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A Blow-by-Blow Account of a Night With Autonomic Hyperarousal and PTSD

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themighty.com

One of the primary symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is autonomic hyperarousal, meaning a person’s body kicks into fight or flight mode without there being any actual danger present.

This can cause a myriad of symptoms including flashbacks, panic attacks, and sleep disorders. For me, the most persistent manifestation of my hyperarousal has been through sleep disorders, including nightmares, night terrors, and overall discomfort at night.

My sleep doctor equated it with running a marathon all night. He’s not wrong. Every morning, I wake up feeling more exhausted and irritable than I was when I went to bed the night before.

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