Focusing On Taking Care Of Yourself
Its OK to take a little time out of your day for some self-care. If youre sore, shaken up, or injured in any way, dont be afraid to stay home, camp out on the sofa, and binge-watch a season of your favorite television show with a hearty helping of your favorite take-out.
Even more simple, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and exercise . Sticking to a routine can help resolve lingering anxiety and make you feel better after a scary car accident. Nutritious foods, adequate sleep, and good exercise can also promote faster healing if youve experienced injuries in the accident. Just make sure you consult your doctor before hopping back into the gym!
You Often Feel Nauseous
One of the more immediate symptoms of a concussion from a car accident is nausea and vomiting. Many people will vomit the first few days after the collision. Constant vomiting is a telltale sign an injury has occurred to the brain and that the person needs immediate medical attention.
For many people, this nausea is a result of damage to the vestibular system. This is the part of the body between the brain and inner ear that help controls eye movements and balance. When this area gets damaged, the person may experience a sense of vertigo, which comes with nausea.
Stretch With Foam Rollers
Stretching your neck and upper back before you go to sleep can help prevent stiffness from developing throughout the night. Much of the pain associated with a whiplash injury is associated with how your muscles become sore and stiff after the initial injury. Gentle, therapeutic stretches with foam rollers can help you to prepare for a good nights sleep by easing tension in your aching muscles.
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Sleeping A Lot After A Car Accident Could Mean You Have Suffered A Tbi
If you were injured and you have been sleeping a lot after your car accident, then you should seek immediate medical attention because that may be a sign that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Left undiagnosed and untreated, a TBI including brain hemorrhage could be life threatening or result in a lifelong disability.
Sleep problems, including snoozing more than normal, is one of the most common symptoms of a TBI. Research has shown that brain injury survivors are three times more likely to suffer sleep disorders and 60% of TBI survivors have long-term sleep difficulties. Additionally, research has found that up to 70% of all mild TBI survivors report experiencing poor sleep or excessive sleep after their injury.
Because of the violent forces involved in a collision, a persons brain may be seriously injured even though there may be no accompanying physical signs of the trauma that has taken place. One of the ways the brain damage manifests itself is by affecting the injured persons normal sleep patterns and routines.
S To Take After A Car Accident
When youve been in a car accident, no matter how minor, the sooner you can get examined the sooner a doctor can properly identify and diagnose any potential issues. Perhaps you were in a minor fender-bender and only really noticed a headache after the car accident, but now that you are sleeping a lot in the days afterward you realize it might be something more. There are many types of car accident injuries that slowly develop symptoms as the shock wears off and any swelling or inflammation goes down. Your doctor might tell you that you need a CT Scan or MRI after a car accident to recognize or rule out these types of more serious injuries.
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Sleep Disturbance After A Car Accident
A physical injury with aches and pains can certainly affect your ability to sleep well at night. After a stressful and even traumatic event like a car accident, you may also experience some difficulty sleeping due to worry and anxiety as well. It is not uncommon for people to experience sleep disturbance after a car accident due to a number of physical and emotional reasons. However, getting enough sleep is vital to the healing process both mentally and physically. When you are asleep, your body has a chance to jumpstart the healing process and help your body to function healthier. Car accident injuries like whiplash can end up disturbing your sleep and keeping you from getting that valuable rest you need to heal and recover.
When you have a whiplash injury, it can cause pain and discomfort in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. This can make certain sleep positions uncomfortable while you recover. Whiplash symptoms dont go away overnight, so it may take time for you to learn how to manage your pain symptoms and still get a good nights sleep. It is important to pay attention to how your sleep positions may make pain worse and try to avoid odd or uncomfortable sleep positions that may aggravate your injury.
Whats The Bottom Line
Insomnia or any other sleep disorder experienced in the wake of a collision should always be reported immediately to your doctor. The symptoms of the spinal cord or traumatic brain injury are not always obvious immediately after the car accident. They may take time to appear and can be erroneously attributed to other causes.
At Fales & Fales, P.A., we regularly represent and fight for those who have been injured in car accidents. When injury-related insomnia affects your quality of life, we will calculate and help you pursue fair compensation that reflects all of your losses. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.
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Use Cold And Hot Compresses
Applying ice and heat to an injured area can help in a number of ways. Cold compresses help to soothe aches and pains with a numbing effect while also reducing any inflammation in the area. When you apply a hot compress, it helps the muscles to relax and you may be able to find a more comfortable position. Use cold and hot compresses on your neck, upper back, and shoulders before you go to sleep to help soothe any lingering pain and relax your muscles.
