Common Links Between Sleep and Migraines

Common Links Between Sleep and Migraines

Did you know that 50-75% of people who live with chronic pain and headache conditions, such as migraines, also struggle with insomnia? And for many, sleep issues and headaches become part of a vicious cycle. After all, sleep can ease pain, but migraine symptoms often keep a person from getting quality sleep. Sound familiar?

If you live with chronic migraines, we can help. Our team at Valley Pain Centers understands the complex nature of pain conditions like migraines and their connection to sleep. 

Sleep and headache pain

Studies show that poor sleep quality is much higher in people with migraines than those without. And, up to 50% of individuals who experience migraines also experience disturbed sleep, which is a common trigger of migraine attacks. 

This close link has to do with the fact that the same brain regions and chemical messengers that impact your headaches and mood also impact sleep. As a result, not getting enough quality sleep can significantly increase your chances of having headache pain — along with mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. 

Common sleep disorders include:

It’s common for people with migraines linked to a sleep disorder to have symptoms in the morning. These migraines, also known as wake-up headaches, develop from lack of sleep. However, keeping a sleep record may help you see if there’s a link between your sleep quality and migraines.

Managing migraines and restoring sleep

In most cases, it takes a multidisciplinary approach to end the cycle of migraines and poor sleep. That means working to improve your sleep quality and also working to manage your migraine symptoms.

Better sleep strategies

In an ideal world, we need 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to stay in peak condition. This is even more crucial when you have chronic migraines.

First, try making behavioral changes to establish and improve your sleep habits. Sometimes, this simply means going to bed and getting up at the same time (even on weekends), and avoiding substances that can interfere with sleep, such as nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. 

You can also undergo a sleep study to identify specific issues that could be affecting your sleep, such as sleep apnea. Then, based on the results, your provider could recommend treatment options.

Managing migraines

Our team offers numerous treatments for easing migraine symptoms and reducing their frequency. First, we review your medical history and look for risk factors, such as sleep disorders. We also do a physical evaluation of your spine and neck.

Based on your assessment, we could recommend a variety of approaches, such as:

These treatments could help relieve your symptoms, which, in turn, could help improve your sleep quality.

At Valley Pain Centers, with two convenient Arizona locations in Phoenix and Peoria, you are never a number. Your consultation, examination, and treatment are always administered by a highly qualified physician. We have experienced physicians who can help you, including Patricia Henthorn, DC, DAAMUAP, and Norvan Vartevan, DO. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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