There is a link between the amount of sleep the patient gets and the rate at which their brain heals.
A study of 30 people that were hospitalized for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries found that sleep quality and brain function improved in tandem, researchers reported in the journal Neurology.
“Patients who still had low levels of consciousness and cognitive functioning would “sleep for a couple of minutes and then wake up for a couple of minutes,” both day and night, says Nadia Gosselin.
The results increase the possibility that patients with brain injuries possibly recover even quicker if hospitals would take measures to restore normal sleep patterns, Gosselin says. Drugs are one option, she says. Another is making sure patients are exposed to sunlight or its equivalent during the day and at night rest in a dark, quiet environment.
“I think bad sleep can have bad consequences for brain recovery,” she concludes.