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Using screens within an hour of bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Good sleep patterns are essential to successful rest and recovery after an injury, especially a concussion. Following a concussion, it is important to limit screen time to allow your brain time to rest. The total amount of screen time matters, as well as the time of day when screens are used. Cognitive rest is especially important if screens are bothering you or provoking your symptoms.
If you can’t scroll through your phone or watch TV, patients often struggle with what they can do after suffering a concussion. Here are some suggestions of alternative activities you can do while on cognitive rest to limit screen use, as well as things you should avoid doing during recovery.
• Listen to a book on tape, podcast, or music at a low volume
• Fold laundry
• Draw or paint in a relaxing manner
• Play a simple card or board game
• Use Legos or Play-Doh/clay
• Have a family member paint your nails or give you a massage
• Make a simple craft
• Listen to a story read out loud by a friend or family member
• Take a warm, relaxing bath or shower
• Calmly brush or pet a pet
• Take a brief, leisure walk around the house/yard
*Sleeping and napping are okay as long as your sleep is not disrupted at night. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the night, you will need to eliminate naps or limit them to less than 45 minutes during the day.
• Using technology including TV, computer, cell phone, tablet, or video games
• Exercising or lifting weights
• Spending a long amount of time in a busy environment such as the mall, grocery store, or sporting event
• Performing household chores that involve a lot of positional changes or an increase in heart rate such as emptying the dishwasher, changing loads of laundry, sweeping, or vacuuming
• Listening to loud music
The Total Concussion Care program at Sheltering Arms is dedicated to the comprehensive management and treatment of concussions, from baseline testing through recovery. If you suspect that you or someone you know has experienced a concussion, it is important to seek an assessment from a concussion expert. Click here to request an appointment with one of our concussion experts.