Acquired Brain Injury System Navigation of Southeastern Ontario

Sleep and Fatigue

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Your brain may require more time time to rest after a concussion.  You may feel tired or have mental fatigue which makes it difficult to stay focused and pay attention.  Some people also have trouble getting a good night’s sleep which in turn can make matters worse or last longer.

Some examples of mental fatigue:

  • Being able to do well initially, but losing the ability to focus after a period of time
  • Becoming easily stressed or having trouble solving minor problems
  • Trouble following a conversation or doing an activity
  • Feeling tired
  • Having other symptoms become worse
  • A need for peace and quiet

 

Strategies:

  • Accept that your ability to do everyday tasks is reduced. Plan breaks in your daily activities.
  • Prioritize what you want to do and only focus on what is most important for now.
  • You may be able to prolong your focus by reducing other demands on your brain, like background noises, bright lights, or distractions.
  • Build up your stamina gradually.  If you are feeling well, gradually increase your activity level over days or weeks.  If you begin to feel unwell, reduce activity again slightly, and try again in a few weeks’ time.

 

Some examples of sleep trouble:

  • Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night
  • Sleeping at odd times, such as through the day
  • Feeling tired even though you’ve slept well

 

 Strategies:

  • Avoid television, computer, or bright lights half an hour before bed
  • Develop a relaxing ritual for bedtime, such as a hot bath, soothing music, or a cup of caffeine free tea 
  • Stick to the same waking time each day, if you feel tired, go to bed earlier
  • Do nap if you need to, but keep them short.  Napping excessively may mean you won’t be tired by night time.
  • Try not to get worried or think about difficulties at bedtime.
  • Do get fresh air and exercise each day, early in the day (not just before bed!)
  • If you continue to have trouble, speak with your doctor.  Tiredness may be the result of other health problems or may benefit from medical treatment.

 

Links for More Tips – click on titles to go to these sites:

Energy Conservation Strategies to Treat Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Fatigue After Brain Injury: BrainLine Talks With Dr. Nathan Zasler

Sleep Tips for Brain Injury

National Sleep Foundation

 

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ABI System Navigation of Southeastern Ontario

303 Bagot Street LaSalle Mews, Suite 401 Kingston, Ontario K7K 5W7

Contact

Shannon McCallum, System Navigator
613-547-6969 ext. 165
1-800-871-8096
[email protected]

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613-547-6969