Trauma-Related Context Increases Sleep Disturbances in People with Acute Stress Disorder Symptoms

Ephraim S. Grossman, Yaakov S.G. Hoffman, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this study, we addressed how sleep is related to acute stress disorder (ASD) symptoms, and how the presence of a trauma related-context moderates this relationship. This study (N = 140) was carried out during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, during which 70% of Israelis were exposed to missile attacks. Findings show that participants with clinical ASD symptom levels reported more sleep disturbances than participants without clinical ASD symptom levels. More critically, this effect was only evident among respondents who had a reinforced security room in their houses. While reinforced security rooms offer protection against indirect missile damage, their relevance is salient in negative traumatic situations, which individuals with a clinical level of ASD are more sensitive to. Conversely, in houses without a reinforced security room, there was no difference in subjective sleep reports between individuals with or without clinical levels of ASD symptoms. Results are discussed in reference to trauma being activated by context and the ensuing effects on sleep. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalStress and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • acute stress disorder
  • context
  • missile attacks
  • sleep
  • trauma


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