Whats The Best Treatment For Headache From Lack Of Sleep
The ill-effects of a sleep-deprivation headache are serious. They can affect your mood, performance, focus, and energy.
A migraine with aura can be dangerous as well. When this occurs, you may start seeing visions, which are disturbances like halos or flashes of light.
It can be a sign that blood flow to the brain is weak. This may result in the death of the organs cells.
Usually, when youre susceptible to a headache due to lack of sleep, you pop a pill. Some pain medicines, though, can do more harm than good.
They may lead to long-term side effects. You may feel better, but they may affect your level of energy causing you to still wake up without having a restful sleep.
To improve your good nights sleep, consider exploring other therapies and tips like the following:
Other Causes Of Morning Headaches
Aside from sleep disorders, some other causes of morning headaches are:
- Dehydration: Water is essential to many processes in the body. When you are not drinking enough water you can become dehydrated, which may be one reason you are waking up with headaches.
- Too Much or Too Little Sleep: Both oversleeping and poor-quality sleep can raise the chances of a tension headache the next day. Sleep deprivation lowers the pain threshold, and people with chronic headaches experience more severe pain when they go short on sleep.
- Snoring: Snoring contributes to the development of chronic headaches for people who already experience occasional headaches.
- Depression and Anxiety: Research suggests that anxiety and depression contribute to both poor sleep and headaches, as well as raise sensitivity to pain.
- Using the Wrong Pillow: Pillows are designed to reduce tension by keeping the spine in a neutral position. A pillow that fails to provide enough support for your head and neck may contribute to headaches overnight. If your morning headaches occur along with neck, shoulder, or upper back pain, you may need to use a higher or lower pillow.
Anxiety That Causes Migraines
Treating your migraines as a separate condition may be important. Not everyone experiences migraines, and most medical experts argue that while anxiety may lead to migraines, those that get migraines are likely genetically predisposed to them. For those reasons, you should talk to your doctor about a potential migraine treatment.
But anxiety is also a serious trigger of migraines and something that affects your quality of life, which is why you also need to take your anxiety seriously.
Since migraines don’t always have an apparent cause, it’s also not clear why many migraine sufferers also have anxiety. However, there are a few likely causes including:
These are just some of the ways that anxiety can cause a migraine headache, and they’re likely not the only ways. From hormone changes to immune system strength, the body goes through a lot of different problems when you suffer from anxiety, and many of them have the potential to trigger a headache.
Recommended Reading: Transformed Migraine Treatment
What Triggers A Migraine
- Sensory stimuli
This type of headache tends to run in families. But because there is no specific cause and the triggers vary widely, people who get migraineseven if theyre already being treatedare often clamoring for remedies to take away their headache pain.
The Link Between Sleep Headache And Mood
The same brain regions and chemical messengers impact sleep, headache and mood, so inadequate or poor quality sleep increases the odds for headache and mood change. For example, people living with migraine who also experience insomnia often suffer from anxiety or depression, which are also common migraine comorbidities. An effective migraine treatment plan would factor in the patients medical history and psychological factors.
Read Also: Liquid Medicine For Migraines
The Link Between Headaches And Lack Of Sleep
While research shows a link between certain types of headaches and not getting enough sleep, this relationship is complex and not fully understood. However, these types of headaches likely stem from a disruption in balance between sleep and wakefulness in the body.
Changes that throw off your sleep-wake pattern can lead to headaches, such as:
- Not getting enough sleep
- A sleep disorder
- Sleeping across different time zones
- Sleeping at fragmented times
It’s recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can lead to adverse health effects and can make it more difficult for various functions in the body to restore properly.
Mechanisms involved in the sleep cycle regulation are thought to play a role in headaches, including:
- Chemical messengers like serotonin
- Brain structures like the brain stem and hypothalamus
- Glymphatic system
Some people are more likely to experience headaches due to lack of sleep. This can include people who suffer from chronic migraine, people who routinely sleep less than the recommended amount, and people who experience chronic stress.
Tips For Morning Headache Relief
If sleep problems can exacerbate headaches and make it more difficult to find relief, then adopting healthy lifestyle and sleep hygiene habits may help you sleep better and reduce the frequency of morning headaches:
- Maintain a Bedtime Routine: Establish a routine of calming pre-bedtime activities to help you wind down for sleep. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol: Experts recommend staying away from alcohol and stimulating drinks if you are experiencing headaches. Certain medications can also prompt headaches, so talk to your doctor about switching medications or lowering your dose if this is a problem.
- Drink More Water: Ensure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day to prevent dehydration at night.
