Learning to chill out a little regarding my sleep schedule
I remember having an “Oh, DUH!” lightbulb moment many moons ago when I was researching migraine and learned that there is a bevy of sleep-related triggers: too much sleep, too little sleep, interrupted sleep, and more can all trigger migraine episodes in us sensitive folk. As I think back on the day I learned about sleep triggers, I imagine myself hitting my own head Homer Simpson style (“D’oh!”)—but of course it’s not smart for The Migraine Girl to wallop herself in the head, so I’ll censor that vision.
Anyway, I just remember wondering how I hadn’t made that connection before on my own. Now that I knew about sleep-related triggers, though, I would take action. Within several weeks, I was watching my own sleep patterns like a hawk. I would go to bed around the same time every night and try to wake around the same time every day. I started feeling a little better.
You know what else? I also got a lot more stressed out about my sleeping regimen. If for some reason I couldn’t get into my bed by the designated time, I would start feeling panicky about the migraine I was afraid would come for me the next day. If Jim came to bed hours after I did and woke me up, I’d have so much trouble falling back asleep, mostly because I was anxious about the sleep I was missing. “Oh no! My sleep is being interrupted! Am I going to have a migraine tomorrow?!”
I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve chilled out a lot regarding my sleep. I still try to go to bed around the same time every night, and I try not to snooze (at least not too much) after my alarm goes off. (Speaking of snoozing: I admit that I posted twoarticles here recently that mentioned wanting to change my snoozing routine only to never take action on that—I apologize, guys.)
Last night I headed to bed with a book around 10:30pm, hopeful I’d have a good 30-45 minutes of reading time before I conked out. I’m not sure what time I fell asleep, but it was before 11:00pm, and I slept soundly…until Jim came to bed a couple of hours later. From that point on, I tossed and turned. Jim’s very light snoring didn’t wake me up from sleep, but it did contribute to my not being able to go back to sleep. The cat’s antics (moving from the crook of my legs to the crook of Jim’s legs, then deciding it was time to run some laps while chasing an old receipt) did nothing to help my attempts to go back to bed.
I started feeling that old panic rise again. I have a big week ahead, so making sure I wake up refreshed on a Monday morning seems like an important goal. I started going through my to-do list mentally and thought about climbing out of bed around 3:00am to just work, but I somehow convinced myself to focus on my breathing and fall back asleep. I slept fitfully the rest of the morning and was relieved to look at the clock at 7:30 and find it was time to get up. I feel fine. I feel as rested as I usually do upon waking, and I’m writing and working before the clock even strikes nine.
Note to self: Janet, it’s not likely that your day will be ruined if you have one night of rough sleep. It’s not likely that your week will be crushed under the weight of migraine attacks if your sleep gets messed up if you can remember to stay calm and try to relax.
How do you feel about poor or interrupted sleep and the anxiety that often accompanies it? How do you handle this in relation to your migraine patterns?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?