Don’t sleep on a problem or traumatic experience – it only makes it worse
If you have a traumatic experience, don’t sleep on it – it only makes it worse. Instead, stay awake for at least six hours afterwards to reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Staying awake after a traumatic experience may seem counter-intuitive – and certainly goes against standard advice – but it seems to allow the brain to assimilate the event, and perhaps even make some sense of it.
Researchers from Ben–Gurion University of the Negev in Israel reckon that PTSD could be worse in people whose memories are allowed to embed themselves, which is more likely when you sleep. The effects of PTSD are so debilitating in around 20 per cent of victims that they are unable to carry on a normal life.
(Source: Neuropsychopharmacology, 2012; doi: 10.1038/npp.2012.94).