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How To Sleep With Migraine Pain

Stick To A Regular Sleep Schedule

Not getting enough sleep and can both be headache triggers, according to the American Migraine Foundation. The organization recommends getting between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

When possible, try to go to bed and get up at about the same time each day, suggests Hamilton. Irregular sleep and wake times increase your chances of a migraine attack, she says.

Avoiding naps can help you sleep better at night, says Dr. Strauss. This isnt always easy, because sometimes sleep is the only thing that can help people during a headache, she says.

The issue is if youre taking excessive naps during the day, that makes it harder to go to sleep at night. Try to limit daytime sleeping and move all your sleep to the night and keep the same bedtime, she says.

Bedtime rituals such as taking a warm bath, reading, listening to calming music, doing yoga, or praying can help you fall asleep, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Tracking Your Migraine Symptoms

Keeping a record of your migraine symptoms may help you figure out patterns and triggers to your attacks. It may be helpful to record such things as:

  • When and where your pain or symptoms start
  • Whether the pain spreads to your entire head or neck
  • How well and how quickly acute treatment helps reduce the pain or other symptoms
  • How long your pain or symptoms last
  • Whether you experience other symptoms such as vision changes, nausea, or light sensitivity

Falling Asleep With A Headache

When it comes to treating an existing headache, it can be helpful to understand the trigger or cause. If you can identify what specifically brought your night-time headache on, you can more easily treat it. We will look at ways to keep track of triggers when we talk prevention in a bit.

For now, lets assume youre not sure what is triggering your night-time headache. Here are some simple ways that you can find relief when that pounding pain in your head or neck hits at bedtime, no matter what the cause may be.

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.

Get Relief From Migraines Using These Pillows

How To Sleep With A Headache: 5 Relief Tips

Migraines are awful. Most children and adults suffer from migraine pain from time to time. Some headaches may be slight and brief, while others may be more unbearable and last for days.

No matter whether your headaches are infrequent or chronic, they are certainly not a pleasant experience. Although there are many explanations why you may be experiencing migraines, you can help lessen the pain or even reduce it through some of your efforts.

In this article we have reviewed the top rated and best pillow for side sleepers with migraines.

While chronic, repeated migraines should always be solved by your healthcare provider, your choice of sleep products can help you get an ideal nights sleep, and deliver long long-term comfort.

This may not primarily seem vital, but the best pillows for migraines will help deliver the support you want to influence healing, blood flow, and spinal alignment all of which have the potential to endorse a reduction in your uneasiness.

Precisely, any pillow can be a migraine pillow if it contains the right mix of shape, comfort, support, and breathability. Though, those who suffer from migraines tend to discover themselves gravitating to some major types of pillows.

Getting To Sleep With Migraine

How do you get to sleep when you’re in the middle of a migraine attack? This was the first question we wanted to answer in our Community Articles section of First we’ll list some of your answers, then we’ll look around the website for more ideas:Question: What non-drug methods help you get to sleep when you’re having a headache/migraine attack?Answers:

  • A cold pack rotating from my neck to my forehead
  • That would be a dark room, that is not too warm, and a cool pack on my neck.
  • What I do to get to sleep is play a CD of relaxing instrumental music very very softly. If I haven’t fallen asleep by the end of the CD I know it is time to try something different.
  • I eat a chocolate bar & drink some coffee or tea or coke, & use an icepack…it helps the headache and doesn’t affect my ability to sleep when I headache…but I realize that’s because of the caffeine.
  • I build my pillows up into a mountain so that I am sleeping as near upright as possible. It doesn’t always work but I find lying down normally just makes me feel more nauseous. Sleep is definitely a great relief. I keep my eyes closed but mot always in a darkened room.
  • Cold eye masks & bed buddy cold packs flexible to wrap around your neck, head or forehead and yet comfortable to the skin & a small hand held massager I use around my neck & head, a quiet dark room & that usually will do it.
  • /7how Your Sleeping Posture Can Affect Your Health

    Many studies have concluded that most of our lifetime is spent sleeping. This means that how our body works during day time, when we are active is directly linked to how we function. Experts have concluded that sleeping postures play a major role in many of the lifestyle issues that we face today. According to a study by Harvard Health, Preferred sleeping positions are often set early in life and can be tough to change, not to mention that we don’t often wake up in the same position in which we fall asleep. Here are some common problems and how they can be rectified with small changes in your sleeping pattern.

