When Is the Best Time to Sleep During Concussion Recovery?

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As with most injuries, a concussion requires some amount of rest for the brain to heal properly. There’s no question that sleep plays a critical role in the healing process and is essential for concussion recovery. Additionally, functional medicine and functional neurology care can aid in recovery following a traumatic brain injury. Use the helpful information below from Dr. Brandon Nutt and Dr. Matthew Rayner at The Wellness Institute of Dallas to better understand why sleeping after a concussion is necessary and what other things you should (and shouldn’t) do to encourage healing and recovery.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of head injury that can damage the brain and lead to a number of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, including:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory problems
  • Cognitive decline

The majority of concussions are caused by falls or contact sports injuries that involve a blow to the head. It is important for patients to understand that not all concussions cause a loss of consciousness. Still, these are real injuries that should be treated as such.

What should I do after a concussion?

If you suspect that you or a loved one has sustained a concussion in Highland Park, visit The Wellness Institute of Dallas for a complete evaluation, including imaging studies and a full exam. Once more serious complications – like a brain bleed – have been ruled out, our knowledgeable team will discuss appropriate concussion aftercare with you to ensure optimal healing and prevent further injury. Some of the most helpful things to do during concussion recovery include:

  • Sleep/rest
  • Avoid light/sound stimulants
  • Gently stimulate your brain
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use low-sugar electrolytes as recommended
  • Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids as directed

Is it okay to sleep right after a concussion?

If you are not experiencing severe or worrisome symptoms – like bleeding from the nose or ears, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, or a metallic taste in your mouth – and if your concussion has been evaluated by a medical professional, it is typically safe to sleep. In fact, sleep is encouraged for proper healing. More specifically, sleeping during the first 72 hours following a concussion is critical for allowing the brain to rest and recover.

Do I need to wake up every few hours after a concussion?

No. There is no evidence showing that waking up a concussion patient every two hours is beneficial. This can actually disrupt the healing process and slow their recovery. In some cases, patients with concussions report difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact our team for further evaluation.

With a healthy diet, gentle stimulation, and plenty of sleep in the first 72 hours after a concussion, most patients recover on their own and are able to resume normal activities within a week.

Top concussion care in Dallas, TX

When it comes to the health and function of your brain, nothing should be left to chance. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from a concussion in the University Park/Highland Park area, call The Wellness Institute of Dallas today. With advanced functional neurology and functional medicine care, Drs. Brandon Nutt and Matthew Rayner are committed to helping patients protect their brain health and get the relief they deserve following a concussion.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.