- Improve Your Bedroom Environment: Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool for optimal sleep.
Read Also: Tylenol Migraine Relief
Migraines And Sleep Disturbances
It’s well-established that sleep and migraine have an intricate relationship and that sleep disorders and migraine are frequently comorbid conditions. While lack of sleep is a trigger for many migraineurs, migraine patients use sleep as a treatment for migraine.
There’s also a relationship between sleep quality and migraine frequencythe more migraines you have, the more sleep disturbances you’re likely to have, such as:
- Interrupted sleep
This can, of course, make the following more likely in migraineurs:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Still feeling tired after awakening
- Daytime fatigue
Having a sleep disorder is linked to more severe and more frequent migraines as well. And sleep disturbances are believed to contribute to the transformation from episodic migraine to chronic migraine in certain people.
Know Your Circadian Rhythm And Maintain A Proper Sleep Schedule
Circadian rhythm refers to your internal body clock. It tells you when you should be awake and sleep.
It may be a simple concept, but the impact on health is enormous. This system regulates your metabolism, hormone production, energy, and even the ability to deal with stress.
Your circadian rhythm is dependent on its perception of light. Thats why during daytime, your energy levels peak and taper or decline as nighttime approaches.
To help maintain your body clock, its best to avoid having irregular sleep patterns with these tips:
- Know the ideal duration of your sleep. Adults usually need between seven and nine hours of sleep.
- Plan your sleep when traveling as jet lag can also cause headaches from lack of sleep.
- Improve bedroom conditions and make sure theyre conducive to sleep. For example, the room temperature should be enough not to wake you in the middle of the night sweating.
- Block out lights from mobile devices and windows. Do the same with noise.
- Relax for at least 30 minutes to an hour before you sleep.
Recommended Reading: Headache Reducing Piercing
A Lack Of Rem Sleep Can Trigger Migraines
REM sleep plays a critical role in painful conditions, including migraines. For instance, researchers from Missouri State University have demonstrated that not getting enough REM sleep can lead to higher levels of specific proteins that trigger the headaches and chronic pain associated with migraines. This is one way that migraines can start when you are asleep and resting. If youre not spending enough time in the REM stage of sleep, this may lead to migraine symptoms whilst asleep, which continue upon waking.
David Dodick, the American Headache Society President, also stresses that sleeping too much can trigger migraine headaches. He said: Thats why Saturday morning migraines are so common. If someone with migraines who gets up during the week at 6 a.m. sleeps in on Saturday, this can cause a migraine.
Sleep And Headache Treatments
You can try prescription or over-the-counter drugs to help with your sleep problems. Alternative treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, yoga, or supplements may help ease migraines as well as any stress that might also be keeping you awake.
Caffeine might help you treat your migraines, but it can also keep you awake. Some migraine medicines contain caffeine. Keep your intake the same each day, even if you donât have any at all.
Better treatments for migraines and sleep problems could be on the way. Researchers are working on drugs that might keep the number of headaches down. And theyâre looking into a gene linked to poor sleep and migraines in some people.
If you donât sleep well or long enough, you may try to nap during the day to make up for it. But that can make it harder to sleep at night — and trigger more headaches. If you have to nap, do it before 3 p.m. and limit it to 30 minutes.
Don’t Miss: Headache 8 Weeks Pregnant
How To Sleep With A Migraine
So what should you do when a migraine inevitably comes along to ruin your day? Starting with healthy bedtime habits can make a huge difference.
The study from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill surveyed migraine sufferers to examine what kind of patterns occurred. Almost 80 percent of participants watch television or read in bed, 70 percent woke up in the night to go to the bathroom, 60 percent napped during the day, and over 50 percent used sleeping pills regularly. Researchers put these habits to the test to see if changing things reduced the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Two groups of women were given instructions to follow for six weeks one group was given placebo instructions, and the other group instilled new pre-bedtime habits. After six weeks, the women with altered bedtime behavior noted that their headaches significantly improved in severity and frequency. Some improved so much that they no longer had chronic migraines.
So here are a few tips and tricks to try out, along with advice from your doctor, of course.
Have A Consistent Bedtime
Ever notice that you start getting tired at the same time every night? This is totally normal in fact, it is actually the perfect queue to listen to. When your bedtime waivers, your body may struggle to predict when it is time to go to bed, which can lead to problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
Going to bed at the same time every night gives your body a change to self-regulate its biological clock and expect when sleep is coming each night yes, even on the weekends. Try to plan your bedtime so that you can regularly get 8 hours of rest.
Don’t Miss: Tylenol Migraine Dose
Things To Know About Migraines And Sleep
thesleepdoctor.com is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page.
