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New Jersey

Personal Injury Attorneys

Is it dangerous to sleep after a head injury?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Personal Injury |

For many years, people assumed that it was too dangerous to sleep after suffering a serious head injury. They would try to keep injury victims awake, often fearing that a person who fell asleep would never wake up. It was generally thought that a head injury could become fatal if the person was asleep, but they would survive if they stayed awake long enough for their brain to heal.

New research suggests that this is not accurate. In fact, sleep can assist with brain healing, rather than hindering it, so it can be helpful to sleep after a head injury. But why are these perspectives so different?

You still need to monitor the symptoms

The trouble with going to sleep is that symptoms are hidden.

For instance, maybe someone has what they think is a minor head injury, but there’s actually bleeding around their brain. They are slowly going to develop more severe symptoms like dizziness, nausea, mental confusion or even seizures.

If that person is asleep, no one knows that the bleeding is getting worse and that the symptoms are increasing. By the time anyone finds out, the individual may have passed out – or even passed away.

But if the person is awake, then those around them can simply monitor the symptoms and seek medical care if necessary. So, if someone does sleep after a head injury, it may be wise for those around them to wake them up on a set schedule and check on their physical condition. But it is not inherently dangerous to sleep.

Seeking compensation

Head injuries can be incredibly serious and have life-altering consequences. Those who have been injured need to know exactly what legal steps to take.