Can I go to sleep after a concussion?

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

Yes. The practice of waking people up after a concussion is no longer recommended, and experts suggest there is no benefit. In fact, rest is recommended in the acute stage, immediately following injury – up to 24 to 48 hours – prior to guided, gradual return to activity.

The reality is that these more concerning injuries usually show up in the first 3 to 6 hours after injury. Therefore, you should keep a concussed person awake during this time and monitor them. If they show ANY signs of getting worse, or if you are at all concerned, then they should be brought to the emergency room immediately.

It’s important to keep in mind that a concussion is a functional, and not a structural injury. It can sometimes involve loss of consciousness (less than 10% of cases), and although it is rarely associated with bleeds or fractures, you should always be on the lookout for the “Red Flag” signs and symptoms, and immediately go to the hospital if any are present.

Unless your healthcare provider calls for a MRI or CT scan, then a concussed person should follow proper protocol. Rest in the acute stage, followed by guided and gradual recovery.