How Insomnia Affects Your Well
Besides being symptomatic of a potentially life-threatening condition, insomnia can affect your brains ability to function and take a serious toll on your mental and physical health in the following ways:
- Cognitive difficulties. The inability to sleep can impair your memory and make it difficult to concentrate or retain new information. If you are working or going to school, poor performance can put your future at risk.
- Health problems: Lack of sleep has been connected to increased risk for medical conditions such as stroke, seizures, obesity, and heart disease.
- Emotional distress: When you arent sleeping well, you can experience depression and anxiety that worsens over time. You may even take out your anger on the people you love, which affects your personal relationships.
- Giving up certain activities: You may have to give up activities like driving, because daytime exhaustion can affect your attention and reflexes, putting you at greater risk for a motor vehicle accident. If your job requires you to operate a motor vehicle, you could lose your livelihood.
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Tips To Sleep Well With Whiplash
In addition to causing damage, it can also be uncomfortable to sleep when you are suffering from whiplash. Some people may be tempted to stay awake to tend to the pain or sleep in a chair to avoid the pressure of lying in bed, but those may not be the best option for everyone. It is not always possible to achieve painless sleep during whiplash, there are ways you can ease the discomfort and help you sleep well.
What Happens After A Car Accident
There are loads of emotions that come with car accidents. Some of them linger for months or years and can be challenging to live with. No one ever prepares for a car accident, and this is why the feeling can be traumatic. What emotions are common after a car accident?
Here are four types of emotions to expect after a car accident
- Shock or disbelief
- Anxiety, worry or fear
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Struggling To Sleep After An Accident
Any injury to the neck and shoulders can make it difficult to sleep comfortably, and whiplash is no exception. The symptoms of whiplash can impact an accident victim for days, weeks, or even months at a time, though they may improve with the help of a skilled whiplash chiropractor. An important component of the recovery process is proper stretching of the neck and shoulders, and while rest is important, it is good to continue careful movement as you heal.
Depending on how much damage is done to the nerves and tissues, the rate and speed of whiplash recovery can vary. It is important in that time to not worsen the car accident injury by sleeping in an odd position and causing damage.
What To Do If Your Child Has Been Involved In A Car Accident
If your child is involved in a car accident the most important thing you can do is to seek immediate medical attention. In serious car crashes it is standard procedure for emergency responders to transport children directly from the accident scene via ambulance or Life Flight straight to the nearest hospital emergency room or trauma center.
Oftentimes, however, the car accident was the type where the scope and severity of injuries to the child is not obvious. In those cases parents should 1) immediately take their children to a hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility for evaluation and treatment. It is extremely important that parents follow the instructions of the medical providers when their child is discharged. This means closely monitoring their childs symptoms, complaints and behavior. It also means filling and following prescriptions as directed, and following up with specialists. Finally, parents should make a timely follow up appointment with their childs pediatrician the doctor who knows their child the best.
2) While your child is recovering from his or her physical injuries from the car accident, it is important to watch for child PTSD symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma. Look for the red flag stress behaviors listed above.
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Why Sleep Issues Are Important To The Value Of A Case
Juries understand how ongoing sleep issues affect a person. If someone cannot sleep, their body does not heal as well, they are more prone to sickness, their mood suffers and they have less energy, Prolonged sleep problems after an accident can literally change a person in countless ways. Defense attorneys always ask at deposition about how an accident has affected you. Being able to relay to the defense lawyer about the changes in your life as a result of lack of sleep adds money to the case. For example, I have heard a client describe how after a car accident, he no longer could lay flat in bed. So, he now sleeps in a recliner in another room from his wife. Think of not only how poorly the quality of his sleep must be in a recliner, but the effect no longer being able to sleep in the same bed with his wife must have on his relationship. Juries understand that can change value and an insurance company will too. Obviously, not all cases are that severe, but it is common for my clients to struggle with sleep throughout the night after an accident. If they have experienced these problems, it has to be told in a manner to the defense lawyer so that they can understand just how difficult it must be to constantly toss and turn all night long. Again, these human factors produce value.
Risk Factors Of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is not restricted to any one type of driver or circumstance, but the NHTSA has found certain risk factors that increase the probability of driver fatigue. For instance, drowsy driving is more likely when the driver did not get enough sleep, has taken sedating medications, or consumed alcohol. Additionally, the risk of drowsy driving increases between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., in the mid-afternoon, or after a driver has been on the road for a long period of time without a break.
