The Importance of Rest

Question: 

I have noticed that when my teenaged son, who sustained a TBI when he was hit by a car on his bike almost two years ago, gets stressed out or tired it can affect his communication skills. Why is this, and what can I do to help him?

Answer: 

If you think of the brain as an engine, it tends to run out of gas faster after a brain injury. Rest is the only way to fill up the tank again. So, the best way to prevent communication problems is to avoid being stressed and tired as much as possible. As the parent of a teenager, you can help your son develop a schedule that includes regular rest. You can help him to:

  • Keep a regular schedule and get enough sleep. (Most teenagers don't!)
  • Arrange to take breaks during the day to have some "down time."
  • Identify stressful situations and try to avoid or reduce them when possible.
  • Recognize his own personal signs of stress and fatigue so he can manage them. For example, is he aware of his communication breakdowns? Does he get irritable? Does his breathing rate get faster?
  • Plan to talk to his school about the effects of brain injury. The school counselor can be a good place to start if teachers are reluctant to make accommodations.

 

Posted on BrainLine January 14, 2009.

Janet Brown

Janet Brown, MA, CCC-SLP spent twenty years in practice at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. She is the former director of Health Care Services at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Comments (6)

I have had 3 severe TBI since 1974. I AM TIRED AND WORN-OUT. Will rest help stop my migraine headaches? I get them
Off and on each day since feb. 1, 2018. Please help!.!

I am not a teenager I am almost 50 and after suffering from a TBI after a car accident I suffer from the same symptoms. The only thing that helps is to lay down.

I tell patients to think of their energy like a traffic light. You want to learn when you get into the yellow zone and slow down to avoid ever hitting the red "crash" zone. You'll get back down to green faster if you never go above yellow. Over time, you'll see your endurance improve if you can avoid the red!

yes rest rest but if the person needs therapy- aka speech therapy vision therapy or whatever--- then the brain should be rehabilitated. The brain is doing the same job with less "connections". You have to re-establish them with neuroplasticity exercise etc. Sometimes rest rest rest isn't the only answer. At two yrs should be at therapy to help whatever deficits.. so that it will improve zlowly over time Also- getting neurotransmitter testing to see what your low on since a brain injury skews these things. Adrenal fatigue is common so that should be looked into. Rest yes, but not just resting to improve the long term.

Does fatigue eventually become less frequent or intense after acquiring a TBI?

Thanks!

Thank you for this information.