Healthy Living

Can My Sleeping Habits Influence the Development of Migraines?

Can My Sleeping Habits Influence the Development of Migraines?

Our grandmothers and parents used to insist on a sound sleep of 8 hours in the night. But with the changed lifestyle, use of computers, mobile phones and technology increasingly being used, our sleeping patterns and the duration has changed drastically.

Many of the younger generation have opted for careers which have night shifts – hugely changing the body system and the in-built clock to such an extent that they have difficulty falling asleep. Good habits of following a discipline in life, working in an organized way, managing the time well are long gone. Simple living and High thinking was the focus in the earlier generation but sadly now is the time to make fast bucks, retire and enjoy life. Early to bed; early to rise was the slogan then ; it is now late to bed and late to rise & still feel groggy with no strength.  

This has resulted in the younger generation complaining of migraines, computer eye syndrome , stiff neck, back pain etc., Especially migraines are a bane to the society. Once you start getting severe headaches and the doctor diagnoses it as migraine attacks, then all other ailments will follow suit.

Can My Sleeping Habits Influence the Development Of Migraines?

When you have migraines, you experience severe episodes of headache. These headaches come in intervals. They attack mostly one part of the head or both of them. People with migraines experience many symptoms some of them including vision problems such as flash lights, increased sensitivity to sound and light, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Migraine is mostly found in women. According to research women are affected more than men. In every 5 people with migraine, 1 of them is a man and the rest are women. Migraine does not have a specific cause.However, it is triggered by different activities and things which are called triggers of migraine. Your sleeping habits are some of them.

Migraine and Sleeping Problems

If you have problems with your sleeping habits, this may lead to development of migraines. Migraines happen when impulses are sent out by hyperactive nerve cells to the blood vessels making them to expand or constrict. This causes release of chemicals from the brain together with inflammatory substances that makes the pulsations painful.
According to a scientific research, if a person gets enough and comfortable sleep, then it helps in relieving migraine symptoms and also reducing the number of migraine headaches.

How Does Your Sleeping Habit Influence Migraine

If a person does not get comfortable and still sleep it provokes migraine headaches. This is where you have (REM) Rapid Eye Movement. These movements provokes migraine within 5-6 hours of sleep.
When people go to sleep they undergo six cycles of sleep. There are about four stages of this sleep and rapid movement sleep. Stages three and four are the deepest stages of sleep a person experiences. These stages are important since they produce neuritransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. Sufficient sleep during these stages accounts for sufficient production of these neurotransmitters.
The neurotransmitters are chemical messagers which acts as “feel good” chemicals for the brain. Lack of enough neurotransmitters is contributed by sleep problems or lack of enough sleep and can easily cause migraines.
Medications such as antidepressants are used in stabilizing serotonin hence blocking migraines. They are used for treatment of migraines in some cases.

Sleeping Habits That Can Cause Migraines

If you have the following problems during your sleep then it may lead to development of migraines.

  • Having difficulties in falling asleep
  • Turning many times during the night
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Feeling irritated even the next day
  • Bad sleeping posture especially around the neck

Many such patients have to visit their doctor in search of medicine – to help them with their headaches and make them sleep better. The message and the advise from the doctor is usually to change their sleeping pattern, go to bed at the same time, use soft pillow to rest your head on, use relaxing music, switch off lights, computers and mobile phones. Prescribing a drug to help them sleep is usually not advised unless and until the patient has experienced recent trauma in life – maybe a death in the family or had an accident, then painkillers are given which also helps them to sleep better.

How Can Change In Sleeping Habits Stop Migraines

Changing your sleeping habits depends on how better you can be able to study your migraine experiences. The first step is trying to track the relationship between your sleep and migraines that you experience. Take a record every morning by review your sleep habits for four weeks.
Once you notice your sleep habits and the days that you experience migraines, start changing your sleeping habits slowly for four weeks. In three to four weeks’ time you will be able to notice a change in the number of migraine headaches you experience.

How Can Your Prevent Migraines Induced By Bad Sleep

  • Always make sure your body is relaxed when going to sleep. If Possible take a shower before you sleep after a tiresome day.
  • Take your meals some hours before you sleep
  • Avoid staying in bright lights before you go to sleep
  • Make sure your body especially the neck is laid on a soft material.


Simple methods of following the same pattern of going to bed at the same time every night, sleeping in a dark room with little or no bed lights, relaxing with soft music to help you sleep should be adhered to. Reading a novel will also help you to calm your nerves. Eating a banana before you sleep or having a glass of hot milk will also help to soothe your nerves and induce sleep.


The Bottom Line

Our sleeping habits cause migraines but can be controlled by changing the way we sleep. You can also visit a specialist to help you understand how you can change you sleeping habits

A physician’s clinic usually will have pin-ups on this topic of resting for a minimum of 7-8 hours in the night everyday.

It is a fast life today, the more we help ourselves relax and get back to good health, the better for  leading a successful life in the future. The younger generation needs to carry on the mantle !!