    Be Aware Of Potential Causes

    One of the most frustrating things about migraines is that they can appear to arise out of the blue; causing people even more pain by catching them unaware. However, by understanding when you might be more likely to experience migraines, you can be prepared. 

    For instance, a recent study published by a leading journal on migraine showed that most migraine attacks occur in the early morning. Over 3000 participants were interviewed, the results of which showed that most migraineurs are early birds, who find it difficult to copy with changes in sleep patterns. If this sounds familiar, and if your migraine is worse in the mornings, try getting up early on a consistent basis. Avoid caffeine, which can make the attack more severe, and make sure youve gotten to bed early so that youve had enough sleep before your circadian rhythms wake you pre-dawn. 

    Another thing you can try is to protect yourself from the effects of light. Because its extra important for migraine patients to not disrupt their sleep-wake schedule, and one way you can mess up your sleep-wake schedule is exposure to blue light in the evening.

    Try Axon glasses to help with headaches and light sensitivity; and, by using them in the evening, you can protect yourself from painful light. Simple!

    Circadian Rhythms And How They Work

    Circadian rhythms refer to 24-hour cycles that are part of your bodys internal clock, basically running in the background of the body to coordinate essential processes and functions at the right times. Probably the most well-known and important circadian cycle is your sleep-wake cycle. When most people speak of the circadian rhythm, they usually do so in the context of sleep, since its one of the most obvious examples of our circadian rhythms.

    During the daytime, exposure to light causes the body to send signals generating alertness, which helps keep us active and awake. As it gets dark, the body begins producing melatonin a hormone promoting sleep and continues to send signals that help you stay asleep at night. This aligns the sleep and wake times with day and night, creating a cycle of restorative rest for the body.

    How Can We Use This To Our Advantage

    Clearly these mechanisms arent 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.

    Can Other Sleeping Problems Trigger Migraines

    Research has found that not only too little sleep , but also too much sleep can trigger migraines. While restful sleep can relieve migraine symptoms while they are ongoing, sleeping extensively may make problems worse. The term weekend migraine is often used to refer to migraines that commonly occur in individuals sleeping in on weekends to make up for lost sleep during the week.

    The relationship between sleep deprivation and migraines is also bidirectional. This means that sleep disturbances can trigger migraines, but migraines can also negatively impact our sleep. Migraines can leave us feeling exhausted and excessively sleepy, which may disrupt our sleep-wake cycle.

    Headaches Hindering Your Sleep How To Snooze When Migraines Strike

    November 24, 2016

    Cluster headaches, tension headaches, migraines, sinus headaches headaches come in all different shapes and sizes and can vary greatly. But they all have one thing in commontheyre always a real pain!

    Night-time headaches in particular can be the worst.

    Youve made it through a long day and are finally ready to unwind and hit the sack when

    All of a sudden

    You get slammed with an excruciating headache! That peaceful sleep that you were so looking forward to is feeling more and more impossible thanks to your night-time headache.

    Night-time headaches like this can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep, leaving you exhausted and crabby the next day.

    And since lack of sleep can actually trigger headaches, night-time headaches that cause you to lose sleep are often the start of a vicious cycle.

    But how are you supposed to fall asleep with that throbbing pain in your head? And what can you do to avoid night-time headache pain in the future?

    To help ease the pain of your night-time headaches, weve gathered up the best ways to treat a headache at bedtime once it hits. Plus, well share some tips for avoiding future headaches that disrupt your sleep.

