Too Much Sleep Also Triggers Migraines
About 12% of the population, or 36 million Americans, suffer from migraine headaches, according to the AHS.
Although most people with migraines have one or two attacks a month or less, about 3% of the population has chronic migraines, which occur at least 15 days each month.
Dodick says understanding the molecular pathways that trigger migraines or cause occasional migraines to become chronic could lead to better drugs to treat or prevent them.
Although getting enough sleep is important for people with migraines, having a sleep routine is even more critical, he says.
Just as too little sleep can trigger migraine headaches, so can too much sleep at one time.
âThatâs why âSaturday morningâ migraines are so common,â he says. âIf someone with migraines who gets up during the week at 6 a.m. sleeps in on Saturday, this can cause a migraine.â
The same is true for irregular afternoon naps or any disruption in the regular sleep pattern.
âSleep routine is very important,â Dodick says. âPeople with migraines need to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. If they get up at 6 a.m. during the week they need to do the same thing on Saturday and Sunday.â
Tips For Better Sleep Hygiene
While there are many connections between the sleep-wake cycle and migraines, you can take steps to improve sleep hygiene to help stop the cycle. Practicing good sleep hygiene, which aims to keep the sleep-wake cycle balanced, may help. Essential tips for better sleep hygiene include:
- Wake up and go to bed around the same time each day.
- Get time outdoors in natural light while its daylight to help the body stay in its correct sleep-wake cycle.
- Know what you need to get a good night of rest. Every persons sleep-wake cycle is a bit different. Know how much sleep you need and the best times for waking up and going to sleep are for your body.
- Avoid exercising too close to bedtime, since it can elevate your heart rate and keep your body alert.
- Create an environment that encourages sleep. This means you need a quiet dark room, and the temperature shouldnt be too hot or cold. Keep devices that emit blue light, such as a smartphone or laptop, away from your bed.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime. It can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
- Skip stimulants like caffeine later in the day.
Getting enough quality sleep each night is essential for combatting migraines. By learning the connection between your sleep-wake cycle and migraines, as well as how to improve sleep hygiene, you can help prevent the vicious cycle that often occurs between sleep and migraines.
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How Can We Use This To Our Advantage
Clearly these mechanisms arenât the only basis for migraine, but it is logical to think that trying to maintain a well-balanced sleep-wake cycle may make triggering a migraine attack less likely. It is therefore perhaps important for people with migraine to observe something called good sleep hygiene, which is a set of suggestions designed to keep the sleep-wake cycle, and the quality of sleep, as even as possible.
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How Can I Prevent Future Migraines
It is clear the interaction between sleep and migraines is both complicated and sensitive. Since both too little and too much sleep have been associated with migraines and other headache disorders, one of the most important ways to combat these problems is to get the right amount of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation guidelines recommends adults sleep between 7-8 hours per night for optimum health, while younger people may need more sleep. Additionally, to make sure you are getting the most restful sleep, it is essential to practice good sleep hygiene. The following are just a few tips that can help you develop and maintain a healthy sleep routine.
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What Is The Root Cause Of Migraines
An underlying central nervous disorder may set off a migraine episode when triggered. Irregularities in the brains blood vessel system, or vascular system, may cause migraines. A genetic predisposition may cause migraines. Abnormalities of brain chemicals and nerve pathways may cause migraine episodes.
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Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Both snoring and, on the more-extreme side of the spectrum, sleep apnea can be major reasons for why you develop lack of sleep headaches. This is because both conditions cause major sleep disturbances, and constant waking up at night. This then results in a lack of sleep, and the rest is history.
To top it all off, snoring is often the symptom of developing sleep apnea, too. If you snore at night, dont just brush it off – make sure to get to the bottom of the issue!
Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing while they sleep, for brief periods of time. This breathing cessation will usually cause you to wake up, often in a chaotic and panicked state.
As far as the health condition itself is concerned, there are actually tools and resources designed to help you out. Different anti-snoring devices and CPAP machines can both mitigate the issue, and even help you get rid of it, altogether.
To be frank, if youre experiencing increasing lack of sleep headaches that are only becoming worse with time, and are having trouble with sleep apnea, dont hesitate to invest in a CPAP machine, and consult with your physician as soon as possible. Solving the latter issue can definitely get rid of the former one, as well.
How To Practise Good Sleep Hygiene
Here are some;lifestyle habits;that you may find helpful in dealing with your condition:
One of the most effective ways to treat migraine is through rest. By making the above recommendations a part of your routine, you will give yourself the best chances of controlling or reducing migraine symptoms and preventing any further attacks. As a migraine patient, your headaches may be so severe and constant that you may be losing hope, especially if medication isnt offering you the relief you need. However, many migraine patients find that when they try to take better care of themselves, they notice massive improvements in their condition and, in turn, their overall quality of life.
