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Can A Migraine Keep You Awake

Waking Up Weary Expert Advice + 10 Tips For Better Sleep

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Don’t you envy those people who pop out of bed in the morning ready to tackle the world? It makes you wonder why you can’t. Could it be the Migraine meds, the pain, or the disease itself? Maybe all three.

According to research published in the medical journal Headache, more than 4 out of 5 people with Migraine said they were tired when they woke due to sleep problems. A second study showed that patients who used behavioral sleep guidance reported a significant reduction in Migraine frequency and intensity.

The Headache report states:

“Dysregulation of sleep is now recognized as one of the more commonly reported acute headache triggers among patients with Migraine and tension type headache.”

If you’re like most people with Migraine, you know that good quality sleep is essential for Migraine prevention. You can’t afford to trigger an attack. If you can’t get to sleep with a Migraine tonight, do you know what exactly is keeping you awake? Or what is causing you to wake up with a Migraine already underway?

Sleep Tips For People With Migraine

Consistency in all lifestyle habits, especially sleep, is essential in managing migraine.

Can changes in your diet, lifestyle, and sleep routine trigger migraine attacks;and disrupt your snooze time? Absolutely, says Katherine Hamilton, MD, an assistant professor of clinical neurology and a headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

Anything that gets you out of your normal routine can cause a headache, because the migraine brain likes to be as steady and stable as possible, says Dr. Hamilton.

Research suggests that the association between migraine and sleep is bidirectional. Headache can cause disturbances in sleep, and sleep problems can trigger a migraine attack, according to a review published in January 2018 in Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders.

The good news is that good sleep habits are one of the most effective tools for managing migraine, says Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, a headache specialist and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In some individuals, improving sleep hygiene can lead to improvements in migraine in just a few months or less, according to the American Headache Society.

Here are six tips to try for a better nights sleep.

What Should I Watch For

Tell your doctor or health care professional if the pain lasts more than 10 days, if it gets worse, or if there is a new or different kind of pain. Tell your doctor if you see redness or swelling. If you are treating a fever, check with your doctor if the fever that lasts for more than 3 days.

Do not take Tylenol or medicines that have acetaminophen with this medicine. Too much acetaminophen can be very dangerous. Always read medicine labels carefully.

Report any possible overdose to your doctor or health care professional right away, even if there are no symptoms. The effects of extra doses may not be seen for many days.

This medicine can irritate your stomach or cause bleeding problems. Do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking this medicine to prevent irritation to your throat.

If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this medicine before the procedure.

Do not take this medicine close to bedtime. It may prevent you from sleeping.

This medicine may be used to treat migraines. If you take migraine medicines for 10 or more days a month, your migraines may get worse. Keep a diary of headache days and medicine use. Contact your healthcare professional if your migraine attacks occur more frequently.

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Here Are Some Of The Most Commonly Consumed Sources Of Caffeine:

  • soda
  • many over the counter sports aids
  • pain relievers

While most of us are aware of these sources of caffeine, its easy to go about the day and forget how much were actually consuming. We may have a couple cups of coffee in the morning, some tea later on in the day, a square of dark chocolate after lunch or dinner, and our favorite pre-workout before we hit the gym. Or maybe youre dragging through your day and you decide to grab an energy drink and pop a few over-the- counter pills to take care of a lingering headache. These daily habits may seem harmless but can lead to some pretty terrible side effects of high caffeine consumption.

What Are The Types Of Headaches

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There are six main types of headaches. Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, hypnic headaches, and cluster headaches are very rare disorders but are worth mentioning here because they tend to occur exclusively at night. In the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, they are referred to as sleep-related headaches.

Pressure and Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache; most people will experience these during their lifetime. A heavy ache is typically felt at the temples or behind the ears. Often, pain radiates back-and-forth between these two areas. The pressure is often felt bilaterally and can make you feel sluggish. Tension headaches can be triggered by tiredness, dehydration, or stress.

Sinus Headaches

Our sinuses are the hollow spaces between our nose, cheekbones, and eyes. Allergic reactions can cause the sinuses to swell and become congested. Also, after catching the flu, our sinuses might become infected with a virus, causing them to swell and become tender. Both conditions can lead to a sinus headache.

Indeed, people suffering from influenza or hay fever find it hard to sleep because of their symptoms. If youve developed a sinus headache, youll experience facial pain in addition to your headaches. Facial pain is usually felt around your forehead, cheeks, and eyes.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cluster Headaches

Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania

Hypnic Headaches

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The Link Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Migraine

Paula: A lot of people with Migraine will report that they also deal with IBS. Is that truly IBS or is that just a form of Migraine?

