Monday, August 9, 2010

Key #8: Rest, Relaxation, and "SLEEP!"

Good Monday to all. I hope you had a joyful weekend. Today, I bring part number 8 of the series of keys for a successful rehabilitation after a brain injury. Everything I write is based on my personal experience as a TBI survivor.
Throughout my rehabilitation I have discovered that I function better immediately after a good rest or good night sleep. At the same time I have seen that after a BI for some reason the sleep cycle gets altered. Immediately after my injury my sleep was affected in a way that I would sleep more than what I was used to. Sometimes even 12 hours or more. On days I wouldn't sleep that much I would sleep only a few of hours or couldn't sleep at all, days like this were horrible in a way that I wouldn't be functional at all.
As my wife realized the alteration of sleep, she started changing the environment in the bedroom for it to be more suitable for a good night sleep. She put water fountains that run all night long. Also, we would play a very soothing music at a volume that I could barely hear it. Mainly the music was spa type music like Shastro. We discovered that by doing this it was very easy to fall and stay asleep.
As I felt better I realized the connection between healing, functionality, resting and the environment. If you have known a person with any type of serious injury you can see that most of the time the environment has to be modified. Even for a person with an injured limb or a damaged organ. Bottom line after a serious injury is that most of the time the environment has to be modified to provide the best healing possible.
As with other injuries, rest plays an important role in recovery. I haven't read about it but many providers have told me that the body regenerates while is in a rest status. I try to take rest break at least every two or three hours. Not only by sleeping but also thru meditation and relaxation. I try to put my mind at ease. It helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you ever suffered a BI you will understand the feeling of not been able to focus your thought after the mind is tired. I know my limitations and I try to avoid getting to that point, sometimes I succeed and some others I don't.
I have also learned to not to rush. I have tried to control my recovery. It has resulted in depriving myself from rest and sleep. Not to mention the frustration it creates. The brain heals at it's own pace. We can get the therapy to get healing tools and ensure it heals properly. We can control some areas that will assist in the healing process, to include rest, relaxation, and sleep.
My message today is: take your time to recover. Ensure you are getting the proper sleep and rest. Rest and relaxation will facilitate your recovery in many ways.
See you tomorrow!


  1. Great post. I slept as much as 16 hours a day after my brain injury. Sleep is so essential to the healing brain. It is when the brain can work and repair.

    It was a realization for me that it was not a weakness to give in to the need to sleep. It was a strength, and I was doing what was good for me.

    I take naps even now sometimes several a day. It really can re-boost my brain. I also find meditation very helpful for this.

  2. My brother was injured in Afghan on sept.6 he was indirectly hit by a rpg.he's doing better but every day is a struggle. we have him in a transitional facility right now and about to take him out cause of their lack of caring. last night a supervisor told my sister to not allow our brother to go to bed before 10pm. funny any who we just came across your blog trying find more research about TBI. God Bless