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Laying down with a Migraine

I always hear advice that you should lay down in a dark and quiet room when you have a migraine. The dark and quiet are good but not the part about laying down. Every time I lay down when I have a migraine it gets 10xs worse. The pounding grows to unbearable to keep laying down. and as soon I sit up the intensity of my migraine lowers. So I want to know if anyone else has this problem?

  1. Hi Kaosazure,

    Thanks for your question, let's see what I can do to help!

    Is this a new symptom and may I ask if you've mentioned this to the doctor? If not, I would encourage you to do so because it's important to discuss changes in our migraine symptoms and/or patterns with our doctor. This way he can rule out anything more serious.

    hen head pain is worse when lying down, it may possibly be related to cerebrospinal fluid. I have something called idiopathic intracranial hypertension, IIH which was formerly called pseudotumor cerebri and when my cerebrospinal fluid is high, my head pounds more when I am lying down. Let me share this information with you on this condition so you can share it with your doctor if you wish;

    Does that help?


    1. I have this problems as well. Sometimes I'll have a mild headache that turns into a migraine as soon as I lay down to go to sleep. I've done some research and this is not uncommon, although my neuro has no answer as to why this happens. I usually try to use 3-4 pillows to elevate my head.

      1. I have spent so many nights (mornings and afternoons!) propped up on pillows that I couldn't possibly count! As soon as I lie down with a migraine the pain goes through the roof. Heaven forbid I need to have an MRI with a migraine! The only answer I've ever received is the fluid in my head must be greater when I lie down but nothing about doing anything about it! Now I'll have to check into it further with my neurologist and see what he has to say.

        1. TheKimberly75,
          Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
          My migraine attacks also worsen when I lay down and especially when I close my eyes!
          No one really understands this- my family always tells me to "take a nap" when I get a migraine but honestly that is the last thing I ever want to do.
          As you said, being propped up on pillows is much better for me.
          Also, sometimes instead of complete darkness I like a dim, non direct light and try to do something like color that distracts me.

          Jillian ( Team)

      2. Mine is definitely worse when lying down. I've resorted to sleep sitting up, completely up. Leaning back, to the side, etc. makes it much worse. Sometimes I even need to stand to relieve the pressure, so I stand and rock back and forth while squinting at the T.V. (to keep me awake).

        Once I've done this for a few hours, some of the pressure subsides just enough so I can sit down to sleep.

        And thank you to all for sharing your stories on this. Although I'm sorry you too have this symptom, I'm grateful I'm not alone in what can seem like a bizarre side effect to non migraineurs.

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