Dr. Starling: Irritable bowel syndrome is something that is comorbid with patients that have Migraine, meaning a lot of individuals with Migraine will also have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In irritable bowel syndrome, individuals will have alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation.

It’s definitely possible that someone who has irritable bowel syndrome with those alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation may be more prone to some of the GI symptoms, or gastrointestinal symptoms, in Migraine, but I do think that they’re recognized as two separate disorders. I could imagine, though, that individuals that have irritable bowel syndrome are more susceptible to having those symptoms when they have a migraine attack.

How Can I Modify My Diet To Prevent Migraines

If youre not sure whether or not certain foods trigger your migraines ;or what those foods might be ;it doesnt hurt to opt for healthy, natural foods that are beneficial to everyones health.;

Examples include:

  • Natural, whole, and minimally processed foods without preservatives or artificial flavorings such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish, and poultry like chicken breast, salmon, and lean beef or ham
  • Natural sweeteners like maple syrup and raw honey
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and supplements like omega-3s and turmeric

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Take Melatonin For A Sweeter Slumber

And here we were dissing on sleep aids just now.;

Melatonin isnt a sleep aid, necessarily; its a hormone.

Melatonin naturally occurs in the body. That means its already in your system. Taking an extra dose of it through pill form;helps you get to sleep;and resets your circadian rhythm in the process.;

In fact, taking Melatonin on a regular basis when youre head isnt about to split open is recommended if youre serious about becoming a sleep enthusiast.

Jaw Clenching Or Grinding

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Grinding or clenching teeth can occur without the individual even realizing it. You may have a morning migraine or headache; but not notice symptoms from the jaw.

Clenching throughout the night can lead to fatigue and exhaustion of jaw muscles.

Individuals may notice a stiff jaw, aches in the temples and even damaged teeth. Extreme forces can occur in individuals who grind or clench during sleep. This is often several times more forceful than teeth clenching whilst awake during the day.

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How Much Should You Sleep

Insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep or can cause you to wake up early and not be able to fall back asleep. Anything less than seven hours of sleep is considered short for most healthy adults, who need seven to nine hours of sleep each night for good health.

Heres how much sleep a person needs at each age:


If you do get a tension or migraine headache from a lack of sleep, seeking treatment right away can help reduce its duration and severity.

Silent Migraines May Be Related To Blood Flow The Brain

While the direct cause of migraines has still not been determined, research points to a lack of blood reaching the cerebral cortex. As a result, many doctors classify migraines as neurovascular resulting from a combination of changes in both the nervous and vascular systems. This is especially true if the patient is dealing with aura. Well discuss what can be disrupting blood flow to the brain a little later in our article.

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What Is A Migraine

A migraine is a severe type of headache that involves significant pain, which can present as throbbing or pulsing in various parts of your head. This pain can lead to other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sounds. The headache is often preceded by an aura , and followed by a hangover or recovery period.

We arent sure what causes migraines. Abnormal behavior in the nerve cells of the brain, combined with inflammation in the brain is currently the best theory researchers have. Many triggers for migraines have been identified, such as lack of sleep, stress, hormones, and eating patterns.;

Can You Relate 8 Community Members Share Their Migraine Triggers

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Migraine Healthline community members share their most common, confusing, and frustrating migraine triggers.

If you live with migraine, you can likely relate to the frustration of not knowing what is to blame for your attacks.

While doctors and healthcare researchers arent sure exactly what causes migraine, they do know that there are many factors or triggers that can induce a migraine episode.

Migraine triggers can be difficult to identify. It can often take people with migraine many years to figure out their triggers.

For many people, migraine episodes arent provoked by one specific trigger, but by a combination of factors.

Common factors believed to contribute to migraine attacks include lack of sleep, stress, dehydration, and changes in hormones.

Many people also find that certain foods may impact the frequency or severity of migraine episodes.

In addition, the timing and amount of food you eat particularly, fasting or not eating frequently enough may trigger a migraine.

If you believe your diet may be contributing to your migraine attacks, speaking to a registered dietitian or keeping a food diary can help you start to narrow down what your trigger foods may be.

There are also several apps for tracking migraine symptoms and triggers that can also help you get to the bottom of what is causing your attacks.

