Concussion & Sleep

By Arjan Kuipers, Brain and Spine Rehab B.V, Netherlands

Believe it or not, one of the most potent tools you already have for dealing with post-concussion issues is sleep. Quality sleep is essential for self-healing as well as reducing your immune system and the neuro-inflammation we discussed before. An important aspect is to go to bed at the same time every day, calculating the hours before 12 twice.

We’re talking about sleep in this article, I’d like to mention a few things. Because I know from personal experience that sleep is a challenge for many of you, I’d want to highlight a few factors that we know are critical for proper sleep:

  • Do you go to bed at the same time every day?
  • Do you spend roughly the same amount of time in bed?
  • Only by taking so-called power naps can you make up for missed sleep (no longer than 30 minutes)
  • One and a half to two hours before bedtime, avoid using a screen or other source of blue light.
  • Bedroom is completely dark.
  • Check that your bedroom isn’t too hot or too cold.
  • Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated. The purpose of your bedroom is to sleep, not to watch television or have unwanted talks. Before retiring to bed, dim the lights.
  • When you do wake up, try to practise some relaxation techniques.
  • Use sleep medicine only if you have no other choice (sleep medication simply makes you forget that you didn’t get enough sleep) (-;)
  • Unless you have blood sugar issues, don’t eat two hours before bed. Then, if you can tolerate it, eat only a modest amount of proteins and lipids.
  • Maintain a consistent blood sugar level; too little or too much blood sugar might have serious effects for restful sleep.
  • Optimal sleep is defined as 7.5-8 hours of sleep without disturbance rather than sleeping for 8 hours. It’s likely that if you’re a lousy sleeper, you’ll go to bed at 9:00 p.m. and wake up at 8:00 a.m.

    As you can see, not all problems require elaborate answers. One of, if not the most significant, factors in subsequent rehabilitation is one’s lifestyle.

For more details about concussion and post concussion treatment contact me, Continuous Problems Post Concussion -Virtual Treatment & Consultation

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