participants fell asleep easily and slept deeply than HTG participants (p = 0.005, p = 0.011). Only among females, HTG participants were more evening-typed than LTG participants (p = 0.035). These results suggest that people who suffered a disaster in childhood and currently have PTSD have difficulty achieving high sleep quality. Evening-type lifestyles may reinforce the symptoms of PTSD. The study aims, second, to examine the effects of intervention for one month using a leaflet to promote the morning-typed life for persons who suffered natural disaster entitled “Go to bed early, Get up early and Do not forget to have a breakfast for getting three benefits!”. Only one person was over the cutoff point (between 24 and 25) before intervention. This high-traumatic person’s comprehensive sleep health tended to be improved through the intervention (p = 0.052). Such intervention to improve their quality of sleep and promote a morning-typed lifestyle may be an effective way to reduce PTSD symptoms.
Cite this paper: Wada, K. , Kuroda, H. , Nakade, M. , Takeuchi, H. and Harada, T. (2014) Epidemiological Studies on the Relationship between PTSD Symptoms and Circadian Typology and Mental/Sleep Health of Young People Who Suffered a Natural Disaster, Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Natural Science, 6, 338-350. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.65035.

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