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Why do people say not to sleep after a head injury? 

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2023 | Brain Injury |

You may have heard people say that, if someone else suffers from a head injury, it is important to keep them awake. If they fall asleep, they may end up in a coma, and they could even pass away.

This used to be a very common way of viewing sleep after head injuries, but medical experts have changed their tune – even though many people may still repeat this outdated perspective. Now these experts say that it can actually be helpful for someone to fall asleep under the right conditions. What changed?

Issues monitoring symptoms

What researchers have found is that the problem wasn’t that individuals who had suffered head and brain injuries were going to sleep. Instead, the problem was that it was impossible to monitor the symptoms unless the injured party was conscious.

For example, say that someone experienced bleeding around their brain. If they were awake, they may complain about things like a migraine or mental confusion, indicating that they needed further medical assistance. But if they were asleep, no one would know that was happening until the symptoms had progressed too far. The brain bleed may only be discovered when the person wouldn’t wake up. 

As a result, experts now believe that it’s good for people to sleep after a head injury, but that someone should wake them up and check on their symptoms periodically. As long as the injured person is being monitored, sleep may help them heal.

But all of this still helps to show how significant a head injury can be and why it could have such serious ramifications. Those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or other head injuries in workplace accidents need to know about all of their legal options.