Concussion Sleep Problems
Why Do Sleep Problems Happen After a Concussion?
Sleep disorders are a common occurrence with concussions. Difficulties with sleeping can occur for several different reasons, including:
- Communication problems between nerve cells
- Reduced production of sleep controlling neurotransmitters
- Concussion-related depression (increases likelihood of insomnia)
- Damaged neurons that control the sleep-wake cycle
Sleep problems related to a concussion are always worth addressing, especially since one of the most important factors of recovery is getting adequate amounts of sleep. Explore our concussion treatments and book a consultation today!
How Can You Get Better Sleep After a Concussion?
Sleep is a crucial part of any post-concussion recovery plan. Some things you can do to help with your concussion-related sleep problems include:
- Establishing a consistent bedtime & wakeup schedule
- Avoiding caffeinated beverages & heavy meals before bed
- Having a healthy and well-rounded diet
- Staying off screens before going to bed
- Exercising during the day (depending on concussion severity)
- Getting professional, concussion specific treatments
Broadview Spine & Health Centre is the leading concussion clinic in Ottawa that provides proven treatments for a wide variety of concussion-related symptoms and problems. If you’re experiencing sleep problems after a traumatic brain injury, contact us today and get started on your road to recovery!
Sleep disturbances after a concussion are common due to the impact the injury has on the brain. Concussions can disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle, leading to difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing poor sleep quality. The brain’s delicate balance and regulation of sleep patterns may be temporarily affected, resulting in sleep disturbances.
Common sleep issues associated with concussions include insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep), hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness), fragmented sleep (frequent awakenings), vivid or disturbing dreams, changes in sleep duration, and sleep-wake cycle disturbances such as delayed or advanced sleep phase.
The duration of sleep problems after a concussion can vary from person to person. In many cases, sleep disturbances improve within a few weeks to a few months as the brain heals. However, for some individuals, sleep issues may persist for a longer period, especially if there are underlying factors or complications. It’s important to work with healthcare professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout the recovery process.
Yes, there are several strategies to improve sleep quality during concussion recovery:
- Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal your body that it’s time to sleep, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath.
- Make your sleep environment conducive to rest by keeping the room cool, dark, and quiet.
- Avoid stimulating activities, electronic devices, and caffeine close to bedtime.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to promote calmness before sleep.
- Engage in light physical activity during the day but avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime.
- Discuss with your healthcare provider about any sleep aids or medications that may be suitable for your situation.
When should I seek medical attention for persistent or worsening sleep issues following a concussion?
If you experience persistent or worsening sleep issues after a concussion, it is advisable to seek medical attention. This is especially important if the sleep problems significantly impact your daily functioning, last longer than expected, or are accompanied by other concerning symptoms. A healthcare professional specializing in concussions can evaluate your specific situation, provide appropriate interventions, and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your sleep difficulties.