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What Causes A Headache
The exact cause of headaches is not completely understood. It is thought that many headaches are the result of tight muscles and dilated, or expanded, blood vessels in the head. Although migraine headaches were previously thought to be due to dilated blood vessels in the brain,;newer theories suggest that changes in brain chemicals or electrical signaling may be involved. Other headaches may be caused by an alteration in the communication between parts of the nervous system that relay information about pain, coming from the area of the head, face, and neck. Lack of sleep and poor sleep quality are often the cause of chronic headaches. Occasionally, there is an actual problem in the brain, such as a tumor or malformation of the brain, although this is rare.
The way a child exhibits a headache may be related to many factors, such as genetics, hormones, stress, diet, medications, and dehydration. Recurrent headaches of any type can cause school problems, behavioral problems, and/or depression.
Experiencing Ocular Migraines See Our Raleigh Optometrists Today
Seeing lights, lines, zigzags, or stars while experiencing a migraine, while common, can also be an indication of a major neurological issue or eye issue. If you live in Raleigh and are experiencing severe or frequent ocular headaches, be sure to see our Raleigh optometrists as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment here.
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Effects Of Sleep Loss On Children
Selected statistics from research studies into sleep loss and its effects on children and teenagers include:
- Sleep loss causes a range of schooling problems, including naughtiness and poor concentration.
- Chronically sleep-deprived teenagers are more likely to have problems with impulse control, which leads to risk-taking behaviours.
- Sleep problems in teenagers are associated with increased risk of disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
- High school students who regularly score C, D or F in school tests and assignments get, on average, half an hour less sleep per night than high school students who regularly get A and B grades.
- Later start times at school result in reduced daytime sleepiness, higher grades and reduced negative feelings.
How Does Sleep Deprivation Trigger Migraines
Additional research is needed to fully understand the relationship between sleep deprivation and migraines, however, they do share common brain mechanisms. For example, the hypothalamus the part of the brain that regulates sleep and arousal also contains neurons involved in modulating pain. The hypothalamus also contains the suprachiasmatic nucleus , which receives signals from our eyes and helps us match our sleeping behaviors to the external cycle of light and darkness outside. A damaged SCN may cause erratic daytime sleep and disrupt the sleep-wake cycle.
Another key part of the brain involved in sleep is the pineal gland, which produces melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep when we recognize the change between day and night. Low levels of melatonin have been linked to migraines and cluster headaches, as well as waking up with headaches.
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The Five Stages Of Sleep
There are;five stages of sleep: two stages of light sleep, two stages of deep sleep, and then one stage of REM sleep. If youre healthy and have normal sleep patterns, then you will go through this cycle four or five times during the night. The REM stage of sleep is concentrated in the second half of the night and its where we spend most of our sleep cycle. If you dont get enough sleep, then you dont get enough REM sleep. When you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you will spend more time in the first half of sleep, experiencing less REM sleep overall.
Apply Simple Behavior Changes
Practicing good sleep hygiene is critical to restful sleep. Try these simple behavior changes to increase REM sleep and avoid headaches:
- Follow a sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day helps you get the right amount of sleep consistently. For most adults, this is seven to nine hours.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine before bed. These stimulants can disrupt your sleep. Similarly, eat and drink lightly in the evening to avoid indigestion and middle-of-the-night bathroom visits.
- Exercise regularly, but avoid exercising near bedtime. This can keep you awake.
- Avoid electronic screens near bedtime, as the light from these devices can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. This could be reading, meditating, or taking a bath.
Create Optimal Sleeping Conditions
To get as much quality REM sleep as possible, optimize your bedroom for sleep. It should be dark, cool, and quiet and include a comfortable and supportive mattress and pillows. Ideally on a bed like our Posh and Lavish collection. Designed to give you the best sleep possible.
Why Your Mattress Matters
When your body is uncomfortable during sleepsay your arm falls asleep or your neck is at an awkward angleyou will unconsciously readjust to avoid the discomfort. Each readjustment causes you to toss and turn in your sleep, pulling you out of REM sleep.
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Can You Prevent Complex Migraine
If you can link your migraine to environmental triggers like the smell of cigarette smoke or drinking red wine you can usually avoid these to prevent complex migraine. Stress may be more difficult to avoid, but not impossible.
To treat complex migraine, doctors may also prescribe medications that may help brain chemistry. You may need to try different treatments or combinations of treatments before you find one that may help reduce migraine days.
Examples of preventive treatments may include:
- antiseizure medications
- calcium channel blockers
If you rarely have migraine, doctors dont usually recommend the above treatments. Preventive medications are usually reserved for people who have migraine days frequently, which interfere with their daily activities.
