Did you know everyday habits play a big role in triggering migraines, and most probably, they might be sabotaging your snooze time. We’re providing few valuable tips to get a sound sleep this night.
If you feel your migraines are responsible for your restless nights and preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, it’s not all in your head. In fact, people suffering from migraines may be up to nine times more susceptible to sleep issues than the general population, according to American Migraine Foundation. And this relationship is very complicated.
“Most patients report sleep deprivation as the biggest trigger for their migraines,” says Monty A. Collins, MD, an associate professor of neurology and also a division chief of the department of headache and pain at Duke University Medical Center based in Durham North Carolina.
So, if you’re suffering from frequent migraines and also struggle with insomnia, you could ultimately get caught in a vicious cycle: Due to lack of sleep, you may experience more headaches, and headaches in turn will not let you fall or stay asleep, says John P. Petinato, DO, a senior neurologist with the Comprehensive Headache Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also an instructor in neurology and anesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Is there any way to break free from this exhausting situation?
Well, you can do that by revamping your sleep routine.
If migraine pain keeps up late at night, it’s time you do everything possible to prevent your headaches. Maintain a migraine diary and avoid all triggers. And, if you’re taking some migraine medication, take it as per directions.
You should also do everything you can to get your restorative sleep each night, especially if lack of sleep is one of your migraine triggers.
Here are six valuable tips to try for a better night’s sleep:
Watch everything you eat.
Avoid heavy meal right before you go to bed because it can interfere with your sleep, according to National Sleep Foundation, especially when you eat fatty, greasy food. Its still not clear which foods are most likely to trigger migraines, Dr. Collin says, though skipping your meals can be a trigger in some cases.
Maintain a headache diary and track whether ingredients or common foods-such as processed meats, red wine, beans, and aspartame-increase your attacks and, if it’s so, try to avoid them, the American Migraine Foundation suggests.
Stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
With a regular sleep, it’s easy t keep brains biologic cycles in step so that you feel sleepy at bedtime and awake at the right time in the morning, Collin says. It’s important to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Never skimp on sleep at any time during the week and then try to catch it up on the weekends. This may trigger severe headaches, Pettinato notes.
Create a relaxing bedtime ritual
Many patients find it difficult to fall asleep feel because they feel it’s impossible for them to shut their mind off at bedtime. Therefore, using any method to relax at bedtime can be helpful to promote sleep. In my opinion, stress is the biggest headache trigger, and you can use these techniques for effective stress management. Soak in a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or practice mindfulness or meditation to reduce migraine frequency and improve sleep.
Turn off electronics.
I strongly believe that today’s stressed-out society is that way mainly due to over-connectivity and over-reliance on electronic gadgets. And using just any type of screen immediately before going to bed can lead to insomnia because the bright light signals your brain to quickly wake up, which makes it cumbersome to wind down for sleep.
Create the right sleep environment
This plays a big role in ensuring a good sleep, which is vital for managing migraines. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex, nothing else-no work and no screens. Keep it dark, cool, and quiet (with some fan or any other source of white noise to block all distracting sounds), and make sure your sheets and mattresses are comfortable, the National Sleep Foundation suggests.
Be cautious about sleep aids
By taking right medications, you can prevent and treat your migraine and sleep better, but sleeping pills is not the answer. “We mostly avoid sleeping pills to treat headaches, but some medications used to treat headaches definitely improve sleep, as a side effect, “Collin explains. Don’t take sleeping pills because their long-term use can lead to rebound insomnia and acute dependence, pettinato adds.
It’s important that whatever steps you take to improve your sleep quality, stick to them and try to make them a part of your routine. Consistency in lifestyle habits helps in managing migraines.
Migraines don’t like changes in hormones, changes in weather, changes in eating patterns, changes in sleep patterns, and changes in stress levels, because any abrupt change may trigger headaches. So try to travel a narrow path as this will help control headaches.