The NHTSA has further found that males between the ages of 16 and 29, individuals with sleep disorders, and people who work night shifts or irregular hours have the highest risk of drowsy driving.
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How Does Trauma Affect Sleep
Traumatic experiences can negatively affect the quality and amount of sleep that a person gets. Often, the brain is overstimulated after a trauma and may experience an influx of adrenaline. That, coupled with a higher level of alertness and awareness, may make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. People who have developed PTSD that are experiencing flashbacks may notice that the flashbacks happen just as frequently at night as they do during the day. They may also experience nightmares, which can startle someone awake and make falling back asleep extremely difficult. A persons environment may also affect sleep for example, a dark room may create a higher level of anxiety, or complete silence may make someone more nervous about sounds that would ordinarily not be noticeable.
Seeking Compensation For Emotional Distress After A Car Accident
Your emotional damages are as real and can be as debilitating as a physical injury. You can and should be compensated for the mental anguish and emotional distress you experience after a motor vehicle accident.
Compensation for damages may include the cost of mental health treatment and counseling. You may also receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by emotional distress.
Placing a value on your emotional damages can be challenging. These types of damages are subjective, meaning they are diagnosed based on your reported symptoms. Seeking professional treatment documents the damages and helps prove your case for compensation.
Emotional distress is a category of non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are valued based on numerous factors. Generally, traumatic physical injuries, lengthy recoveries, and permanent impairments increase the value of non-economic damages.
If you continue to suffer from emotional distress, working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to protect your right to fair compensation. The insurance adjuster will downplay your emotional damages. He may suggest that you are exaggerating or making up your symptoms.
An attorney understands the evidence required to prove emotional damages. Your lawyer knows how to use the facts of the case to support a demand for maximum compensation for non-economic damages.
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You Experience Amnesia And Confusion
In the months that follow the car accident, some people will experience amnesia, which takes different forms. There is retrograde amnesia. This is characterized by a total or partial inability to recall memories in the hours, days, months or years before the injury. There is also anterograde amnesia, which manifests in the inability for the sufferer to form new memories after the car accident. A doctor will need to test for amnesia, such as performing a concentration test, immediate memory test or orientation test.
Even if the person does not suffer from amnesia, he or she may still appear more confused in day-to-day life. This can manifest itself in the person not being able to maintain a comprehensible stream of thought. The person cannot carry out the necessary sequence of movements to perform a task. Finally, the person easily becomes distracted. All of this is cause for concern, and loved ones should look out for them after a person has been in a car accident.
Dizziness And Vision Issues
Common car accident injuries symptoms like dizziness and vision issues are often signs of a traumatic brain injury or whiplash. These symptoms may arise days or even weeks after a crash. If youre experiencing blurred vision, double vision, difficulty concentrating, or vertigo, do not hesitate to seek medical care.
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Sleeping A Lot After A Car Accident: What You Need To Know
Sleeping a lot after a car accident may just be a persons bodys way of dealing with the trauma of the crash and building up strength to recover. It may be a natural reaction to a stressful and scary event.
Or it could be the sign that something more serious is wrong, such as a traumatic brain injury. Research has shown that sleep difficulties, including snoozing a lot more than normal, is extremely common among TBI survivors.
Additionally, snoozing more than normal is frequently identified as a symptom of depression.
It is important that an injured person seek medical attention immediately if he or she is sleeping a lot after a car accident. Prompt detection, diagnosis and treatment of any crash-related injuries is essential to a successful recovery, to avoiding a lifetime of pain and disability and to protecting ones legal rights to benefits and compensation.
Tips For Better Sleep After A Trauma
To many, it may seem like a good nights sleep will never exist again, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The National Sleep Foundation provides some helpful suggestions for sleep after a trauma, including:
- Sleep in a comfortable and safe environment. Sleeping in a bedroom is recommended, but if the traumatic event happened in a bedroom, it may not be ideal to sleep there.
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Have the temperature set at the level that makes you most comfortable, preferably on the cooler side. If a dark room triggers a stress response, consider a dim nightlight. If being alone is a trigger, have a friend or family member sleep in the room next to you, or in the room with you. Weighted blankets have also shown to increase comfort levels.
- Go to bed when youre ready to sleep. Lying in bed and thinking about not sleeping will often make insomnia worse. If you cant sleep, try doing a low-key activity for a few minutes and then returning to bed.
- Take naps. If youre not sleeping during the night, a quick 15-45 minute nap during the day may help you rest and recharge. Avoid frequent naps during the day though, as these can lead to a decreased ability to fall asleep during nighttime hours.
Other tips for restful sleep include:
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