Sleep Disturbance Following Concussion Is a Risk Factor for a Prolonged Recovery

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Sleep disturbance is a common problem following concussion. A retrospective chart review was conducted at a regional concussion clinic on patients 13 to 18 years of age between 2005 and 2011. Statistical analysis evaluated sleep disturbance and duration of concussion, as well as the use and effectiveness of melatonin. A total of 417 patients met inclusion criteria. One hundred twenty-three (34%) reported disturbance in sleep. There was no difference in sleep disturbance based on age, gender, or past number of concussions. Sleep disturbance was associated with a 3- to 4-fold increase in recovery time. Non–sport-related concussions were more likely to be associated with sleep disturbance compared to sport-related concussions (45% vs 29%, P = .01). Melatonin improved sleep disturbance in 67% of the patients. Evaluating sleep disorders following concussion is an important part of the assessment. These findings will help clinicians provide anticipatory guidance and treatment for adolescents recovering from concussion.

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