One of the most common pieces of advice following a concussion is to stay awake. According to Healthline, many people believe you may slip into a coma or die if you sleep following a concussion. However, you cannot make your concussion worse by sleeping.
The problem with sleeping after a concussion is you may miss signs of a severe brain injury if you sleep.
When to sleep following a concussion
You should not sleep if you cannot carry on a conversation or walk properly. Rest is an essential part of healing, but if you do not remain awake, you may miss seizures or other more serious brain injury indicators. If you can walk, talk, and if your pupils look normal, you can rest. If you have any doubts or concerns about the nature of your head injury, do not rest until a doctor clears you for sleep.
How a concussion affects sleep
Concussions may make you feel more tired than usual. Most TBI patients need brief naps throughout the day. Despite needing to sleep, you may have difficulty falling and staying asleep. While your sleep may improve as you heal, there are ways to boost your ability to sleep.
Allow yourself to sleep for the recommended amount of time. Before bed, find ways to relax. You may want to participate in quiet activities, listen to relaxing music or take a bath. Avoid bright lights and electronics at least one hour before you try to sleep.
In the case of serious concussions, you may need to have someone wake you up periodically.