Sleep and Chronic Migraines
Chronic Migraines and lack of sleep
The world is becoming more and more a 24-7 zone. Nothing shuts any more and you are always only a smart phone or tablet away from being distracted. More and more people will watch, interact or even work on their smart phones whilst in bed. This 'blue light' that we are consuming is, in many people's opinion, the start of a potential problem. Try and get some down time away from the screen for at least an hour before attempting to go to sleep. A good nights sleep is so important for your health.
Are your migraines related to your lack of sleep?
In 2016 a study showed definite connections between the quality of sleep and the frequency of migraines. The most frequently-noted connection was poor or disturbed sleep patterns, particularly REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which occurs around 6 times in an 8-hour sleep period. This is the dream phase, when our bodies produce serotonin and dopamine. It’s also the time when migraines are more likely to develop, because if REM sleep is disturbed it can result in insufficient production of these two neurotransmitters that are important in regulating pain.
When REM sleep is interrupted, impulses from the nerve cells cause blood vessels to constrict and then expand, releasing chemicals and inflammatory substances that cause pain. This is a common cause of migraines that develop just after sleep is disturbed, which explains why migraines occur so frequently in the early morning.
Here are some tips for a good nights sleep
Try and establish a sleep schedule.
We are creatures of habit so a set pattern of going to bed/sleep and waking is a great start.
Excercise - but not too much.
Half an hour excercise a day should do the trick. But remember not too near your bedtime. 2-3 hours before is about right
Avoid Caffiene, Nicotine and Alcohol.
I know. All the good stuff as well. Caffeine and Nicotine are both stimulants and Alcohol will, ultimately, rob you of GOOD REM sleep.
Avoid eating late in the evening
A light snack late on is OK but avoid having your 'main meal' late on.
Dark, Cool, Gadget Free Bedroom
This isn't always possible but you should try your hardest to get the right sleeping conditions.