Is it really dangerous for a person with a concussion to fall asleep?

Please see thread title.


Concussed patients can be allowed to sleep so long as someone is around to rouse them every so often and ensure that they are not suffering something worse than concussion.

If a child was concussed, and I assume that professional advice was sought, it would be a good idea to rouse the child up to every half hour if they were sleeping at a time when they wouldn’t normally.

It is important to constantly observe the behaviour of head injury patients until such time as they are showing no symptoms. The advice on sleeping is designed to stop someone having the patient go to sleep and then leaving them unobserved for hours.

Actually most concussions result in feelings of drowsiness that I don’t think you could overcome anyway. I was concussed playing football by running into someone’s elbow and lost consiouness for less time than it took to hit the ground, but was very drowsy afterwards. In my experience with kids it usually ends up with the equivalent of an afternoon nap for a mild concussion. As I say I have roused the child for a brief chat and a pupil test but on reflection I’m not sure how that would work with a child under 2 - off to the local hospital I guess.

When my son was about a year and a half old he tripped while playing and face planted on an asphalt parking lot. It sounded like someone had dropped a watermelon out of a 10 story building. We were on vacation at the time, had no cell phone reception and didn’t know where the nearest hospital was. I found a pay phone and called the hospital. Their advice was to keep an eye on him, watch for any behaviour outside of the ordinary and, when he slept over the next 24 hours, rouse him every half hour or so. Any behavior change or difficulty in waking meant “get to a hospital ASAP”!

The danger is that sleeping and unconciousness look alot alike. You rouse the patient to make sure they can wake up. Head injuries can cause brain swelling that develops over time. The patient could lose conciousness and never wake up.