Migraine and sleep problems go hand in hand. If you suffer from migraine, you know how disruptive these painful headaches can be to your sleep. Sleeping poorly, and going without sufficient sleep, can make migraines more painful, last longer, and happen more frequently. And sometimes, sleep is the only thing that helps a migraine to pass.
There is A LOT to unpack in the relationship between sleep and migraine. Migraine affects the quality of our sleep, and migraine headaches often occur in tandem with several sleep disorders. Migraine and sleep problems have shared biological roots in the brain. And migraines are affected by circadian rhythms and our individual chronotype. Understanding the links between migraine and sleep disruption can help you manage both conditions more effectively, to reduce the debilitating experience of migraine flare-up, and sleep better.
The relationship between migraine and sleep is a complicated two-way street
Are migraines a cause of sleep problems, or a consequence of poor sleep? The answer is YES, to both.
In turn, research shows that a range of problems with sleepincluding sleeping too little, sleeping too much, and experiencing restless, low-quality sleepare linked to increased risk for migraine headache. Poor sleep can increase the intensity of migraine pain and the frequency of migraine attacks.
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.
- Was this article helpful?
Recommended Reading: Does Motrin Help With Migraines
How Sleeping Poorly Can Worsen Migraines
When your sleep quality is affected as a result of migraines, this can make the condition more difficult to deal with. This is because the quality of sleep we get can affect our experience of pain. For example, if you get a healthy amount of sleep , then the better you will be able to emotionally and physically manage pain. In contrast, a study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that a lack of sleep makes your experience of pain more intense. So, the less sleep you get, the more painful your migraines may be.
The team behind the University of California study discovered that sleep-deprived brains had higher activity in brain regions that detect pain signals. Brain scans also revealed less activity in regions responsible for natural pain relief. This research goes to show how crucial a good nights rest is for dealing with migraine pain. If you are unable to sleep well, for whatever reason, then your migraine symptoms the next day could be quite unmanageable, getting in the way of your everyday activities.
Tae-Jing Song, PhD, one of the investigators involved in the Korean Headache Sleep Study, said: If patients are getting short sleep and they have migraines, could be an alternative way to improve their migraines without medication.
A study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that a lack of sleep makes your experience of pain more intense.
The Link Between Sleep Patterns And Migraines
There are a number of factors that can put you at risk for developing migraines. One of those factors is your sleep patterns. A lack of sleep can cause you to develop migraines. A team of researchers at the University of Missouri found that sleep deprivation causes changes in the proteins that trigger and suppress chronic pain.
Sleep deprivation can also raise P2X3 protein in the body. This is a protein that initiates chronic pain. Furthermore, the researchers found that a lack of sleep increases the expression of the PKA and P38 proteins. These proteins regulate the sensory response in the trigeminal nerves, which can play a role in migraine development.
On the other hand, sleeping too much can also trigger migraines. Researchers have found that sleeping too much can alter certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin. Additionally, if you sleep too much during the day and change your sleep patterns at night, then this can lead to migraines.
Recommended Reading: Does Tylenol Work For Migraines
Possible Causes Of Morning Headaches
Sometimes called awakening headaches, morning headaches can have more than one contributing factor. Some of the main categories include:
- Insufficient sleep: When you donât get the sleep your body needs, the negative physical impacts of the lost sleep may include pain and headaches.
- Sleep disorders: The sleep loss associated with most sleep disorders can cause headaches. But reduced oxygen in the blood caused by the airway restriction of sleep apnea is especially conducive to morning headaches.
- Headache disorders: People who suffer from chronic headaches know that a headache can strike at any time of day. And morning head pain is often caused by migraines, hypnic headaches, cluster headaches, tension-type headaches, and secondary headaches related to other medical conditions.
- Substances: Consumption of alcohol and certain medications can contribute to both sleep loss and headaches.
Before we delve into the details of morning headaches, itâs important to note that the association between headaches and sleep problems is bidirectional. Headaches can disrupt sleep, and sleep disturbances can precede, trigger, or worsen headaches. The good news is, anything you do to treat or improve one may also have a positive impact on the other.
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.
Also Check: Migraine With Fever
Dont Eat A Large Meal Within 2 Hours Before Bedtime And Limit Fluids Before Sleeping
Eating big or fatty meals late at night can make it difficult to fall asleep. To keep those midnight bathroom runs at bay, avoid drinking too many fluids before bed. Caffeine can stimulate your brain for hours after consumption, and although alcohol may bring on initial tiredness, it can prevent you from getting deep rest.