After your brain gets injured by a concussion/TBI, you need to slow down and rest. Sleep, clean drinking water, and nutritious food have all been shown to help.
Sleep, especially, has been shown to help. Recent research has shown that sleep actually removes toxins and debris from the brain. While we are asleep, the brain is literally washing itself. That’s especially important here. Sleep is exactly what you want to do, if you can.
Drink plenty of water. The brain is about 80% water, and it needs to stay hydrated. Not having enough water in your system can give you a headache. That’s the last thing you need – so drink plenty of clean, fresh water.
Exercise has also been shown to help, although it can make your symptoms worse. Getting your system moving and increasing blood flow throughout your body can be beneficial. But it can also make you feel terrible, so listen to your doctor and follow his/her orders.
Every brain injury is different, but the process of injury and recovery after concussion is similar. Remember the graph above that shows energy levels vs. energy availability? You’ve got to give your brain a chance to catch up with itself. So, rest. It’s important
Take a break from all the screens, and avoid mental activity. Watching T.V., reading, playing video games, checking Facebook and Twitter, surfing the web, emailing… all those things activate your brain. You need to step away from them for a while, so your brain can catch up with itself.
Trust me, it’s no fun to sit still – especially after concussion.
Your brain is telling itself (and your body) to Go-Go-Go.
But remember, it’s been injured, and it has no idea what you’re supposed to do. That’s just the neurochemistry talking.
One other thing you can do is eat nutritious food. The energy crisis in your brain means it needs more fuel to keep going. Stay away from junk food. Too much processed sugar and “cheap” carbohydrates puts you on a roller-coaster, which can make you feel worse than ever. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat regular meals with balanced nutrition. That will give your body more of a chance to get your brain working again.
- Eat right – avoid junk food
- Sleep well – and stay off all the devices
- Drink plenty of water
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