Researchers have detected changes in three genes that may cause hemiplegic migraine or those that lead to weakness on one side if your body. Specifically, these genes are:
These genes help with nerve cell function in your brain. However, doctors havent defined how changes in these genes lead to migraine.
If you have a family history of complex migraine, youre more at risk of developing this type.
NORD defines the inheritance pattern as a 50 percent risk that a parent will pass the gene on to a child with each pregnancy.
However, many people with complex migraine dont have a family member with this migraine type.
Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Headaches
Its possible to develop a headache from lack of sleep, especially chronic migraine and tension headaches.
Chronic migraine sufferers can have moderate to severe pain that can last for hours or even days. Other symptoms are nausea and vomiting.
Migraine headache is distinct from other types of headaches because it tends to affect only one side of the head. Also, sounds and lights can worsen the pain.
Tension headaches are also common. Symptoms such as throbbing pain can impact different sides of the head, including the top and the back.
Whats the link between them and sleep, however? The answers are REM sleep and a lower pain threshold.
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Other Effects Of Lack Of Sleep
Apart from headaches, sleep deprivation could also cause the following negative effects:
- Shortage of alertness. Losing at least an hour or two of sleep has a huge impact on how alert you could be for the day.
- Daytime sleepiness. One of the worst effects of lack of sleep is feeling sleepy while youre at work with multiple tasks to finish.
- Weakened memory. Sleep deprivation affects your thinking and comprehension skills, as well as your ability to remember.
- Moodiness. Most people without sleep are irritable and moody at the same time.
- Relationship conflicts. Due to their irritability, their relationship with friends and family is affected as well.
- Low quality of living. Because you are sleep deprived, you will most likely feel tired all the time, causing you to not engage in socialization events.
- Risk of accidents. Did you know that most car accidents are due to sleepiness? Not sleeping well does not only cause headaches but affects your ability to function properly as well.
How Does Your Body Know When To Sleep
You have a circadian rhythm which lasts around 24 hours.
Your body and mind go through a range of changes over this time. It controls your sleep-wake pattern and also changes how alert you are.
Your rhythm mainly responds to changes in light. The body clock in your brain controls this. In the evening, it starts to get dark and your eyes signal this to your body clock. Your body clock then tells the brain to release the hormone melatonin. This makes you sleepy. When it gets lighter, the brain reduces the amount of melatonin it makes. This starts to wake you up. However, we each have a slightly different rhythm which is why some people are more alert in the morning and others, later.
Even within the states of sleep and wakefulness, there are faster, shorter cycles of brain activity.
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Causes Of Ocular Migraine
An ocular or ophthalmic migraine is hold your breath a painless migraine! These are, however, associated with visual disturbances in both eyes. You may experience flickering or flashing lights, lines, stars, or blind spots that deter your vision. About 35 percent of migraine sufferers experience this kind of an aura, visual or otherwise. A painless migraine such as an ocular migraine is considered a migraine equivalent.1
The Importance Of Healthy Sleep
Behavioral sleep changes can promote restful, regular sleep and reduce headache. Simple changes like establishing consistent sleep and wake-up times, as well as getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a day, can make a world of difference. Experts also recommend avoiding substances that impair sleep, like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, and also suggest winding down before bed to prevent sleep problems. To hear about how members of our community stick to healthy sleep habits, read this article from our resource library.
From comorbidities to daily habits, many factors explain why a wide variety of sleep events trigger headache. Understanding your migraine and identifying simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. As you embark on this journey, find the resources and support you need through our doctor-verified resource library and migraine support group.
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Migraines Triggered By Protein Deep In The Brain
Peptides can be a right pain
It can start with flashing lights, a tingling sensation and a feeling of unease, followed by excruciating pain. Migraines can be triggered by lack of food or too much stress but their underlying cause has remained a mystery. Now researchers have found that a migraine may be triggered by a protein deep in the brain that stimulates the neurons controlling facial sensations.
The discovery creates a potential new target for safer migraine medicines and adds weight to the theory that neurons, not blood vessels, are responsible for migraine attacks.
Where a migraine starts is a key question, says Debbie Hay at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. There has been a great deal of debate around the mechanisms of migraine. If we can pin this down, we may have better chances of preventing it.
To investigate, Simon Akerman at New York University and Peter Goadsby at Kings College London, UK, studied two neuropeptides released by neurons thought to play a role in the pain associated with migraine.
These protein-like molecules, called VIP and PACAP, first raised suspicion after they were found to be elevated in blood drained from the brains of people having a migraine attack. When researchers administered these peptides to volunteers, they found that they could cause a headache or migraine about two hours later.