Home Knowledge Sleep Habits Matter: How Getting Enough Sleep Can Help Migraine Symptoms

Sleep Habits Matter: How Getting Enough Sleep Can Help Migraine Symptoms

by Dr. Shiva Kumar R Senior Consultant (Neurology & Epileptology, Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru)
Jul 19, 2023
Sleep Habits Matter: How Getting Enough Sleep Can Help Migraine Symptoms, Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

Migraines can be a difficult experience, with throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and a slew of other symptoms that interfere with daily life. While there are several approaches to migraine management, one frequently overlooked issue is the quality and quantity of sleep. In this post, we will look at the important role that sleep plays in migraine symptoms, as well as how prioritising healthy sleep habits might potentially reduce the severity of migraines. 

Understanding Migraines and Their Symptoms.

Migraine is a neurological illness characterised by recurring moderate to severe headaches, which are frequently accompanied by other symptoms such as light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and exhaustion. Migraines are more than merely uncomfortable headaches.

Impact of Migraine during COVID.       

In 2020, COVID-19 and the psychological pressure of socioeconomic impact due to everyday work, limited health resources, and lack of knowledge of this new disease resulted in variable compliance with preventive protocols and induced worries about uncertainty about the near future, as well as anxiety and fear of developing the disease.

A pandemic viral illness could create significant societal dread and mental discomfort. These modifications impacted migraine patients, a common condition in our countries. It is estimated that 14.7% of the world's population suffers from migraines. In India, however, a recent epidemiological study discovered a 25% increase during COVID. Individuals suffering from migraines frequently report sleep difficulties, and a lack of sleep can initiate or intensify migraine attacks.

The Importance of Sleep for Overall Health

Sleep is an essential component of our well-being, since it contributes to a variety of physiological and cognitive functions. Understanding the significance of sleep will pave the way for further investigation into its relationship to migraine symptoms. Some significant terms that explain the necessity of sleep include migration avoidance, tigger reduction, pain treatment, and stress reduction.

The Link Between Sleep and Migraine Symptoms

Scientific research has found a clear link between sleep patterns and migraines. There is a well-documented link between sleep and migraine symptoms. Both sleep deprivation and excessive sleep can trigger migraines or worsen existing migraine symptoms in some individuals. Let's explore the relationship between sleep and migraines in more detail:

Sleep deprivation disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and can lower the threshold for migraine attacks. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to experience migraines or have more severe migraine symptoms. On the other hand, excessive sleep or long naps can also act as a trigger for migraines. Oversleeping disrupts the natural sleep-wake cycle and can lead to headaches upon waking up or throughout the day.

Certain sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy are associated with an increased prevalence of migraines. Disruptions to the circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, can influence migraines. Irregular sleep patterns, such as shift work or jet lag, can trigger migraines in susceptible individuals.

In some cases, sleep can even alleviate migraine symptoms, as a migraine attack may resolve during sleep. It is worth noting that the relationship between sleep and migraines can vary from person to person. If one has migraines, it can be helpful to track sleep patterns and migraine episodes to identify any connections.

Sleep Hygiene Practices for Managing Migraine Symptoms

Sleep hygiene is a collection of practises and habits that support healthy, peaceful sleep. Adopting good sleep hygiene practices can be beneficial for managing migraine symptoms.

Here are some recommendations such as maintaining a consistent sleeping schedule, creating a restful environment, establishing a bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, limiting exposure to screens, avoiding stimulants and heavy meal, limiting or avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the evening, exercising regularly and managing stress, etc. Remember that everyone's sleep needs and triggers can vary, so it's essential to pay attention to own body and adapt these practices to suit your individual needs.

Seeking Professional Help and Treatment Options

While self-care practices are valuable, it is essential to seek professional guidance for personalized advice and treatment options. Here are some common treatment approaches for managing migraines: medications, lifestyle modifications, behavioral therapies such cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Biofeedback, botox injections: Administered by a healthcare professional, Botox injections, nerve blocks that is injecting a local anesthetic or a corticosteroid.

Finally, sleep patterns are critical in treating migraine symptoms. Migraines can be triggered or worsened by both sleep deprivation and excessive sleep. Individuals might potentially lessen the frequency and intensity of migraines by prioritising excellent sleep hygiene practises and getting adequate and consistent sleep. A regular sleep pattern, a peaceful sleep environment, stress management, and avoiding sleep interruptions can all help with migraine management. If migraines persist despite excellent sleep habits, it is critical to speak with a healthcare professional for a full evaluation and personalised treatment plan. Remember that sleep is important in migraine management, and prioritising restful sleep can make a substantial difference in overall migraine symptoms.