Most Migraineurs miss out on the importance of consistent, restful sleep in their Migraine management. Insufficient sleep is often noted as a trigger for patients, but there are several other sleep related triggers with which we should familiarize ourselves.
Along with these triggers are many tips and tricks that can help Migraineurs optimize our management strategies.
There are many potential sleep related triggers which may include:
- Insufficient sleep
- Too much sleep
- Interrupted sleep
- Insufficient REM (Rapid Eye Movement — an important stage of sleep)
- Insufficient oxygen levels during sleep
Some of the causes of these and other triggers can be the result of other health problems that may need to be addressed by us and our physicians. I try to encourage chronic Migraineurs to talk to their doctors about having a sleep study done. In the face of a fruitless search for other Migraine triggers, a sleep study can be extremely informative – both to help find these potential problems that need to be addressed, as well as rule them out.
Some potential sleep disruptors include:
- RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome)
- Sleep apnea
- Reflux problems such as GERD or LPR
- Pain (including headache disorders and Migraine)
- Medication reactions
- Endocrine disorders
- Anxiety or depression
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Bladder or continence problems such as IC (Interstitial Cystitis) or BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
- Vitamin deficiency
- Excessive light or heat
- Poor sleep habits
Neither of these lists is to be considered in any way complete. In truth we could make these lists a mile long and probably never cover all the things that could negatively influence your healthy sleep or trigger a Migraine. There are a few of these however that I’d like to dig deeper into, because mitigating them can be even more helpful than taking a prescription preventive!
Visit Part 2 for some important tips, tricks and rules to sleep by.