Sleep disturbances

by Donna
(Fredericksburg, Texas )

My husband and I were rear ended two weeks ago. We both got whiplash from the accident. Since then I have noticed a change in my sleep pattern. So I checked the symptoms of whiplash and saw that one of the symptoms can be sleep disturbances. Since the accident I have not been able to keep my eyes open beginning about 6:00p.m. every night.. I keep nodding off and waking up when my head drops down suddenly. So I finally go to bed and then I wake up very early in the morning. I used to be able to stay up until 11:00 or 12:00. Is this a kind of sleep disturbance mentioned in the symptoms?

Hi there, Michelle here

Yes. The sleep problems you are experiencing are caused by the accident. What is likely happening is your body is exhausted, and by 6:00 pm, it just can’t go any further. Injuries require a tremendous amount of energy, as your body is trying to heal, it simply wears out.

Then, once you head to bed this early, you put yourself into a new sleep cycle in which you wake up super early, then you get up as you are done sleeping, and now you are exhausted again by 6:00pm.

Try this: if you can, take a 20 minute nap around 4:00pm. Set your alarm. If you sleep longer than 20, you will likely not be able to get to sleep that night. If a nap around 4:00 is not possible, then at 6:00 when you find yourself nodding off, take a 20 minute nap then.

Again, set an alarm. Only 20 minutes.

This rest will take some pressure off your back and neck, give your body some much needed down time, and still allow you to go to bed at your regular time so you can reset your body clock.

You may also need to give your neck some support when you get towards the end of your day. Whiplash is very tiring, especially if you are working, (meaning in ANY capacity in which you can’t lay down whenever your neck hurts for a few minutes).

So, try the towel technique, here is a link. This will help give your neck support, which will help you feel less tired during your day. You can use the towel anytime its convenient.

After my first accident, I could not give up working, so I took the towel to my office. And I still, every day for the first month had to lay down on my floor, next to my desk. It looked quite odd in a busy office, but I couldn’t stay home and I was in too much pain to sit up what works!

Best Regards, M.

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