A car wreck can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. While some individuals may walk away unscathed, others may experience a variety of physical and psychological effects that can linger for weeks, months – or even years.
It may surprise you to find that the biggest thing you notice after a car accident is that you’re unusually tired and sleepy. How do you know if this is normal, or if it’s a sign of hidden trouble?
You could just be physically exhausted
One of the most obvious reasons you might sleep a lot after a car wreck is physical exhaustion. A car accident can be a physically demanding experience that can leave you feeling drained of energy. Since sleep is healing time, your body may need extra rest to recover from any wounds sustained in the accident, including bruises, broken bones and soft tissue injuries.
You could be processing your emotional trauma
Car accidents can also be emotionally traumatizing. Even if you are not physically injured in the accident, you may experience shock, anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These emotions can be overwhelming and may cause you to feel mentally and physically drained, leading to a desire to sleep more than usual.
You could be suffering from a traumatic brain injury
A concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause excessive sleepiness or prolonged periods of unconsciousness after a car wreck – and this is a possibility that you don’t want to ignore. The impact of a collision may have caused your brain to jostle around inside of your skull, leading to swelling, bleeding or other damage. When that happens, your brain may try to conserve energy in order to protect itself or heal, which can result in prolonged periods of excessive sleepiness.
In all cases, excessive sleepiness is something that you want to have checked out by a physician. It’s better to have a doctor say that you’re fine and just need a little extra rest than to overlook a serious condition.
Ultimately, if you’ve been injured by another driver’s mistakes, it’s always wisest to find out more about what it takes to obtain fair compensation for your losses. Seeking legal guidance may be a good first step forward.