Migraine Dreams and Nightmares
Last updated: March 2023
“Do you have migraines when you dream?” a friend asked several years ago. It was a question I’d never considered, and was relieved to discover that the answer is very rarely (that I remember). Those hours of escape have probably helped keep me sane.
Though I generally don’t dissect my dreams for meaning, my friend’s question led to some interesting revelations about how migraine functions in my life.
Do I have migraine attacks in my dreams?
When I do have migraine attacks in my dreams, they are never at their worst but are on the way to massive pain, and I’m searching for a way to stop them. Thankfully, these dreams only happen a couple of times a year.
Quite frequently, though, migraine enters my dreams as a source of anxiety. Either I’m facing a problem that wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have migraine, or it is preventing me from doing something I want or need to do. This isn’t surprising since I feel like migraine holds me back nearly every day.
Do my attacks cause nightmares?
Far more interesting than migraine as a topic in my dreams is that when I have a migraine attack in real life, my dreams become nightmares. They are full of danger and horror of all sorts. I also have bed-drenching night sweats, which may be a migraine symptom or because of the nightmares. Only since my migraine attacks have let up in the last few months have I been able to determine that I don’t have nightmares (or night sweats) on migraine-free nights.
I’m fascinated to learn what other migraineurs experience. Do you have migraine attacks in your dreams? What about nightmares during migraines? Do migraines figure into your dreams in another way, like in anxiety dreams?
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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