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Sleep schedules, naps, & migraine – what works for you?

In the last few months of opening and running this adorable little bookshop of mine, many people have joked with me about my schedule. “Are you getting any sleep?” they say, or sometimes the more declarative, “I know you’re not sleeping!”

Let me tell you something right here and now. I never, ever sacrifice my precious sleep. In fact, I aim for the extremely un-American goal of 8.5-9 hours of sleep each night. I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, a habit that would’ve served me well my first three decades on earth. (In fact, I most often wish I could somehow tell my high school self that a regular sleep schedule would’ve helped my health and stress levels immensely. I’d often sleep from 4PM-6PM, then wake up, drink coffee, and stay up studying til late. But that’s neither here nor there.)

Until opening the bookshop and meeting numerous customers who wondered how I was doing as a new entrepreneur, people outside my family didn’t really ask me how well I was sleeping. It’s not a subject that comes up all that often until you’re in a place where people assume you’re NOT keeping up healthy habits.

Being on a regular sleep schedule has also helped me cut naps out of my life. Now don’t get me wrong: I LOVE napping. Naps are delicious and comforting and wonderful, but they aren’t that helpful for me because I always sleep too long and wake up groggy. I know that quick, restorative naps are the healthy way to go—when I actually take those kinds, I feel awake and eager to work afterward. But I have no willpower while asleep, and the naps always turn into 2-hour rest fests.

Have any of you phased out naps? Do you keep a regular sleep schedule? Do you notice a change in your migraine patterns when you got on a schedule, added naps, or cut naps? How many hours of sleep are optimal for you?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Diana-Lee
    7 years ago

    It seems like people don’t realize that we can’t compromise on things like getting adequate sleep. Don’t you sometimes want to say, “I wouldn’t be able to be standing here right now speaking with you if I didn’t get any sleep!”

  • tucker
    8 years ago

    I have always been a night owl since high school and I’ve been 29 for a whole lotta years now 🙂 so I am a crank pot in the mornings on a good day! For the past several years, I’ve been waking up at 4-6am with headaches and or migraines or just waking up and NOT going back to sleep. That can really ruin a girl’s day! Since I am blessed to work PT I have a crazy sleep schedule.

    I go to bed and read until I fall asleep or I just do stuff around the house then I go to sleep when I am tired. It could be anywhere from 9:30 to 3:30. (My doc suggested melatonin – haha – useless when I tried it for several months). I do try to go to bed by midnight on work days and my alarm is set for 6:45am. On Sundays, it’s set for 9:50am since I work on Saturdays. Back when my kids were young, I made my husband’s lunch the night before and we slept in til 10am (wahoo!!) and I took a nap with them in the afternoon. The mom that naps with her babies has happy babies and is a happier mom (and you can get those kids to nap til they are 4 yrs old!) When they started school, I started back to work PT so I had to get up and make lunches in the morning and got everyone out of the house then got in the habit of going back to bed on my days off.

    Back when I was in college, I did like you – I loved to nap (in the sun if possible) in the afternoon then study when it was dark – less distractions in the dark. It was just too hard to study if the sun was out! Though I could certainly sleep in the bright sun and I still can though I’m a bit more sun conscious after having some suspicious moles removed (I lifeguarded for 6 yrs too). And rainy or cold Sunday afternoons are MADE for napping at my house! Guaranteed!!

    And any day (well, except at work) that I’m just bone tired and need to nap RIGHT NOW, I do it. I’ve been known to nap in the car at kids sports activities, before I can make dinner, at the movies, at lunch at work, at conventions – hopefully, I don’t snore too loud! hehe

    I’m sure a regular sleep schedule would make my head better, but I didn’t have one before I had migraines and getting pregnant was the on switch for migraines. AND if someone could help me sleep better thru the night, the by all means, I’d be eternally grateful! Some nights it’s so bad I only get 3-4 hours and then some nights I get 11-12 (broken by a bathroom break and making lunches).

  • Kishor Ramteke
    8 years ago

    Do we have any research or trail on Topiramate in Daily or chronic headache.

    8 years ago

    Kishor Ramteke – You can learn more about Topamax (topiramte) including study results and common side effects here:

  • Kishor Ramteke
    8 years ago

    Hi Tushar nice to have information but i am suffering from Migraine and it really frusteting me i am taking preventive medicine but it is just few days without headache since last 8-9 months taking medicine it does improve but once stop again it is starting , i am trying to find out any better drug which can hv less side effects and better results . if u hv any information please let me know

  • Tushar More
    8 years ago

    I think you can try for further information. –

  • Tushar More
    8 years ago

    Hey hello thinking about you why inquire about topiramate.

  • Chester Lee
    8 years ago

    Stared taking topiramate 25 mg 1 in the moring and 2 at night now I can sleep up all night, what can I do to get back to a good sleep habbit?

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