Migraine, a common form of primary headache, is characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head, often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light (photophobia), sensitivity to sound (phonophobia), and blurred vision for four hours. Understanding the complex relationship between migraine and sleep is crucial to effectively managing and preventing recurrence of these debilitating headaches.
According to Dr. Poonam Chandrasekhar Awatare, Consultant- Neurology, Manipal Hospital, Varthur, “Migraine manifests as an initial headache with distinctive features. Throbbing pain is usually felt on one side of the head and is associated with at least two of the following: nausea, sensitivity to light sensitivity (photophobia), sensitivity to sound (phonophobia), and blurred vision.”
Research has uncovered a significant link between sleep patterns and migraine episodes. People with insufficient sleep are more prone to migraines, and disruptions in sleep quality can exacerbate the severity and frequency of these headaches. This connection has led to the term “sleep-crazy migraine.”
Essentially, insufficient or disrupted sleep can act as a migraine trigger, emphasizing the need for people susceptible to migraines to prioritize healthy sleep habits.
Guidance for Migraine Sufferers: The Importance of Sleep
For those who suffer from migraines, it is very important to adopt strategies to get good, timely and adequate sleep. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, ensuring a comfortable sleep environment and adhering to a regular sleep schedule can significantly contribute to preventing frequent migraine attacks.
Dr. Poonam says, “Quality sleep acts as a preventative measure, acting as a buffer against migraine exacerbations. The importance of sleep hygiene cannot be overstated, playing a vital role in managing and mitigating the impact of migraines on daily life.”
Sleep quality and its effect on migraine challenge
In addition to serving as a trigger for migraines, sleep quality is an important factor regulating overall brain function. Poor-quality sleep can negatively affect cognitive functions such as concentration, focus, memory and mood. This cognitive impairment, in turn, contributes to the worsening of migraine symptoms.
“Addressing sleep quality represents a holistic approach to migraine management, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive lifestyle strategy. Incorporating sleep-enhancing practices such as limiting screen time before bed, maintaining a comfortable sleep environment, and managing stress can significantly contribute to migraine prevention. Controlling frequency and intensity,” concluded Dr. Poonam.