Traumatic Brain Injury

An individual experiences a traumatic brain injury when a form of external force causes harm or injury to your brain. External forces such as this can create neurological trauma when it comes from a violent blow to a head or body. Not only can external forces cause harm, but anything that may potentially pierce or penetrate the skull can cause traumatic injury.

Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging effects both physical and psychological. Some signs or symptoms of the injury may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while other symptoms may not appear until many days or weeks later.

Mild traumatic brain injury

Not all traumatic brain injuries are severe. In fact, there are brain injuries that exist which are mild in nature and simply cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. With mild traumatic brain injury it is not expected that a person would suffer from permanent damage.

Some of the typical signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include:

  • Being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory, mood or concentration problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sleeping more than usual

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries

More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as the following symptoms:

  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Coma or loss of consciousness for extended period of time
  • Consistent vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Headache that continues to worsen
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of sensation or movement in fingers and toes
  • Profound confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual behavior

More Information

Top 5 Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

Dealing with back pain can be a hassle, especially at night. Back pain can make it difficult for you to find a comfortable sleeping position which may eventually lead to sleep deprivation or worse, a sleep disorder. Not to mention, some medications for back pain may also interfere with your sleep.

If you’re suffering from back pain, regardless if it’s caused by bad posture, stress, arthritis or any other medical condition, these five best sleeping positions for back pain can help you improve the quality of your sleep.

Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

1. Lying on your side in a fetal position
This position helps open the space between your spinal vertebrae, lessen tension on your discs and prevent the spine from curving backwards.

2. Lying on your back in a reclined position
Reclining helps reduce pressure on your spine and helps provide support on your back by creating an angle between your trunk and thighs.

3. Lying on your side with a pillow supporting your knees
The crucial part of this position is the pillow between your knees. It helps reduce lower back pain and helps keep proper spinal alignment.

4. Lying on your stomach with a pillow below your pelvis and lower abdomen
Patients who are suffering from degenerative disc disease may benefit most in this sleeping position as it can help reduce stress that rests on the space between the discs.

5. Lying flat on your back with a pillow underneath your knees
This position helps the back keep its natural curve, while distributing the body weight more evenly and reducing stress on the lumbar spine with the help of the pillow.


Back pain itself may already affect the quality of your day-to-day performance, especially if it’s the severe kind. But that doesn’t mean it has to take a toll on the quality and duration of your sleep, too. Each person is different, and your doctor may recommend one of these sleeping positions more than another for your specific type of pain. That in turn may help improve your sleep quality as well as help improve your cognitive performance, mood and energy levels, strengthen your immune system and help protect you from chronic diseases.

Sleep Foundation

Speak with a Navigator

Fill out a contact form and we’ll connect you to our Neurology Patient Navigator.