Sleep Based Migraine Triggers
Sleep Based Migraine Triggers…You may find that when you’re undergoing a stressful period in your life, or juggling your schedule to make accommodations for work or family commitments, you experience more headaches. Migraines commonly strike when the daily tasks of taking care of yourself — such as regular sleep, exercise, meals, and relaxation — are deprioritized and routines become erratic. Other lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking, can also contribute to frequent migraines.
Changes In Sleep Pattern Based Migraine Triggers
According to the NHF (National Headache Foundation), over half of migraineurs cite “changes in sleep” as a trigger for migraine attacks. Not getting enough sleep is a problem for many Americans.
Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep each evening, and most children and teens require at least nine. But over the past twenty years, the average sleep time for both adults and adolescents has steadily decreased. And migraineurs who have six hours of sleep or less report more frequent and severe headaches than those without sleep issues. But it’s not just a lack of sleep that can prompt a migraine. Too much sleep can also be a problem. So can sleep schedules that change frequently (e.g., revolving shift-work). Any change in sleep patterns, whether it be a delayed bedtime, sleeping in on a weekend, or an impromptu afternoon nap, has the potential to trigger a headache in a migraineur.
Can Insomnia Be A Factor For Migraine Headaches
There is a high correlation between sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and migraine. Because sleep problems are a trigger for migraine and migraine can increase the incidence of sleep disorders, the result can be a vicious cycle for migraineurs.
Sleep And Migraine Headache Relation
Polysomnography, or overnight sleep studies, have found that migraineurs have distinctive brain wave patterns and changes in levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin during sleep. Migraines often begin during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is the stage or cycle of sleep during which dreaming takes place. REM is the fifth stage of sleep. And the first REM cycle during sleep happens about ninety minutes into sleep. During overnight sleep, four to six additional REM cycles, each longer than the last, occur. A three-year study of 1698 migraineurs found that over half of migraine attacks in study subjects occurred during the hours of 4 to 9 AM. This time period is dominated by the longest stretches of REM cycle sleep.
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