In Headaches / Migraines

SLEEP… OR THE LACK THERE OF…

A precious commodity that our body relies on heavily to be able to function at our best. A good night of rest allows our body to heal, to grow, to digest, to recover, to retain memory and to decrease stress. For more on how stress affects us and how it is a large trigger for headaches and migraines, read this post on Stress and Migraines

Hindered sleep also increases the body’s resistance to insulin ( read the blog on Migraines and Diet for more information on this).

A lack of sleep combined with high levels of stress is almost a guaranteed combination to trigger a headache or migraine.

Lack of sleep has shown to be a trigger for migraines and tension headaches, 61% and 49% on average, respectively.

Research has also shown that the following scenarios of 2 consecutive days of sleep that predict high headache or migraine activity:

  • Two nights of less than 4 hours of sleep
  • One night of less than 4 hours and the next night was 8 hours

With two consecutive nights of good sleep (approximately 8 hours), the headache and migraine activity is predicted to be low.

The main conclusion is that less sleep is associated with more severe headaches and migraines. So, we need to find ways to create better sleep…

4 ways to get better sleep:

  • Wind down and clear your head: Create a low stimulus environment at least 1 hour before going to bed. This means put the phone or iPad down, out of the bedroom and turn off the TV.
  • Exercise during the day: Exercising at night tricks your body into waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and big meals close to bed time: Set a time that you will not eat past.
  • Make a sleep schedule: Have a consistent bed time for yourself.

Achieve Relief Today….

References:

1) Stress and sleep duration predict headache severity in chronic headache sufferers Timothy T. Houle a,⇑, Ross A. Butschek b, Dana P. Turner a, Todd A. Smitherman c, Jeanetta C. Rains d, Donald B. Penzien e PAINÒ 153 (2012) 2432–244

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