    The Connection Between Migraine And Sleep Habits

    Headache while sleeping: How to get rid of nighttime headaches

    The connection between sleep habits and migraines is still being determined.

    The REM sleep abnormalities have definitely been implicated in a variety of problems.

    If your physician feels that you might have sleep problems such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, insomnia or other sleep problems, he/she might want to do a sleep study or other tests that would help he/she to determine exactly what the problem is.

    Common sense, if the problem can be corrected or treated, then your migraines may improve.

    If pain is one of the symptoms of your condition, lack of sleep can make it worse, research shows. A 2015 study of more than 10,000 Norwegian adults published in the journal Pain found that those who reported insomnia more than once a week had a 52 percent higher sensitivity to pain than those who never had trouble sleeping.

    ~ The Healthy Brain

    The Link Between Sleep And Migraines

    According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraine sufferers are 2-8 times more likely to experience difficulty sleeping .


    What causes migraines vary between individuals, but both migraines and sleep share an anatomical connection. They both begin down in the brainstem and spread up the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cortex.


    Its through this shared pathway that scientists are starting to find common connections that sleep and migraines share.

    Chronic migraines are often a result of REM  sleep deprivation, according to the American Headache Society . Being sleep deprived changes the levels of key proteins, which play a central role in the formation of migraines.

    What Causes Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea can have many different possible causes. In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which is associated with soft tissue of the mouth and throat.

    When you sleep, your throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed and can fall to the back of the mouth. This soft tissue can block your airway.

    Waking Up Weary Expert Advice + 10 Tips For Better Sleep

    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?

    Snack On A Green Apple

    But before you take a bite, take a deep whiff. One study from Chicagos Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation found that headache sufferers who sniffed the smell of green apple had a greater improvement in their pain compared to those who didnt smell anything.

    Whats more, the carbohydrates in the apple can actually help you feel less stressed. Thats because your brain uses carbs to produce the feel-good, relaxation-promoting hormone serotonin.

    About Pasadena Pain Management

    Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.

    Certain Medications Or Supplements

    Headaches are also a side effect of some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. While you may want to take medication for the head pain, that can contribute to a cycle of chronic headaches. Alternatively, overnight withdrawal from the drug can trigger a headache in the morning.

    Drugs that can contribute to headaches include:

    • Opioids

    Increasing Rem Sleep As A Way To Relieve Headaches And Migraines

    Think you have a headache from not sleeping? There are simple steps you can take to help. To ensure you get quality REM sleep consistently, consider some simple behavior changes.

    Additionally, select a mattress and pillows that will set you up for the best sleep possible. Together, these steps offer a potential cure to headaches from a lack of sleep.

    Create A Bedtime Ritual

    Restless Night? How to Sleep with a Migraine in 2020 ...

    Choose a routine activity to do before bed thats also relaxing. Try to do this activity away from any stimuli such as bright lights, loud noises, or anything that can make you feel excited or stressed.

    Every night, I do a bedtime meditation or listen to a sleep story on the Calm app. It helps to melt away stress, tension, and anxiety, and makes falling asleep a piece of cake.

    What Is Sleep Deprivation

    Unlike , which is a difficulty falling or staying asleep when one otherwise has the time and environment for sleep, sleep deprivation occurs when one does not have the opportunity to get enough sleep.Reduced sleep opportunities could be the result of several barriers, including occupations with long or irregular work hours, substance abuse, stress and anxiety, medications, or medical conditions that disturb sleep. Some people experience sleep deprivation because these barriers prevent them from devoting enough time for sleep. Others have adequate time to sleep, but find themselves waking up frequently throughout the night, thereby resulting in not enough restful sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to reduced cognitive performance and focus, excessive daytime sleepiness, mood changes, and trouble with memory and decision-making. Research has also linked sleep deprivation to a number of headache disorders. Unique among these is the migraine, which most often affects individuals when waking up in the morning.