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Restless Night Sleeping Tips For People With Migraine At Night

Why are you still up? Oh, thats right. You have a blinding headache that wont let you rest. A migraine at night is the worst, isnt it?;

Dont worry; youre not alone. There are millions of people out there that have the same problem you do, and all they want to do is get some shut-eye.;

Migraines are tough to beat, though, and some of them have underlying emotional causes that it would be nice to get to the root of if youre actually serious about beating the headache monster that loves to harass you and make you toss and turn at night, grasping your head and screaming at the ceiling for sweet relief.;

Perhaps your plight isnt as drastic as that. Either way,;soothing the savage noggin;is a necessary step in the tricky process of falling asleep at night.;

But how does one do it, exactly?;

How can you get sufficient rest and get rid of the headache that is slowly driving you mad?;

These are the questions that keep many people awake at night so much so that its making their heads hurt. What should these desperate sleep seekers do when faced with the unrelenting pain of an unwanted migraine at night? ;

Since we just cant watch you suffer anymore, we decided to write a piece that will help you gain some resolution, comfort, and much-needed relief so you can catch all the Zs you deserve tonight. Here are a few sleeping tips for people who have migraines, especially migraine at night.

Snoring And Sleep Apnea

While your bed partners snoring may cause you to get fragmented sleep, your own snoring is a risk factor for chronic daily headache. Snoring is often a sign that you have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Snoring loudly and feeling tired after a nights sleep are warning signs for sleep apnea.

People at risk for;obstructive sleep apnea;are usually overweight and have a short neck, Rosen says.

With;central sleep apnea, on the other hand, the brain doesnt tell the breathing to drive at night. The problems with sleep apnea arise when oxygen levels drop below 90 percent during sleep, which can injure brain cells.

According to Rosen, right now, its not clear that length of sleep matters as much as sleep quality when it comes to chronic migraine. This is a wake-up call for those who get 12 hours of sleep and still do not feel refreshed.

Independent of obesity, Rosen says treating snoring and sleep apnea may help chronic migraine, especially in people who wake up with a headache.

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How Is Migraine Connected To The Sleep

For anyone suffering from;migraines, its important to know that this health condition is;connected to the sleep-wake cycle;. This is an internal clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. If your sleep-wake cycle is disturbed, this can influence migraines in a number of ways. For example, sleeping too much or too little can trigger migraines. Researchers have;highlighted;that, for 49.8% of the migraine sufferers they looked at, sleep disturbance was a trigger for a migraine attack.

Also, if you are already suffering from a migraine and then go to sleep without treating it, this can worsen the condition, leading to more unpleasant symptoms when you wake up. The relationship between migraines and the circadian rhythm is often a vicious cycle. Migraines can disturb the sleep-wake cycle, stopping you from getting the rest you truly need, which can make the symptoms more severe or increase the risk of further migraines.

In the following article, we will explore how migraines are connected to the sleep-wake cycle, how poor sleep can trigger migraines, why migraines start when we sleep, and finally offer some essential sleep tips for migraine patients. By adjusting your lifestyle slightly and getting into a routine of good quality sleep, you can manage your migraine symptoms and reduce your chances of subsequent attacks.

What Causes Morning Headaches

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As you transition from sleep to wakefulness, parts of your brain start to wake up too. Your brain becomes more responsive to changes in your body position, touch, and sound. During this period of heightened sensitivity, you may be more susceptible to pain.

Additionally, the hypothalamus in the brain is involved in both sleep and pain processes. The hypothalamus regulates your natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles and modulates sensation and pain. Disturbances in the hypothalamus during sleep affect your ability to tolerate pain. As a result, while you may not have felt pain as you slept, you may feel it in the morning.

Sleep disorders commonly trigger morning head pain, but there are numerous possible causes for waking up with a headache.

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Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches

Sleep apnea is associated with several different types of headaches, including- cluster headaches, chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, cervicogenic headaches, and tension-type headaches.

Cluster headaches are more likely to occur in patients with sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea enter stages of disturbed breathing during the night, causing their oxygen levels to decrease temporarily. Cluster headaches occur alongside these breathing disruptions and may be an effect of these disruptions. As such, its no surprise that cluster headaches often respond well to CPAP therapy .

Also, people with sleep apnea are often sleep-deprived so that they may develop tension-type headaches in response to tiredness and stress. Secondly, people with sleep apnea often sleep on their back and are overweight so they are more likely to suffer from cervicogenic headaches.

People with sleep apnea are more likely to grind their teeth during the night. Teeth grinding often causes pain in the temporomandibular joint . TMJ pain affects the jaw, ears, and temples, and can feel very similar to a tension-type headache. In fact, TMJ is often misdiagnosed as a tension headache, which is one of the reasons why bruxism can go unnoticed by health professionals. If your headaches are concentrated around the jaw and temples, and you also have earaches, facial tenderness, and a clicking jaw this could indicate bruxism.


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