In our experience in treating patients with concussion, as well as in many clinical research studies, adherence to routine and regulated Sleep, Diet, Hydration, Exercise and Stress-reduction measures, what we call the BASICS, yields superior outcomes and a faster return to baseline health status.
If you have predisposing personal or family medical health issues that are known to accentuate concussion, you are more likely to have a longer recovery if you do not start with managing the BASICS.
The graph below compares how patient (A) without predisposing health issues and patient (B) with one or more issues can be affected by non-compliance to the BASICS when suffering a concussion.
SLEEP: Follow a regulated sleep schedule. Most important is to wake up each day at the same time. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. DO NOT take naps during the day.
DIET: Regulate your eating schedule and do not eat past 9:00 pm. Avoid high sugar, high preservative, and pre-packaged foods. Adhere to a well-balanced diet.
HYDRATION: Drink water all day and all evening…enough to kill a small animal. Avoid caffeine and dark colored drinks. You cannot have too much water when you are healing from a concussion.
EXERCISE: Participation in an appropriate level of low-risk daily exercise as a social activity is important in activating centers in your brain to start healing. Do not hide out in your bedroom with your lights off and a blanket wrapped over your head (cocoon treatment). Continue activities of daily living as tolerated.
STRESS: Find ways to alleviate stress. Talk with family or friends about your feelings. Get out of the house and stay social and active.