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Myth: Sleeping safe after suffering a concussion

​​Common thought used to be that a person shouldn't sleep after suffering a concussion. Turns out that isn't the case, according to Marshfield Clinic experts.

The longstanding concern was that ​you wouldn't wake up if you slept following a concussion.

A concussion is a functional injury. It didn't cause physical damage. Instead, concussions affect a brain's ability to function at 100 percent for varying amounts of time depending on how severe the concussion was.

Concussions are injuries often caused by a hard blow or jolt to the head, such as those experienced in sports or vehicle crashes. They are treatable and the primary treatment is cognitive rest.

"That means limit activities and allow the brain to rest," said Laurel Rudolph, M.D.​, a Marshfield Clinic Sports Medicine physician and concussion expert. "Therefore, sleep actually is good and helps the brain recover."

A person can go to sleep following a concussion if he or she is awake and able to hold a conversation. No other symptoms, such as dilated pupils or trouble walking, should be present before sleeping.

Dr. Rudolph treats concussions regularly in children, teens and adults. She says anyone who suffers a concussion should seek treatment advice from a health care provider experienced in evaluating and managing concussions, especially when symptoms are present.

More information about concussions​ is available at our blog, Shine365. 

Shine365 LogoCattails magazine is now Shine365, your source for healthy living information from Marshfield Clinic. Every day you’ll find helpful ideas and advice on a wide variety of health topics to help you and your family live well. Visit Shine365 today.