A few months ago, you got a concussion, like Pacioretty when he had his face printed on one of the partitions by Zdeno Chara during a game at the Bell Centre. You're recovering slowly, but getting a good night's sleep is still difficult for you. And you're sure that if you could sleep like a log, you'd recover much better! That's why you've been actively searching the web for "How to sleep well after a head injury", and you came across our page (courtesy of Polysleep, your foam mattress specialist!) on the subject. Keep on reading to learn how to get a good night's sleep after that nasty concussion!
Head injuries have a real impact on sleep!
First of all, a statistic: whether during rehabilitation or years later, about one third of people who have suffered a head injury are affected by insomnia, which is three times more than the general population. And the majority of affected individuals also report chronic fatigue.
The reason? Damage to the areas of the brain involved in regulating the rhythm between waking and sleeping, among other things. The consequences on the lives of those who have suffered a head injury are also massive: a drop in physical and cerebral capacities, less patience (irritability), or problems resuming their activities after the concussion, not to mention possible attention and memory deficits. In other words, the problems related to traumatic brain injuries are real and major for those who suffer from them!
Just after a concussion, rest as naturally as possible to heal!
Following a head injury, the most important thing to avoid is not to rest. Very regularly, a problem of insomnia develops after the shock.
In this case, the insomnia should not be treated with certain medications such as benzodiazepines. This initial insomnia problem usually disappears after a few days.
On top of that, contrary to popular belief, the person who has suffered a concussion shouldn’t be woken up several times a night to follow the evolution of his or her state of consciousness. The general understanding has changed: initially, you should wake the person once or twice, no more. If all goes well, stop!
It’s recommended instead that the person with a concussion be allowed to sleep through the night and, when possible, to even let them nap. Disturbed sleep can affect healing!
If your insomnia persists long after your concussion, there are solutions!
For those suffering from longer-term insomnia, however, there are also solutions, starting with sleep hygiene interventions. These aim to replace stimulating behaviours with behaviours that promote sleep. These include exercising, eating a snack before bedtime when hungry, sleeping in the dark, going to bed at regular hours, and reducing the consumption of stimulants such as coffee and alcohol. Implementing these sleep hygiene measures are inexpensive, low-risk, and non-invasive, while improving the quality of sleep. All in all, just positive things!
Another approach is cognitive-behavioural therapies, which, while incorporating sleep hygiene, add other techniques, including relaxation and stimuli control. The goal of this type of therapy is to reduce unrealistic expectations and anxiety about sleep by identifying and reducing harmful thoughts around and during sleep. The scientific literature has definitely proven the effectiveness of this type of approach and these therapies will be effective if you decide to follow one to treat your insomnia!
Ultimately, you will be able to return to normal, restful sleep after a head injury, even if you suffer from chronic insomnia as a result of it. Precautions and therapies exist for this, and their effectiveness is proven! If, on the other hand, you think that your mattress is the actual cause of your sleepless nights, think about changing it for one of our foam mattresses, which you can order directly online. We look forward to counting you among our customers!