Sleep Quality: A concussion can have wide-ranging effects that disrupt your day-to-day life. While recovering, getting adequate, restorative sleep is crucial. The quality and quantity of sleep you get impacts the healing time after a concussion.
In the first days following a concussion, you may experience headaches, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue. These symptoms often negatively impact sleep quality. However, quality sleep supports the brain’s recovery process and ability to repair itself after a trauma like a concussion. Most experts recommend 9-10 hours of sleep per night while recovering.
Let’s explore how prioritizing sleep can help you heal concussion faster. Here are some ways proper sleep helps the healing process.
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Improved Brain Function
After a concussion, your brain function is often impaired. Quality sleep allows your brain to process information and store new memories more efficiently during recovery.
When you get sufficient rest at night, you wake up feeling more refreshed, with improved cognition and brain performance. Aim to get 9-10 hours of sleep per night. This empowers your brain to function at a higher level despite your injury.
When recovering from a concussion, proper rest enhances concentration, reaction time, and other aspects of brain function that may be compromised. Without consistent, quality sleep, your ability to think clearly, make decisions, focus, and process information declines.
Prioritizing requisite rest helps counter these effects so your brain operates optimally after this trauma.
After a concussion, inflammation prevents your brain from properly healing itself. Lack of sleep prolongs inflammation, delaying your recovery. When you get sufficient sleep on a regular basis, it enables your body to fight inflammation more effectively so your brain can heal.
Getting adequate sleep nightly also helps regulate hormones that drive inflammation. When your sleep is disrupted, these hormones remain out of balance. This inflammation can linger, obstructing concussion recovery.
To minimize inflammatory responses, be consistent with your sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily. Quality, uninterrupted sleep gives your brain the reprieve it requires from inflammation to mend itself.
Enhanced Emotional Regulation
Sleep disturbances after a concussion can heighten feelings of anxiety, irritability, and depression for you. Adequate, uninterrupted sleep helps balance critical hormones and neurotransmitter levels in your brain. This leads to improved mood regulation abilities while recovering.
Without consistent, quality rest, you may grapple with more emotional volatility and stress during the healing process. Mood swings and emotional reactivity levels may spike.
Prioritizing requisite sleep consistency aids emotional regulation capabilities so you feel more regulated, calm, and positive. The restoration sleep provides minimizes mood variability.
With enhanced emotional control, you can better manage the frustrations of recovery. Quality rest empowers mental health resilience following a concussion.
Exhaustion commonly occurs after a concussion. Quality, uninterrupted sleep helps recharge your body and mind, providing you with the energy you need to function during the day.
When your sleep suffers, you have less drive and stamina for daily activities requiring mental focus and effort. It’s crucial to listen to signals from your body about needing rest and sleep adequately when they arise. Otherwise, you risk becoming physically and mentally depleted.
Balancing activity with periods of quality rest prevents energy deficits. The restoration sleep facilitates allows you to wake up feeling truly recharged. With your battery refilled at night, you’ll have the increased vigor needed to propel your daily functioning and healing.
Better Healing Environment
Your body predominantly repairs itself during sleep. Growth and stress hormones are secreted while you rest to heal damaged cells and tissues.
Without adequate nightly sleep, the pace of this cell repair slows. To aid your concussion recovery:
- Optimize your sleep environment so your brain can restore itself fully.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet—light and noise disrupt sleep cycles.
- Consider using a white noise machine to dull irritating sounds.
- Block out early morning light with blackout curtains.
- Set the temperature to around 65° F for optimal rest.
- Create boundaries around electronics and other sleep disruptions within your control.
Structuring an optimal healing atmosphere removes obstacles so your brain rebuilds in the high-quality restorative sleep you need.
Tips For Improving Sleep Quality
Implementing healthy sleep habits optimizes your rest, fast-tracking concussion healing. Here are tips for improving sleep quality:
- Stick to a routine sleep schedule, even on weekends. Wake up at the same time daily to regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine several hours before bedtime.
- Engage in mild activity during the day, but avoid vigorous workouts 2 hours before bed.
Be disciplined by avoiding sleep disruptors for high-quality, uninterrupted rest nightly. Healthy habits enhance slumber, accelerating your brain’s healing.
A concussion disrupts your life, health, and well-being. Managing recovery is challenging. Prioritizing consistent, high-quality sleep gives your brain what it needs most to heal itself—rest.
Aim for 9-10 hours nightly. Implement healthy habits that enhance sleep quality. Be disciplined about your sleep schedule and environment. Quality rest powers the recovery process so you can heal concussions faster.