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Continuing Education

  • BASE 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 580 Charlotte, NC 28209 (map)

The Relationship Between Trauma and Sleep

Presented by Kristin Daley, Ph.D.

Feel free to bring a snack or lunch.


BASE is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. BASE maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Sleep disturbances are a key element in the experience of post-traumatic stress and can be key diagnostic features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to being an important feature to the diagnostic assessment of PTSD, sleep disturbances also present a vulnerability to the development of PTSD and ongoing challenges with treatment (McCarthy, DeViva, Norman, Southwick, & Pietrzak, 2019). Sleep presents an opportunity for emotional and memory processing within the brain, and it is likely that disruption to sleep perpetuates the experience of negative cognitions related to traumatic experiences, and lack of sleep inhibits individual ability to overcome intense emotions (DeGutis, Chiu, Thai, Esterman, Milberg & McGlincheym, 2018). There are some effective approaches to sleep difficulties specific within people who have PTSD or vulnerability to trauma and addressing trauma-related hyper- arousal (Holder, Holliday, Wiblin & Suris, 2019; Pruiksma, Cranston, Rhudy, Micol & Davis, 2018). In this continuing educational session, we will discuss some of the sleep-specific vulnerabilities in the development of PTSD, the role of sleep challenges in PTSD treatment, and specific clinical approaches to address sleep issues in clients with PTSD.

Learning Objectives

Based on the content of this workshop, you will be able to:

· List the neurobiological correlates between sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder

· Contrast the role of biological sex in moderating the relationship between sleep, trauma and PTSD

· Compare the states of anxiety and insomnia in vulnerability to development of PTSD

· Describe appropriate assessment tools for sleep disorders in people diagnosed with PTSD

· Plan effective intervention that addresses insomnia and PTSD, including role of exposure and response prevention


This program is appropriate for licensed psychologists and other mental health practitioners with some familiarity of trauma intervention. Training is at an intermediate level.


DeGutis, J., Chiu, C., Thai, M., Esterman, M., Milberg, W. & McGlincheym R. (2018). Trauma sequelae are uniquely associated with components of self-reported sleep dysfunction in OEF/OIF/OND veterans. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 16(1), 38-63.

Hall Brown, T. & Mellman, T.A. (2014). The influence of PTSD, sleep fears, and neighborhood stress on insomnia and short sleep duration in urban, young adult, African Americans. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 12, 198-206.

Holder, N., Holliday, R., Wiblin, J., & Surís, A. (2019). A preliminary examination of the effect of cognitive processing therapy on sleep disturbance among veterans with military sexual trauma-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Traumatology, No Pagination Specified.

McCarthy, E., DeViva, J.C., Norman, S.B., Southwick, S.M., & Pietrzak, R.H. (2019). Self-assessed sleep quality partially mediates the relationship between PTSD symptoms and functioning and quality of life in U.S. Veterans: Results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy,

Nobakht, H.N., Dale, K.Y. (2019). The mediational roles of sleep disorders and nightmares in the relationship between trauma and dissociation. Dreaming, Vol 29(1), 79-90.

Pruiksma, K.E., Cranston, C.C., Rhudy, J.L., Micol, R.L., & Davis, J.L. (2018). Residual sleep disturbances following PTSD treatment in active duty military personnel. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 10(1), 67-75.

Spilsbury, J.C. (2009). Sleep as a mediator in the pathway from violence-induced traumatic stress to poorer health and functioning: A review of the literature and proposed conceptual model. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 7, 223-244.

van Wyk, M., Thomas, K.G., Solms, M., & Lipinska, G. (2016) Prominence of hyperarousal symptoms explains variability of sleep disruption in posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 8(6), 688-696.

Professional and Ethical Issues

There is no commercial support for this CE program, instructor, content of instruction, or any other relationship that could be construed as a conflict of interest. There is no endorsement of products.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations will be accepted and payments refunded in full up to two (2) weeks prior to any training event. Following two weeks prior to the event, a credit for future trainings matching the amount already paid for that event’s registration will be given to registrants who cancel their registration, for whatever reason, up to two (2) days prior to the event date. This credit can only be applied to one future training, regardless of its cost. If the cost of the future training is less than the amount paid, the difference will be lost. If the cost of the future training is greater than the credit, then the balance will become due at registration time. If a registrant cancels or no-shows within two days of the event date, a refund will not be given.


BASE is located at 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 580, Charlotte, NC 28209


BASE strives to ensure that each CE program is accessible to all participants. If you would like any accommodations, please contact us at 704-910-8381.


Please contact us at or 704-910-8381 if you have any questions or grievances about the program.


If this program is full, please email us at to indicate your interest. If someone cancels we will contact you.

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Earlier Event: September 10
CBT Consultation Group
Later Event: October 8
Book Club