Sleep and Migraine
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Sleep is essential for our body to maintain optimal function.
😴 We need sleep for its restorative role from our daily activities and stressors. Getting good quality sleep helps improve and maintain the body's immune function, improves healing, decreases pain, and improves cognitive function.
Lack of sleep and poor sleep quality is a growing concern 😕. So much so that the CDC has designated sleep deprivation a "public health epidemic" because of its link to many health issues in our society.
This link 🔗 includes headache and migraine disorders!
Research has demonstrated that those suffering from chronic migraines have shortened sleep durations, poor sleep quality, inconsistent sleep times, and increased sleep fragmentation. Both before and during migraine attacks.
However, the specific relationship between migraines and sleep remains complex and not completely understood 🤔. Those with migraines do report more sleep disorders, such as insomnia. But research is not able to definitively tell if the sleep disorder causes migraines or if migraines cause the sleep disorder.
It’s been reported that headache/migraine attacks frequently awake people from sleep. And those with insufficient and fragmented sleep tend to have more intense and frequent attacks. But then there are those that use sleep as a way to manage a migraine attack.
So the big questions ❓ are...Do our sleep habits actually matter? Will better sleep habits create better outcomes for those with sleep disorders? What about those with migraines?
Well, research does suggest that creating better sleep habits leads to better sleep. Implementation of sleep habits leads to improvements in sleep efficiency and quality. Reduction in insomnia symptoms can be reduced with sleep habits.
But do these improvements in sleep lead to improvements in migraine frequency, intensity, and duration?
The simple answer is yes!🙌 Improving sleep quality and efficiency improves migraines. Therefore, the same strategies to address sleep disorders can be used to help improve headaches and migraines.
A mixed approach of sleep education, changes in sleep environment, and implementation of sleep habits that help to improve sleep disorders will help improve migraines.
😴 Sleep is a great starting point to begin actively addressing chronic migraines. With better sleep we have less stress, more energy, less pain, and improved health.
I recently made a sleep habits check list ✅ so you can get started creating better sleep for yourself.
If you haven’t gotten it yet let me know!📩