Can your child sleep after a brain injury?

If you’re a parent of a child who has been injured, you certainly don’t want to make any mistakes in the type of care that you provide for them. For instance, maybe you were involved in a car accident. Your child suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). You have already seen the doctor, but now you’re wondering if it’s safe for them to go to sleep or if you need to keep them up.

After all, many people will say that you shouldn’t sleep after a brain injury or a concussion. They claim that this can make the symptoms much worse or that someone who falls asleep could even die from the brain injury, when they would’ve been fine if they just stayed awake. Is this true?

A common misconception

The reality is that this is a common misconception, and it is not true. In fact, sleep often helps after any type of injury. As long as your doctor doesn’t say otherwise, it is safe for your child to sleep, and they may even recover more quickly if they do.

Why do people say that sleep should be avoided?

The reason that people used to believe that sleeping after a brain injury was dangerous is that symptoms can sometimes get worse while someone is asleep. A brain injury may appear minor when it is actually serious – such as if there’s bleeding around the brain that is leading to increased pressure – and it is far more difficult to monitor someone’s symptoms when they are asleep. But it is not the sleep itself that causes these symptoms to get worse. As such, it may be wise to wake your child up periodically to check on them and ensure that their symptoms aren’t getting worse.

Talk to your doctor and they can give you advice for your unique situation. It’s always wise to consult medical professionals with something so significant. They can help you set up a schedule that allows you to monitor your child’s symptoms as they recover.

FindLaw Network

View All
Practice areas