    Can I Test Myself For Sleep Apnea

    No. The closest thing is to do a home sleep apnea test normally set up by a nurse or specialist. It is a very simplified breathing monitor that tracks your breathing, oxygen levels, and breathing effort while you wear it.

    Home sleep tests do not fully capture what is monitored, an overnight sleep study in clinic gives you a more thorough assessment of sleep issues.

    A home sleep test was enough to determine that I have sleep apnea, and it was cheaper and easier than an overnight stay in unfamiliar settings.

    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.

    Does Sleep Apnea Happen Every Night

    Yes. If you have it, it happens every night.

    Sleep apnea has the potential to be a serious sleep disorder. People who have sleep apnea can stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while they are sleeping causing all sorts of problems. And these short stops in breathing can happen up to 400 times every night. That’s a lot of sleep lost.

    Risk Of Bias Within Studies

    Studies included in the review were assessed for risk of bias using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool, categorising studies as high, low, or unclear risk of bias across seven domains. Risk of bias assessments are presented in Fig. .

    Risk of bias summary: Review authors judgements about each risk of bias item for each study included.

    Be Mindful Of Food & Drink Consumption

    Consuming sugar, grease, or alcohol near bedtime interferes with your sleep. Not only that, but those three things can also lead to migraines!


    Neurology did a study in 2004 and found that daily caffeine consumption is directly linked with chronic headaches . Alcohol is another contributor to headaches, because it dehydrates you.


    To help lessen the chances of intense headaches and poor sleep, drink plenty of water and be mindful to not become caffeine-dependent to drinks, like coffee. Lastly, cut off drinking any fluids 60-90 minutes before bed.

    Jaw Clenching Or Grinding

    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.

    See 17 treatments for clenching or grinding-related headache.

    How To Sleep With A Headache: 5 Relief Tips

    The Difference Between Migraines and Sleep Apnea Headaches

    Dr. Ricardo Lalama July 30, 2020

    When looking for a headache chiropractor near me are you looking for some magic pill or do you really want to find the cause and reason for your headache issue?  Chiropractic care might not be a quick and easy fix.  However, it is a long term fix.  Meaning they will find the root cause and work toward a goal to help alleviate that cause. 

    When we sleep we dont always know how our bodies are laying.  Many people wake up and are in a completely different position than when they started.  This can make it seem impossible to get relief from the headaches caused by your sleep. 

    However, each time you wake up, adjust yourself to a better position.  This will help your mind remember that is how you would like to sleep. 

    Quite often those that sleep on their stomachs will have issues with headaches.  Because of this, they find themselves searching headache chiropractor near me to find out what to do.  The best sleeping positions for headaches is laying on your back or side with the proper pillow support. 

    Side sleeping isnt good either if you dont have the proper side pillow support.  And, if you are sleeping on your back, you should not need a pillow at all.  However, many of us find sleeping on our backs very uncomfortable.  This is because many of us suffer from what is called text neck.

    Express Yourself And Manage Your Pain

    This might sound silly or counterintuitive to some people, but if youre suffering from repeated migraines and notice that it might be from having too many emotions or responsibilities on your plate, expressing your innermost thoughts, worries, fears, and desires in some way, shape, or form just might be the ticket to resolving this ongoing issue. 

    Also, its helpful to track other activities throughout your day, too, to see if anything triggers your migraines. 

    Therefore, we suggest keeping whats called a headache diary or a headache journal. 

    This is a good tool to help you observe your behavior and get to the real root of your migraines causes. In sleep diaries, you keep track of things like what kinds of foods and drinks you had during the day, if you exercised, how long you slept the night before, how stressed out you were feeling, when and where the headache started, if you took anything to help it, and so on. 

    The more you do this, the more youll start to notice a pattern that emerges, which leads to a more long-lasting resolution than any over-the-counter sleep aid can provide. You may even find that your migraine at night becomes a thing of the past.

    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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